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Release: Immediate

UI names Regents' meeting room in honor of R. Wayne Richey

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The name that is virtually synonymous with the Iowa Board of Regents will now be associated with the room the Regents use for meetings held at the University of Iowa. UI officials announced today (June 16) that the Triangle Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union will be renamed the R. Wayne Richey Ballroom.

The announcement coincides with Richey's final meeting as executive director of the Board of Regents, a position from which he will retire on July 1.

Richey was also honored at a dinner and reception Monday, June 15. A special program printed for the occasion summarized his career in these words:

"For more than 30 years R. Wayne Richey has served with distinction as executive director of the Board of Regents. He has made extraordinary contributions to each of the five institutions governed by the board. He also has provided invaluable counsel to three governors, nearly 60 board members, and literally hundreds of state legislators who have served during his tenure. He has been both a dynamic energizer and a rock-steady source of support for the board and the people of Iowa throughout years of explosive growth, retrenchment, and the transition of institutional leaders."

Richey's service to the state of Iowa and the five Regents' institutions - the UI, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa School for the Deaf, and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School - began in November 1966, when he accepted the position of assistant executive secretary of the state Board of Regents. Less than a year later, on July 1, 1967, he was appointed secretary of the Board of Regents, replacing David A. Dancer.

Richey's appointment coincided with a reorganization of the Board of Regents' budgeting functions and his early assignments included the analysis of proposals to establish a new Regents university in western Iowa and the establishment of the Regents merit employment system. During Richey's 32-year tenure, the Board of Regents' budget responsibility grew from about $100 million to more than $2 billion today.

Born near Kankakee, Ill. on July 6, 1928, Richey graduated from high school in 1945, and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He earned a bachelor's degree with honors in 1954 and a master's degree in 1958, both from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. In his undergraduate and graduate study, he majored in government with a minor in history.

Richey combined his academic work with employment by serving as a research associate in the Local Government Center at Southern Illinois University in 1955-56. At the center, he participated in studies of county government in Illinois and the use of special assessments by municipalities.

Later, he took a position as budget analyst with the state of Kansas, where he served from 1956 to 1966. He was eventually promoted to a position as senior and ranking budget officer, where his responsibilities included budget review of all public education agencies, which at the time comprised nearly 40 percent of the Kansas state budget, and oversight of all other budgeting and revenue estimating functions.

Richey has served on a number of Iowa boards and commissions, including the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation and the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post-High School Education.

He has also served on the National Advisory Council of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. In 1974-75, he was national president of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association and is currently the organization's senior active member. In 1989 the National Governor's Association presented Richey with the Distinguished Service Award for Service in State Government.

Richey is married to Anita Sweeney, formerly of Kankakee, Ill. They are the parents of four children and have three grandchildren.