Richard M. Freeland

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Richard Middleton Freeland
6th President of
Northeastern University
In office
Preceded by John A. Curry
Succeeded by Joseph Aoun
Personal details
Born May 13, 1941
Orange, New Jersey
Alma mater Amherst College, University of Pennsylvania

Richard Middleton Freeland (born May 13, 1941 in Orange, New Jersey) was President of Northeastern University from 1996 to 2006[1] and served as the Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts from 2008 until 2015.[2]

Freeland grew up in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey and was granted a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Amherst College and a doctorate in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.[3]

Freeland is married to Elsa Nunez, and has two children.

During Freeland's tenure, Northeastern University went through major institutional changes, including becoming a more selective institution, moving to semesters from quarters, and the opening of over $400 million worth of new facilities.[4]

Educational positions[edit]

  • Clark University - Worcester (2007–2009)
    • Mosakowski Professor of Higher Education [5]
  • University of Massachusetts Boston (1970–1992)
    • Assistant to the President
    • Assistant to the Chancellor
    • Director of the Office of Educational Planning
    • Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • City University of New York (1992–1996)
    • Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • Northeastern University
    • President (1996–2006)
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Higher Education
    • Commissioner of Higher Education (2008–2015)

Other positions[edit]

  • Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees for the Boston Plan for Excellence
  • Director, American Council on Education
  • Director, Boston Museum Project
  • Director, Boston Private Industry Council
  • Director, Globe Newspaper Corporation
  • Director, Jobs for Massachusetts
  • Governing Board Member, John Adams Innovation Institute
  • Member of the Board of Trustees, WGBH
  • President, Board of Governors in the World Association of Cooperative Education



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Carol R. Goldberg Seminars: Steering Committee Biographies, The Boston Foundation, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2007. Accessed January 11, 2015. "Born and raised in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, Freeland received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Amherst College in 1963 and a doctorate in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968."
  4. ^ Northeastern University
  5. ^
Academic offices
Preceded by
John A. Curry
6th President of Northeastern University
Succeeded by
Joseph Aoun