Richard Kneedler (born 1943) is President Emeritus of Franklin & Marshall College. From 2005-2006 he served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Training America’s Teachers. From 2006-2008, he served as interim president of Rockford College.
During his fourteen-year presidency (1988–2002), Franklin & Marshall completed two capital campaigns, raising $200,000,000. The College’s endowment also increased more than fourfold to over $300,000,000 and more than half of the College’s physical plant was built new or fully renovated. In particular, the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts, the Roschel Performing Arts Center, and the Phillips Museum of Art were constructed, and the Hackman Science Center and the Herman Fine Arts Building were thoroughly renovated.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kneedler earned his A.B. from Franklin & Marshall in 1965 as a College Scholar specializing in French. He holds an M.A. (1967) and a Ph. D. (1970) in French Language and Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a certificate in Higher Education Administration from the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration (1975). He was awarded honorary doctorates by Tohoku Gakuin University in Sendai, Japan (1963) and by Franklin & Marshall (2002) and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Tau.
Dr. Kneedler began his teaching career at Franklin & Marshall, where he was appointed Instructor in French in 1968 and Assistant Professor of French in 1969. He also taught in the Temple University Graduate Education Program for Teachers in Harrisburg 1969-71. He began his career in administration with his appointment in 1971 as Assistant to John Vanderzell, Dean of the College at Franklin & Marshall. He subsequently held appointments as Assistant to President Keith Spalding, Secretary of the College, Administrative Vice President, Vice President for Administration, and Vice President for Development, as well as serving as Secretary of the College’s Board of Visitors and the College’s Board of Trustees. He served as Franklin & Marshall’s President from 1988 until 2002.
Dr. Kneedler has served on boards of education-related organizations at regional, state and national levels, including The Association of Independent College and Universities of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities, The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (Washington), the Council of Independent Colleges (Washington), the Centennial Conference, the Annapolis Group, the Central Pennsylvania Consortium, the Commonwealth Partnership, the Shared Services Consortium, the Kiski School (Saltsburg, PA), and the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design (Lancaster, PA). He was a founder of the Annapolis Group, the Shared Services Consortium, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Independent College and University Research Council, and the Centennial Conference (when it converted from football to an all-sports conference).