Professor Robert Fitzpatrick is the current Emerging Technologies Librarian at Plymouth State Universityâ€™s Lamson Library and Learning Commons.
Mr. Fitzpatrick has had a long interest in first generation college students and student success, and he has worked closely with students at Southern New Hampshire University, St. Anselm College, and Plymouth State University. As a result of these interests, he has worked under the direction of John Gardiner, Betsy Barefoot, and Randy Swing from the Policy Center on the First Year of College, Brevard, N.C., on the Foundations of Excellence project â€“ a program to foster first-year-student success and retention. PSUâ€™s involvement in Foundations of Excellence earned the university national status as one of that programâ€™s twelve founding state institutions. A by-product of this study was the PSU internal publication of New Directions for the First-Year Experience, a plan for improving the first-year experience at PSU.
Incorporating ideas generated by the Foundations of Excellence project, Mr. Fitzpatrick (then Dean of the Academic Experience) founded PSUâ€™s successful College of University Studies, a developmental advising program for self-selecting first-year students designed to promote academic success and retention. The first cohort of the College graduated in May of 2008 year with an impressive four-year graduation rate more than doubling the average four-year graduation rate of the general PSU student population and its comparator institutions.
He was invited by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to serve on the National AASCU Graduation Retention Outcomes Study and wrote the final draft report of a site-visit to Northwest Missouri State University (March 4-11-2005). The findings of this visit were reported in AASCUâ€™s 2005 publication, Student Success in State Colleges and Universities: a Matter of Culture and Leadership.
He is a former chair of the Academic Section of the New England Library Association (NELA), and a former president of the New Hampshire Library Association (NHLA). In 2008, he published a chapter on assessing library instruction at the college level co-authored with Randy Swing, now Director of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).
Mr. Fitzpatrick has held positions in the field of education working with students ranging from the junior high school to the college level. His first professional position was in libraries. He holds a B.A. degree in American Literature from the University of New Hampshire, and a graduate degree from Simmons College in Boston from which he graduated magna cum laude. He was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu international honor society in 1981. He received PSUâ€™s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001.