About

Dr. Richard F. Flor, Ph.DDr. Richard Flor – Chief Learning Officer & Senior Consultant

Dr. Richard Flor studied geology and geophysics as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Science degree with minors in philosophy and psychology. After five years of following his passion for teaching and the outdoors during which time he taught skiing full-time in Utah and Wyoming, and served as an instructor and course director in wilderness education and professional development programs with Outward Bound, he returned to graduate school at the University of Minnesota. He earned his PhD in Educational Psychology, with emphases in cognition and learning, social psychology / Human relations, multiculturalism, and research, where among other teaching assistantships he served as TA for the core sequence of doctoral-level statistics courses in the University’s College of Education.

One of the applied areas of his focus—in addition to instructional and curriculum design—was in his supporting field of Human Resource Development (HRD), where he undertook studies in training and organization development, quality improvement, and team building / performance, which augmented the consulting work he was engaged in before and during his time at the University of Minnesota.

He earned a Professional Certificate in “Continuous Quality Improvement,” an interdisciplinary program of study between the University of Minnesota’s School of Education’s HRD Program, the School of Engineering, and the School of Business.

Dr. Flor has conducted a wide variety of research using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs, including experimental research, phenomenological, ethnographic, grounded theory, and action research. He has both training and experience in program evaluation, and has designed and taught courses on policy analysis.

His primary areas of interest focus on the dynamics of systems change and learning at the individual, team, and organizational levels, as well as sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Much of Dr. Flor’s work is influenced by his extensive study of Native American and Indigenous People’s philosophy and approaches to education along with his background in systems and chaos theories.

In addition to content courses taught to a wide-array of professionals from teachers, school administrators, counselors, social workers, political scientists, IT professionals, and business leaders, his primary teaching focus for the past 18 years has been in research and statistics. He has designed, developed, and instructed courses on research philosophy, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research, action research, program evaluation / policy analysis, and statistics in schools or programs in business, education, political science, and Human services. In his training and practice as an organization development consultant (OD), he has used appreciative inquiry (AI) as a platform for work with some of his clients, and believes in the value of seeking that which is positive in helping individuals, teams, and organizations in their quest for learning and improvement.

Dr. Flor also has extensive experience spanning more than 8 years serving as reviewer of dissertation proposals for both scientific merit and for ethics while serving as a member of an Institutional Review Board (IRB), and has supervised dissertation research in both brick and mortar universities and online universities. In addition, Dr. Flor has served as a comprehensive exam grader for 5+ years.

He has served as a reviewer for a number of scholarly journals and professional associations, and currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research (JMMR), a role he has served in since the Journal’s inauguration in 2007.

Regardless of the context for his consulting—in schools, business, government, other organizational settings, communities, or in supporting graduate students or other researchers—Dr. Flor brings a strong educational focus to his work. This is based in part on embracing a process consultation approach, but also on a belief that providing people with knowledge, skills, and tools empowers them as people and professionals to make a positive difference in the lives of those with whom they work and those they serve. The Codes of Ethics from the Organization Development Network and the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) represent two foundations for his work.

Dr. Flor is currently working on a book, The 21st Century Scholar-Practitioner: A Field Guide for Doctoral Students, based on the developmental model of core competencies that he has developed through his 20+ years teaching and advising doctoral students. This developmental model based on core competency domains is a central part of his work with graduate students, researchers, and those seeking to explore the world of the scholar-practitioner as an advocate for evidence-based practice, sustainable development, and social responsibility.

Among his other hobbies and pursuits, Dr. Flor is a member of the Bozeman Symphonic Choir, and performs with the Second String Orchestra as a violinist, an instrument he took up several years ago as part of his commitment to pursuing something new that places him in the role of “beginner” every five years so that he can experience the early stages of learning and mastering a new set of competencies which helps him to maintain greater sensitivity to the challenges, joys, frustrations, and developmental journey in which his students are immersed.

Words shared by our happy clients...

To those considering Dr. Flor as Dissertation Consultant / Coach / Mentor:

I had had two other mentors prior to Dr. Flor and, while I gained some insights regarding the dissertation process from each of them, neither offered a holistic approach brought by him. He helped me to thoroughly understand and accept the whole dissertation process for what it was and always will be; very challenging but necessary! Early on in our mentor/mentee relationship, Dr. Flor helped me navigate through this incredibly daunting process that is wrought with complicated political and academic perspectives, unknown and ambiguous processes and procedures, uncertain timeframes, and then the arduous intellectual nature of preparing, writing, rewriting, editing, and crafting a dissertation.

Few faculty are able to accomplish this type of coaching and mentoring due in a large part because of their own workload and inability to emotionally and intellectually attach themselves to the work being done by their mentee. This entire research process can be compared to directing a huge movie production – from Titanic to Hurt Locker, depending upon your research approach respectively, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Unfortunately, the dissertation researcher is incredibly alone without any of the bit-players that help support this massive production. It is a lonely time except for your connection with a mentor who cares and can engage with you at the level and in the manner that Dr. Flor is committed to providing to those with whom he works.

What was incredibly helpful was Dr. Flor’s ability to see your work as well as you and understand the relevance it holds for the scholar/practitioner perspective while whole-heartedly cheering you on. His insight and vast knowledge of fundamental and contemporary literature is unsurpassed. As a novice researcher, I was tugged and pushed in multiple directions while easily distracted by other researchers, colleagues, teachers, and the plethora of literature, theories, and sample dissertations that were tossed my way to try to ‘copy’ by others in the program. Dr. Flor provided the subtle nudges to steer me through the mess of conflicting messages to a meaningful and valuable discussion about what made my own research relevant and then how to craft the research process to come to conclusions that made sense. Dr. Flor was my secret weapon to completing my dissertation and it is with heart-felt thanks and appreciation that I recommend to anyone looking to get honest and insightful feedback to consider him as a dissertation coach or consultant.

L.M.

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