Dr. William Richards - Biography

About Dr. Richards:

William Richards has been president of SUNY Orange since August 1, 2003. He's brought a style of leadership there that focuses on three major goals: to enrich lives through learning, enhance economic opportunities in the area the college serves, and to participate in and lead community development. To achieve these goals, Richards believes that the most important resources available are the people he leads. He considers himself the chief cheerleader and supporter of innovation, creativity and risk-taking among all employees.

In his first year at SUNY Orange, Dr. Richards brought the SUNY Orange campus together in a successful collaborative effort to redevelop more tightly focused mission, vision and values statements. He's come on board at a critical time for SUNY Orange, since the campus has just completed an in-depth Middle States self-assessment.

To make the best use of the results of the self-assessment, Dr. Richards is spearheading a strategic planning effort to help chart the best future course for an academic, facilities, technology and enrollment management master plan.

Dr. Richards has a keen sense of technology and how it can best be used for learning, programs, and services. Additionally, Dr. Richards has also begun an aggressive campaign to explore the private sector for funding sources for technology and other necessary resources for the school.

Much of Dr. Richard's experience has been in the community college environment, an atmosphere of learning he finds most rewarding. The students are from diverse backgrounds and abilities, but above all they are committed to one goal: improving their lives and the lives of their community through education.

Prior to his presidency at SUNY Orange, Dr. Richards was CEO of the Westminster Campus, Front Range Community College in Denver, CO.


Ph.D. Medieval Literature (cognate: Higher Education Policy) - University of Denver (1987)

M.A. English (with Honors) - St. Louis University (1968)

B.A. English (Magna Cum Laude)/Physics/Mathematics - Regis College (1966)


  • Provided leadership for the Arkansas Valley Technology Project, a consortium of 24 public school districts, 11 libraries, and State government that established a telecommunications infrastructure capable of supporting the data, research and communications needs of all public entities statewide
  • Conducted needs analysis for and implemented more than 100 instructional programs and related services, including special support services for special needs students
  • Provided state and regional leadership on developmental education, writing across the curriculum
  • Implemented models of collaborative leadership
  • Implemented or enhanced strategic technology plans for instructional programs and administrative services.

Other Experiences:

August 99-July 00: President, Higher Education and Advanced Technologies (HEAT) Center (Denver, CO) A long-range strategic planning group.

July 96-August 99: President, Otero Junior College (La Junta Colorado)

August 92-July 96: Vice President, Educational Programs and Resources, North Harris College (Houston, TX)

September 89-September 92: Dean, Arts and Humanities, Community College of Denver (Denver, CO)

July 82-August 89: Dean, Developmental Studies, Community College of Denver (Denver, CO)

September 79-June 82: Coordinator, Learning Development Center, (Denver CO)