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Payne Named Associate VP
Richard H. Payne, a specialist in political impacts of nature tourism and wildlife viewing, has been named associate vice president for research and graduate studies at Sam Houston State University.
Payne's appointment was announced by David Payne, vice president for academic affairs, and is effective immediately. He replaces Michael Warnock who filled the position on an interim basis after the departure of Billy Covington July 1, 1998.
"I look forward to working closely with my faculty colleagues as they develop and pursue their research agendas," said Richard Payne. "This office's primary responsibility in that regard is support and facilitation of faculty activity.
"We also have a support responsibility in the area of the university's graduate programs. It is my intent to work closely with those departments offering graduate degrees as we assess needs and plan for the future of graduate education at Sam Houston State."
David Payne said he expects the new associate vice president "to bring great strength to the university in this new assignment."
"The university is fortunate to have a person of Dr. Payne's experience and caliber to fill this important leadership position," said David Payne. "He has long been a leader in graduate education through the department of political science and research through the TRIES institute."
Richard Payne has served as professor and chair of political science since 1972. He has taught courses on research methods and environmental policy, and his continuing research interests are in the social, economic and political impacts of nature tourism and wildlife viewing.
He is the author or co-author of more than 35 national or international papers/presentations on environmental and wildlife related issues, and has also written on topics in comparative analysis, political development and social change and international law.
He holds memberships in the Ecotourism Society, Human Dimensions of Wildlife Study Group, Natural Areas Association, Policy Studies Organization, Southwest Association for Canadian Studies, Western Social Science Association and Wildlife Management Institute.
He is vice chair of the international board of directors of Watchable Wildlife, Inc., a professional organization of state and national wildlife professionals, tourism industry representatives, and academicians formed under the auspices of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
He also serves as a research associate and member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica.
Payne received his doctorate in political science from the University of Georgia in 1970. His doctoral research involved a study of socio-economic and political conditions associated with military coups in African nations.
Prior to pursuing an academic career, he was a broadcast journalist in Georgia and South Carolina where he received several awards for his work.
He has also had a long time interest in natural history, and birds in particular. He belongs to both the Texas and Oklahoma Ornithological Societies, and is a member of the board of directors of the American Birding Association.
He is proud that several members of his family have earned degrees from SHSU. They include his wife, Kathy Freydenfeldt, daughter, Linn, and daughter-in-law, Shani, who earned bachelor's degrees, and son Jim, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees.
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