Richard W. Schneider, PhD
23rd President of Norwich University
One of the longest seated college presidents in the country, Dr. Richard W. Schneider proudly carries on the tradition Norwich University Founder Captain Alden Partridge began 200 years ago of developing “citizen soldiers.” Through his experience in the military and academia, as well as his service in the U.S. Coast Guard, Dr. Schneider epitomizes Norwich’s unique position in American higher education.
A native of Queens, New York, Dr. Schneider is a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He was commissioned as an ensign in the Coast Guard and served eight years of active duty, including a tour of Vietnam. Dr. Schneider retired from the Coast Guard Reserve as a Rear Admiral in July 1998.
In July 1992, Dr. Schneider became the 23rd President of Norwich University. Since then, he has championed Norwich’s charge to distinguish the University in the marketplace of higher education institutions by educating and preparing students to be global leaders in the private sector, government and the military.
Dr. Schneider has worked with Norwich’s Board of Trustees to create a series of comprehensive strategic plans for the University during his tenure. NU2019 articulates the course Norwich is taking in its quest for excellence in academia, student life, improved national brand, and improved financial security for 2019, as the University celebrates its bicentennial and enters its third century of fulfilling its mission of service to its students and the nation. Norwich After Next, released in spring 2018, is a living document that prepares the university to navigate in a methodical and increasingly bold manner the challenges of the third century, and specifically the road ahead through 2035.
During Dr. Schneider’s tenure, Norwich University has seen major improvements on multiple fronts. Academically, four colleges now offer 39 different undergraduate majors, six of which are degree completion programs offered online. Other accomplishments include: an increase in total undergraduate enrollment by over 25%, from 1730 to approximately 2400, and enrollment in the Corps of Cadets by 50% from 941 to over 1600; increased undergraduate student selectivity with an increase in average SAT scores and the percentage of applicants accepted dropping from 93% to 68.7%; establishment of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, which currently has more than 1600 online students enrolled in 19 programs including master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees and professional certificates, and an Honors Program has been instituted.
Norwich’s Center for Civic Engagement, through which all volunteerism is facilitated, celebrated 15 years in 2017. Leadership and service projects are local, national, and international in scope and consist of work with the elderly, youth, homeless, hungry, differently-abled, economically disadvantaged, and partnering nonprofit organizations.
Also during his tenure, Schneider has made substantial additions to the physical plant including Kreitzberg Library, Bartoletto Hall, Wise Campus Center, Sullivan Museum and History Center, Kreitzberg Arena, Shaw Outdoor Center and Doyle Hall, a biomass plant, two new dormitories, Dalrymple and South Halls; renovations to the Haynes Family Stadium at Sabine Field and Kreitzberg Library, a brand new four-story state-of-the-art academic building, Mack Hall, as well as renovations to several other buildings, funded by the Forging the Future $100 million five-year bicentennial campaign, culminating in 2019, at which point 96% of all academic space will have been completely renovated or brand new. The Sullivan Museum and History Center has also been recognized as a Smithsonian Affiliate.
The university has produced positive financial results: net positive annual income; investment grade bond rating and increased its endowment from $40M to over $217M.
The Norwich Forever campaign exceeded the $55M goal by raising $82M. The Bearing the Torch effort exceeded the $20.2M goal and raised more than $24M. Dr. Schneider has led five consecutive campaigns, which have all exceeded the fundraising goals since “Norwich 2000” was launched in 1984. The current $100M Forging the Future campaign has over $102 million in gifts effective March 2019.
With a focus on internationalizing the campus, numerous programs at Norwich are now offered to give students the opportunity to study abroad, and to study with others who come to Norwich from overseas, including an international program for architecture, visual arts, history, political science and international studies at CityLAB:Berlin, a remote campus located in Germany’s capital. Norwich Expeditions are also now offered in China, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several locations in Europe as well as in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado.
Under President Schneider's leadership, the National Center for the Study of Counter Terrorism and Cyber Crime at Norwich University was created in federal statute. The center is part of Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI), a separate non-profit research and development corporation under the direction of the Norwich University Board of Trustees. NUARI has conducted more than $68M in externally funded research. To facilitate the academic program, the Norwich University Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education and Research (CyFER) was founded in 2009. CyFER serves students and faculty and is used for deploying specialist learning environments for the Computer Security & Information Assurance (CSIA) program, for fostering a culture of research amongst students, for outreach activities and for providing physical infrastructure for the very best students to manage and maintain, including a partnership with the State of Vermont in protecting state data.
Norwich created an Office of Academic Research in 2007 with approximately $17M in funded projects over the past twelve years. In 2015, the Peace and War Center at Norwich was established to advance interdisciplinary knowledge for students, scholars, and practitioners on the relationship between peace and warfare at local, national, and global levels. In 2017, with the goal of building resilient communities in the wake of emerging global concerns primarily related to climate change, Norwich established the Center for Global Resilience and Security with focused themes in the areas of Water, Infrastructure, Climate and Energy. In 2019, the Design Build Collaborative was established to focus on solving the problem of affordable and sustainable housing.
The Corps of Cadets currently stands over 1,600 members; and the University commissions graduates via all four ROTC programs. Under Dr. Schneider’s leadership, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), first established at Norwich in 1916, marked its 100th anniversary in a centennial celebration and national symposium on campus.
With Dr. Schneider’s guidance and direction, Norwich University continues to educate and prepare tomorrow’s leaders who excel in fields of battle as well as in corporate boardrooms.
Dr. Schneider lives in Woodbury Hall in Northfield with his wife, Jaime. During his spare time, he enjoys being with his 15 grandchildren.
~ updated April 2019 ~