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Richard Freeland

08/16/19 - BOSTON, MA. - Richard Freeland poses for a portrait on August 16, 2019. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor

Richard Freeland teaches the introductory survey of American history.  He has also taught a variety of courses in 20th century American history and is an historian of American higher education. He has published three books: The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism (Knopf), a study of the politics on American foreign policy at the beginning of the Cold War; Academia’s Golden Age (Oxford), a study of eight universities in Massachusetts between 1945 and 1975; Transforming the Urban University (Penn), an account of Northeastern University between 1996 and 2006.

View CV

Transforming the Urban University, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019, 193 pp.

Academia’s Golden Age, Oxford University Press, N.Y., 1992, 550pp.

The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism, Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y., 360pp; First Printing, 1972; Second, 1974; Paperback, Shocken, 1974; New paperback edition with new Introduction, N. Y.U. Press, 1985

2018: “Yes, Higher Ed Is a Business—But It’s Also A Calling.” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23 issue.

“Recovering Our Lost Public Esteem.” Inside Higher Education, Jan. 22 issue.

2017: “Higher Ed’s Obsession with Research is Wrong and Unfortunate: Here are the Reforms that Can Fix It.” Hechinger Report, August 13 issue.

“Do College Presidents Still Matter?” The Conversation, August 9 issue.

“Stop Looking at Rankings, Use Academe’s Own Measures Instead.” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 13 issue.

“On the Path to a Successful Presidency, Multi-taskng Is a Detour.” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 9 issue.

2009: “Liberal Education and Effective Practice: The Necessary Revolution in Undergraduate Education,” Liberal Education, Winter, 2009.

2007: ”Turnaround Time” How to turn higher education into a powerful engine for the Massachusetts economy, Commonwealth, Spring 2007.

2005: “Universities and Cities Need To Rethink Their Relationships,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Point of View, May 13 issue.

2004: “The Third Way,” The Atlantic Monthly, October issue.
“Academia’s Role in Strengthening the Foundations of a Democratic Society:’ The Presidency, Fall issue.

2001: “Academic Change and Presidential Leadership,” in In Defense of American Higher Education, Altbach, Phillip G, Gumpert, Patricia J., and Johnstone, D. Bruce, Johns Hopkins University Press.

2000: “The Practical Path, Too, Can Be High-Minded,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Point of View, September 15 issue.

1999: “How Practical Experience Can Help Revitalize Our Tired Model of Undergraduate Education,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Point of View, February 19 issue.

1998: “Moving Partnerships between Co-op Institutions and Co-op Employers into the Next Century,” with Robert C. Marini and Scott Weighart, Journal of Cooperative Education, winter issue.

1995: “Pragmatism Won’t Save Us–But It Can Help,” in The Condition of American Liberal Education, R. Onill, ed., College Board.

1986: “Corporate-University Relations Before World War 11: The Case of M.I.T.,” Alden Seminars on Higher Education.

1981: “Higher Education in Massachusetts in the 1980s,” Alden Seminars on Higher Education.

Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Residency), 1988; National Endowment for the Humanities, 1980-81; Ford Foundation, 1979-80.

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Commissioner, 2009-2015

Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts: President, 1996-2006

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Institute for Educational Management (IEM), summer 2006; Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education: summers (MLE), 1982, 1981, 1980.

City University of New York, 1992-96: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and President, CUNY Research Foundation.

University of Massachusetts at Boston, 1971-92: Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, 1982-92; Dean, College of Professional Studies, 1974-79; Director, Office of Educational Planning, 1972-74; Assistant to Chancellor, 1971-72.

University of Massachusetts, President’s Office, 1970: Assistant to President.

Boston College, Northeastern, University of Pennsylvania: Lecturer, 1969-70, 1965-66.

  • Education

    Harvard University, Graduate School of Business Administration, 1979-81: Coursework in Management.

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Penn., 1964-68: Ph.D. in American Civilization.

    Amherst College, Amherst, Mass., 1959-63: B.A., American Studies.

    Honorary Degrees: American College of Greece, Amherst College, Johnson and Wales University, Northeastern University, Simmons College.

    University of Bristol, UK, 1963-64: Independent study in History and English

    Graduate Fellowships: From University of Pennsylvania: Dissertation Fellowship, 1967-68; Special Harrison Fellowship, 1966-67; Harrison Scholarship, 1965-66. From Truman Library: Research Grants, 1966, 1969. From Amherst College: Amherst Memorial Fellowship, 1963-64.

  • Contact

  • Address

    119 Cushing Hall
    102 The Fenway
    Northeastern University
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215