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Dean Jack Richman to step down in 2016

The following is an announcement that Dean Jack Richman sent to the School of Social Work faculty, staff and students on July 28, 2015.

Good morning.

I am writing to let you know that after much thought and careful contemplation, I have decided to step down as dean of the School of Social Work, effective July 1, 2016, and return to the classroom.

I will resume the role of full professor in the School, and I am looking forward to continuing my research agenda which focuses primarily on developing effective interventions for individuals, couples and families that allow them to interface successfully with their ecological environment.

Provost Jim Dean has begun the process of forming a search committee to conduct a national search for a new dean; the committee will begin its work in late August.

Serving as dean of this School over the past 13 years has meant a great deal to me because we, together, have accomplished so much. When I was named to this position in 2002, my key goals were to acquire top-tier faculty members, promote more high-quality research and multiply the school’s endowment to attract the best MSW and Ph.D. students.

Together, we have accomplished all of that – propelling our school to a top-5 ranking in US News and World Report’s list of top Graduate Schools.

In addition, we have:

  • Doubled our number of distinguished endowed professorships.
  • Increased funding available to support our MSW and Ph.D. students by 700 percent.
  • Created an environment that supports a rich and vibrant intervention research culture.
  • Attracted and retained a team of quality and experienced clinical and research faculty that serve the School of Social Work, the University and the public, non-profit and private agencies in state of North Carolina.
  • Increased our administrative efficiencies and successfully focusing on progress despite budget cuts.
  • Broadened our reach with public relations, digital communications and social media.
  • Globalized our teaching, research and service mission, including partnerships with universities in China, Sweden and India.
  • Increased our use of state-of-the-art classroom technology, web conferencing and online courses.
  • Developed a successful continuing education program that serves students, alumni, and practitioners from around the state.

I am also so proud of the thousands of hours our students have worked for public and non-profit agencies across the state. Their field placements in 120 agencies statewide contribute a value of more than $1.6 million annually to North Carolina.

I make this announcement confident that our School will continue to build on its strengths – while serving the University, the state and the world. I look forward to continuing to be a part of that by resuming my teaching, research and service activities and continuing to mentor students and junior faculty members.

Thank you for your support over the past 13 years, and for your continued support as we make this transition together.


Jack M. Richman, Ph.D., MSW
Dean and Professor