Dr. Rick Harper

Dr. Richard (Rick) Harper

  • Position:  Associate Professor
  • Department:  Marketing, Supply Chain Logistics, and Economics
  • Office Location:  Bldg 38 Room 112
  • rharper@uwf.edu
  • Campus: 8504395400


Dr. Richard (Rick) Harper brings a tremendous range of business and academic experience to the classroom.

Harper, an economist since 1979, spent most of the past 20 years involved in efforts to understand and improve the economy of Northwest Florida and other areas of the country.

Most recently, Harper was director of UWF’s Center for Research and Economic Opportunity, which helps UWF play a more significant role in economic development and job growth in Northwest Florida. In this position, Harper oversaw UWF programs, including the Office of Economic Development and Engagement, the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network State Director's Office, and the UWF Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

From 2012 through 2014, Harper served as Senior Policy Advisor for Economic Affairs to the Florida Senate and as the expert economist in the State of Florida v. BP 2013 – 2016.

He is a member of UWF’s Research Hall of Fame, having raised more than $25 million for research conducted by UWF faculty, staff and students.

Harper also served as director of UWF’s Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, which develops and analyzes economic, social and demographic data about Florida, especially Northwest Florida.

As an Associate Professor of Marketing & Economics, Harper teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in Economics and Business. His teaching interests include International Trade and Public Choice. He is a former UWF Faculty Member of the Year

He earned both a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from Duke University and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Guilford College.

Harper joined the UWF faculty in 1989 and quickly became a leader in efforts to develop the local economy. He has co-authored academic research on such topics as the economic impact of sales tax holidays, Hurricane Ivan and military bases.

Harper has been a longtime advisor on the Florida Governor's Council of Economic Advisors and served as a director of the Association for University Business and Economic Research.

He began as an economist in 1979 at the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, where he was involved in numerous research projects.

He is well-known in the Pensacola community for his appearances in the news media, government agencies and civic clubs, where his insights are sought on numerous topics -– interest rates, the pros and cons of replacing the Pensacola Bay Center, manufacturing and tourism prospects, potential results of Donald Trump’s presidency, and more.

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