A native of nearby Bloomsburg, Associate Dean Rich Robbins received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno and served as a behavioral sciences faculty member before moving into higher education administration and adjunct teaching since 1996. He has developed academic advising programs at two separate institutions and headed advising programs at four institutions, receiving the NACADA/ACT Outstanding Institutional Advising Award in 1998 while at Washburn University in Kansas and the NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) Research Grant Award in 1999. He has served as Chair of the Kansas Academic Advising Network, Chair of the NACADA Research Committee, Chair of the NACADA Summer Institute Advisory Board, Chair of the NACADA Assessment Institute Advisory Board, and has been a member of numerous NACADA task forces, advisory boards, and committees including the NACADA Council and NACADA Executive Board of Directors. He was a facilitator at the first two NACADA Administrators' Institutes, served as a faculty member at the 2005-2016 Assessment Institutes (chair from 2011-2012) and the 2006-2015 NACADA Summer Institutes (chair from 2007-2008) and also served as a faculty member at the first two NACADA Research Symposia in 2009 and 2010. He taught “introduction to Academic Advising” and “Administration of Academic Advising” in the Kansas State University on-line master’s degree program from 2012 through 2018, and has been the NACADA representative on the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) since 2012.
Dean Robbins has over 160 presentations at professional conferences and numerous book reviews and articles. He served as editor for the 2004 NACADA monograph “Giving Advice to Students: A Road Map for College Professionals,” is co-author of the 2005 “NACADA CD Guide to Assessment in Academic Advising” as well as the 2010 revision, and authored the chapter "Evaluation and Assessment of Career Advising" in the 2009 NACADA/Jossey-Bass publication “Handbook of Career Advising.” He is also the author of the chapter "Generating Scholarship from Theory and Previous Research" in the 2010 NACADA Monograph “Scholarly Inquiry in Academic Advising” and "Accountability and Assessment of Academic Advising" in the 2011 NACADA Monograph “Advising Administration.” Other publications include: "Implications of Advising Load" in the 2012 NACADA Monograph based on the 2011 National Survey of Academic Advising, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Academic Advising (Almost)" in the fall 2012 edition of the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, co-author of the chapter "Assessment of Peer Advising Programs" in the 2013 NACADA publication “Peer Advising and Mentoring: A Guide for Advising Practitioners,” and the 2014 article “AAC&U’s Integrative Liberal Learning and the CAS Standards: Advising for a 21st Century Liberal Education” in the NACADA Journal. In 2016 he authored two chapters in the Jossey-Bass book “Beyond Foundations: Developing as a Master Advisor,” titled “Assessment of Academic Advising: Overview and Crafting Student Learning Outcomes” and “Assessment of Academic Advising: Gathering Outcome Evidence and Making Changes.” Several current manuscripts are being prepared for publication as well.
Dean Robbins was co-editor of the peer-reviewed NACADA Journal from 2009-2016. He continues to be an Editorial Board member for that Journal, and is also a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of College Student Retention. In 2011 he received the "Service to NACADA Award" and in 2013 the NACADA “Virginia N. Gordon Award For Excellence in Advising.” As a member of the NACADA Academic Advising Consultants and Speakers Service he has conducted over 40 campus consultations around the country and has served as a keynote speaker at several universities. Most recently, he was selected as an Excellence in Academic Advising (EAA) Fellow by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising and the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (Gardner Institute). In this role, he provides guidance to an institution of higher education to develop an evidence‐based decision-making, planning, and implementation process designed to refine, evaluate, assess, and validate academic advising and provide support for planning and implementation of programming to enhance the role of academic advising in promoting student learning, success, and degree completion. Dean Robbins is serving as the EAA Fellow to Wheaton College of Massachusetts for 2018-2020.
Dean Robbins’ research and practice areas of emphasis in higher education include academic advising, evaluation and assessment, retention, undecided students, high-achieving students, research methodology, and grant writing. And, by the way, he is a black belt in taekwondo and a certified parapsychologist. His annual October presentation titled "Ghosts and Hauntings: Decide for Yourself" attracts dozens of students and community members every year.