Richey to receive honorary degree
By JON ERICSON Courier Staff Writer
The University of Northern Iowa will grant a diploma to the man who has run the state university system the past thirty-one years.
R. Wayne Richey, executive director of the Iowa Board of Regents office, will be granted an honorary doctorate at the May 9, 1998, Commencement.
Richey will retire this year as the longest serving higher education executive in the country.
UNI President Robert Koob said the honorary degree reflects on the Iowa board's reputation as free of political pressure and control, and respect for academic freedom.
"No other individual has worked so long and so diligently as Wayne Richey to preserve the integrity and independence of Iowa's institutions," Koob said.
Koob noted Richey's commitment to attracting and maintaining high quality faculties at the three state universities. Richey pushed the regents a decade ago to increase faculty salaries to attract top-flight scholars and to encourage faculty sabbaticals to pursue educational goals.
Richey, 69, earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Illinois University. He had been a deputy budget director for the state of Kansas before coming to Iowa in 1967.
Richey had a connection to UNI, as both his daughter and son-in-law earned degrees there.
"I'm deeply appreciative of the University of Northern Iowa for this honor," Richey said.
Koob lauded Richey's dedication to the state's public universities.
"I think by this measure Wayne deserves this degree and much more," Koob said.
Richey will be granted his degree at the 11 a.m. ceremony May 9 at the Price Laboratory School.
Copyright Waterloo Courier, April 16, 1998, page B4.