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Richard Ferguson ’62

Richard L. Ferguson '62

Richard L. Ferguson has been selected a 2009 distinguished alumnus for his dedication to advancing the field of education and the mission—helping people achieve education and workplace success—of the organization he has led for the past twenty-one years.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from IUP in 1962, a Master of Arts in mathematics from Western Michigan University in 1966, and a Ph.D. in educational research from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969.

Dr. Ferguson is CEO and chairman of the board of ACT, Inc. In this role he provides leadership in defining and pursuing the mission and organizational goals of ACT and its worldwide subsidiaries.

Under Dr. Ferguson’s leadership, ACT has grown from a staff of about one hundred and a single program—the ACT college admissions test—to over 1,500 staff members and dozens of programs and services in support of education and workforce development. The nonprofit organization provides services through its nineteen offices across the United States and its subsidiaries in Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Dr. Ferguson joined ACT in 1972 and has held progressively more responsible positions, including director of test development, vice president of research and development, senior vice president of programs, and executive vice president. He became the organization’s chief executive officer in 1988 and was named chairman in 2001. He also serves as the chief executive officer of ACT’s subsidiaries in the United States and abroad.

Prior to joining ACT, Dr. Ferguson was a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center. He also served as a lecturer in the university’s Educational Research Department. He taught secondary math for five years in the Mt. Lebanon and Wilkinsburg school districts. Dr. Ferguson is nationally renowned as an author and speaker for his expertise on issues related to educational testing and measurement. Since 1975, he has held an adjunct appointment in the University of Iowa Psychological and Quantitative Foundations Department, College of Education, where he has taught graduate-level courses in testing and served on thesis committees.

He is a member of the American Educational Research Association, American Management Association, American Psychological Association, National Council of Measurement in Education, and Phi Delta Kappa.

Currently, Dr. Ferguson is a board member of the Teachers Support Network, Scholarship America, and Iowa Wesleyan College. He has also served as a board member of the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges, and CollegeNET, Inc.

The University of Pittsburgh named Dr. Ferguson a 1997 Distinguished Alumni Fellow, and in 1996 he received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Education.

He was awarded an honorary degree from Iowa Wesleyan College in 2005.

A native of DuBois, Pennsylvania, Dr. Ferguson resides in Iowa City, Iowa.

Profile published on 3/8/10

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