Recognizing the need to support the project management profession at the academic level, the Houston Chapter of the Project Management Institute awarded a $250,000 endowment to the University for a Professorship in project management. Dr. Gary L. Richardson of the College of Technology has been named as the recipient of this honor. He has been serving as the coordinator for the University of Houston graduate-level project management program, which has been certified as a Global Accredited Curriculum by PMI.
Dr. Richardson earned his Ph.D. from North Texas State University, in Management Information Systems Production Management, Finance, Economics and Mathematics; M.S. from University of Alaska in Engineering Management; B.S. from Louisiana Tech University in Mechanical Engineering, and completed a postgraduate level program in meteorology at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He served in Alaska as an officer in the United States Air Force.
His extensive industry and academic background includes Texas Instruments as a manufacturing engineer followed by consulting assignments at the Defense Communications Agency, Department of Labor, and the U.S. Air Force in Washington DC. In addition, Dr. Richardson has held positions with Texaco, Star Enterprise (Texaco/Aramco), and Service Corporation International in various senior information technology and chief information officer roles.
Prior to his academic experience at the University of Houston, Dr. Richardson has taught at the University of North Texas, University of South Florida, University of Dallas, and Texas A&M University. He has published five technical management and information technology-related books and numerous technical articles.
Richardson has been involved in more than 100 significant-sized projects as an active observer of the evolution of organizational management practices. “Throughout my various experiences, I have always enjoyed observing the technical and human side of management,” he said.
The endowment provides permanent support to UH’s Project Management degree program, enriching the experiences of future project managers. This is the first endowment by PMI globally and the first professorship established by philanthropy specifically directed to UH’s College of Technology.
“The Technology Project Management program in the college has increased significantly in popularity during the last several years. It has shown phenomenal growth and now ranks very highly among our college’s graduate programs of study,” said Dr. William E. Fitzgibbon, Dean of the College of Technology.
With more than half a million members and credential holders, PMI is the recognized leader in project management research, standards, certification, training and communities of practice. PMI established a committee to accredit university degree programs, recognizing those institutions whose programs adhere to a comprehensive global standard of quality and content maintained by an independent board of faculty and industry experts.
UH achieved accreditation from the Project Management Institute in 2009. Currently, it is one of only 35 PMI accredited universities in the world, and one of only two in Texas.
The Project Management Institute was established in 1969 and the Houston Chapter was the first chartered chapter of the institute in 1974. It is the eighth largest out of more than 270 chapters in 185 countries.