As the newly appointed interim dean of the Robins School of Business, Robert M. Schmidt's days tend to be filled less with classes and more with meetings.
With the implementation of the Richmond Promise and the business school's strategic plan - including, among other things, a review of the school's curriculum and the construction of the new $19.5 million, 33,000-square-foot Queally Hall addition - Schmidt said he had been aware of the work that needed doing when he accepted the position.
"This is the sort of situation where we can't just stand still," he said. "We can't just tread water for a year.
I was quite willing to do it and want to keep us moving forward."
Although his position as dean brings new responsibilities, Schmidt has decided to continue with some of his professorial duties.
"Being a faculty member and working with students is a great life," he said. "Especially being a faculty member at the University of Richmond and working with good students - interesting students - it's a great life."
This semester Schmidt is teaching a 300-level course in econometrics, combining economic theory with statistics in order to examine economic relationships. He will also be continuing his research into the effectiveness of programs at the state and federal levels for the rehabilitation of disabled people.
Schmidt said he missed the flexibility and student interaction of being a professor, but valued his new position.
"Anyone will tell you also that serving in a dean capacity or an administrative capacity has its own rewards," he said. "If you can successfully work with people to somehow make productive and useful changes, to make the Robins School a stronger and better place, well that's very rewarding as well."
Schmidt studied as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and got his master's and doctoral degrees at Duke University.
He took the dean position on July 1, 2009, after former dean Jorge Haddock stepped down to become dean of the George Mason University School of Management. Haddock was originally supposed to be replaced in May by Henry N. Butler, a University of Richmond alumnus and professor at Northwestern University, but Butler declined the position because of financial considerations.
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Provost Steve Allred and members of the faculty are in the process of identifying a search firm to assist in finding a permanent dean for the Robins School.
Contact staff writer Guv Callahan at email@example.com
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