Faculty & Staff

Faculty/Staff Photo

Laurence D. Richards

Professor Emeritus, Management and Informatics
Springwood Hall 210
(765) 973-8315


  • Ph.D., Operations Research, University of Pennsylvania, 1980
  • M.B.A., Management, Mississippi State University, 1974
  • M.S., Aeronautical Systems, University of West Florida, 1971
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Maine, 1968

Current Teaching Interests

Strategic decision making, systems thinking, technology and society

Current Scholarly/Research Interests

Cybernetics/systems theory, policy-level decision making, social design/change

Selected Recent Publications

  • Fischer, T. and L.D. Richards (2017) "From Goal-oriented to Constraint-oriented Design: The Cybernetic Intersection of Design Theory and Systems Theory", Leonardo, Vol. 50, No. 1.
  • Richards, L. (2016) "The Many Varieties of Experimentation in Second-order Cybernetics: Art, Science, Craft", Constructivist Foundations, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 621-622.
  • Richards, L. (2016) “A History of the History of Cybernetics: An Agenda for an Ever-changing Present”, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 42-49.
  • Richards, L. (2015) “Designing Academic Conferences in the Light of Second Order Cybernetics”, Constructivist Foundations, Vol. 11, No.1, pp. 65-73.
  • Richards, L. (2015) “Design for Participation: Culture, Structure, Facilitation”, Constructivist Foundations, Vol. 11, No.1, pp. 93-97.
  • Richards, L. (2014) "Education as a Subversive Activity: A Proposal", Kybernetes, Vol. 43, Nos. 9-10, pp. 1392-1398.
  • Richards, L. (2013) "Idea Avoidance: Reflections on a Conference and its Language", Kybernetes, Vol. 42, Nos. 9-10, pp. 1464-1469.
  • Richards, L. (2013) "Difference-making from a Cybernetic Perspective: The Role of Listening and Its Circularities", Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 20, Nos. 1-2, pp. 59-68.

Selected Previous Employment Positions

  • Interim Vice Chancellor & Dean, Indiana University – Purdue University Columbus, 2015-16
  • Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Indiana University East, 2004-2015; Interim Chancellor, 2012-13
  • Founding Dean and Professor, School of Management and Aviation Science, Bridgewater State University, 1997-2004; Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, 2000-02
  • Founding Chair and Professor, Department of Engineering Management, Old Dominion University, 1984-97

Selected Offices Held in National/International Professional Organizations

  • President, American Society for Engineering Management, 1998-99
  • President, American Society for Cybernetics, 1986-88

Selected Academic Awards/Recognitions

  • Norbert Wiener Medal, American Society for Cybernetics, 2007
  • Fellow, American Society for Engineering Management, 2002


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