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News Release

May 1, 2019

Faculty member reviews Texas English programs

By Tara Garcia, communication assistant

Dr. Richard Black

Dr. Richard Black

Dr. Richard Black, an associate professor in Northwest Missouri State University’s Department of Language, Literature and Writing traveled to Odessa, Texas, to serve as an external academic program reviewer for the undergraduate and graduate English programs at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) in March.

Black conducted a review as part of the university's accreditation process.

“This was my first time participating in this process,” Black said. “As is standard for external reviews, institutions identify peer institutions – other universities that are similar in terms of enrollment numbers, degree programs and other metrics. The chair of the UTPB English programs reached out to our department at Northwest last summer and I volunteered to serve as the external reviewer.”

Black says the process was intensive and consisted of meetings with the provost, dean of graduate studies, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the English graduate program coordinator and the chair of the English department at UTPB.

“The host program completes a self-study of their programs, which I reviewed prior to my visit,” he said. “The visit was, in some ways, much like a job interview, except as a reviewer you possess a degree of power that a job candidate lacks. I also visited an undergraduate American literature survey, which is a course I regularly teach, as well as a graduate seminar on the contemporary novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan.”

Black was responsible for drafting two reports for the bachelor’s and master’s of English programs. He composed and submitted substantial reports for each of the programs, addressing student recruitment and retention, student success, student and program assessment, personnel and curriculum development.

“It’s always fascinating to see how other professors teach their courses and how other universities operate,” he said. “I very much enjoyed my visit to the survey class and came away with new knowledge of the material as well as new approaches to utilize in my own literature courses. Participating in this process also provides an opportunity to appreciate the really positive aspects of our climate here at Northwest.”

Black joined Northwest faculty in 2008, and his academic interests include 19th  and 20th century American literature and culture, American regionalism, literately naturalism, film studies and history. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Tulsa, a master’s degree from Texas State University–San Marcos and a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215