Robert Fitzpatrick

Professor, Information Fluency Librarian.  

Professor Fitzpatrick holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston from which he graduated magna cum laude, and a B.A. degree in English from the University of New Hampshire.  He was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu international library honor society in 1981.  He received PSU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001. 

Fitzpatrick coordinated the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (2003) campus accreditation visit and edited its Plymouth State University Institutional Self-Study.  Fitzpatrick authored and edited the NEASC Fifth Year Interim Report (2008).   

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 “a program to foster first-year-student success and retention.  PSU’s involvement in Foundations of Excellence earned the university national status as one of that program’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.  

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 AASCU’s 2005 publication, Student Success in State Colleges and Universities: A Matter of Culture and Leadership 

Incorporating ideas generated by the Foundations of Excellence project, Mr. Fitzpatrick (then Dean of the Academic Experience) founded PSU’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 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 in, The Role of the Library in Academic Success, on assessing library instruction at the college level co-authored with Randy Swing, now Director of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), and several other papers relating to information literacy and library instruction. 

Fitzpatrick has been active with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the State of New Hampshire Department of Education and has served on accreditation visiting teams in: Athens, Greece; Maine; Vermont; Massachusetts; and Beirut, Lebanon.  He served on the team that visited and created PSU’s articulation agreement with Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania. 

Fitzpatrick has spoken frequently at regional and national conferences on the subjects of student success, program assessment, and information literacy.