Academic Biography - Richard A. Cherwitz

Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor Emeritus, Moody College of Communication
Founding Director, Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) 
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, A1105
Austin, TX 78712

Dr. Cherwitz is the Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Studies (and in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing) at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the Founding Director of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE)—a nationally acclaimed cross-disciplinary initiative of the Colleges of Communication, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, Natural Sciences, Education, Pharmacy and the Schools of Information, Law, Business, Engineering, Public Affairs and Social Work designed to leverage knowledge for social good. In addition to an annual institutional budget in excess of $150,000, Dr. Cherwitz has raised approximately $1,000,000 in extramural funding for IE since 2000.

Dr. Cherwitz’ publications include two books and over one hundred journal articles, chapters, and reviews. Taking rhetoric beyond disciplinary boundaries, he is a frequent contributor to professional associations and educational organizations, exploring issues pertaining to academic engagement and public scholarship—all documenting the capacity of rhetoric to transform higher education and forge academic-community collaborations. In addition to writing about how theories of rhetoric are essential to efforts by research universities to create interdisciplinary, engaged learning, Cherwitz has concretely employed his concept of “intellectual entrepreneurship” (IE) to produce real change, assisting the University in partnering with members of its community to tackle complex problems such as overcrowding of emergency rooms; grounded in classical theories of rhetoric, over a dozen campus-wide IE courses and internships have enabled UT to educate thousands of “citizen-scholars”—graduate and undergraduate students who utilize their disciplinary knowledge to contribute to society as well as learned communities.

Dr. Cherwitz received three of the National Communication Association's top awards given to scholars in communication: the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award, the Douglas Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, and the Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching. He also received the Southern States Communication Association Michael Osborn Scholar Teacher Award. His research has been supported by grants from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Houston Endowment, the Summerlee Foundation and the University of Texas Research Institute. Dr. Cherwitz was the recipient of the University of Texas AMOCO Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award, the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award, the College of Communication Thomas R. McCartin Teaching Excellence Award, the Texas Alumni Association’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Professors, and the College of Communication Research Award. Dr. Cherwitz also received the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Innovation Award, the National Speakers Association Outstanding Professor Award, the Conference of Graduate Schools Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education Award, the Texas Blazers Faculty Excellence Award, the Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service & Academic Outreach (New England Resource Center for Higher Education), the Examples of Excelencia Award (Excelencia in Education) and Honorable Mention in Fast Company Magazine’s “Fast 50 Global Readers’ Challenge” (for accomplishments as an “Innovator”). Cherwitz (IE) was recognized by the Texas House of Representatives for his innovative leadership in education and received the DiversityFIRST[tm] Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council. 

Dr. Cherwitz has directed over thirty master’s theses and doctoral dissertations; his students have taken faculty positions at such institutions as The Ohio State University, Pittsburgh, Tulane, University of California-Berkeley, George Washington University, University of Texas at Austin, The Air Force Academy, LSU, San Francisco State, Temple, North Carolina State University, Macalester College, Kansas State University, the University of Denver, Northern Illinois and others.

Dr. Cherwitz has served as both Chair and Secretary of the University of Texas Graduate Assembly, and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communication Studies. He also served as the University of Texas at Austin's representative to the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council, was elected to the University Faculty Council, and twice has been a member of the Provost's Academic Council. Dr. Cherwitz was Associate Dean of the Graduate School and a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men.