Richard S. Bolan, professor emeritus of planning and public affairs first joined the Institute in 1985. Before his official retirement in
1998, he served as the Institute's Acting Associate Dean from 1988 to 1990, and at various times directed the master of planning program. He chaired a task force that designed the Institute's initial curriculum for the current Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. He was also a participant in the Institute's Center for Nations in Transition. Before joining the Institute in 1985, he was professor of social planning at Boston College and edited the Journal of the American Institute of Planners. He earned a B.E. in civil engineering from Yale, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from New York University.
Bolan worked primarily on the theoretical issues of planned social change. He has co-written major planning documents in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria and wrote a major research report, "Poland's Path to Sustainable Development: 1989-1993".