URI names management, labor scholar
to head Schmidt Labor Research Center
KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 19, 2002 -- The University of Rhode Island has appointed Richard W. Scholl, a professor of management at the University since 1979, the new director of the Schmidt Labor Research Center.
The North Kingstown resident began his official duties on July 1. He succeeds the late Terry Thomason, who died in April.
Scholl has a long record of research, service and teaching in the areas of human resource management, labor relations, organizational behavior and performance evaluation.
In addition to his teaching duties, he has been director of graduate programs and director of the Executive MBA programs for URIs College of Business Administration.
Scholl has been a member of the Schmidt Labor Research Centers faculty since it was established in 1984 as an independent, tripartite center to focus on a wide variety of workplace issues with perspectives from labor, management and neutrals.
Provost M. Beverly Swan said Scholls colleagues unanimously recommended his appointment as center director. "He is highly respected both on and off campus, and I have great confidence in his ability to provide strong leadership for this important center," said Swan.
The center offers a masters degree in labor relations and human resources, an undergraduate minor in labor studies, and center members conduct research and provide outreach services to unions, government organizations, and businesses.
While the center has four full-time faculty slots, faculty members from sociology, economics, political science, psychology, human development and family studies and business also participate in the center. Several faculty members have won URI Foundation teaching excellence awards.
"We have a broad range of faculty members who can address such important topics as collective bargaining, labor history, workplace violence, diversity, conflict resolution, organizational change, globalization, workplace safety and labor management cooperation," Scholl said.
As the only program of its kind in New England, the center has gained regional and national recognition.
"The Schmidt Labor Research Center is and should continue to be an independent center committed to the best scholarship in all aspects of work and employment, including the practice of labor relations and human resources," Scholl said.
Scholl said he plans to solicit ideas from the faculty for the future of the center and to meet with union leaders, public administrators and human resource professionals to find out how the center could serve them.
Scholl is a 1972 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and served three years in the Navy as the damage control officer aboard a destroyer. While in the Navy, he earned his master of business administration at San Diego State University with a focus on human resource management. In 1979, he earned his doctorate in organizational behavior from the University of California, Irvine. He has authored numerous journal articles on management, human resource administration, labor-management relations, compensation, and workplace performance.
URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography
For Information: Rick Scholl 401-874-4347, Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116