Bob Archer

Memoriam ,

Robert P. Archer, Ph.D, ABPP, ABAP

It is with profound sadness that we report the untimely passing of Dr. Robert P. Archer, age 74, on May 28, 2023 from a recent illness. As a renowned expert in personality assessment and the leading figure in MMPI assessment of adolescents, Bob was very well known and deeply respected within the assessment community worldwide. As a member of SPA for over four decades and a steady contributor to its scientific sessions over that period, Bob skillfully led the organization as 2017-2019 SPA President. He was the recipient of SPA’s 2018 Martin Mayman award and 1988 Walter G. Klopfer award, both for distinguished contributions to the personality assessment literature, and served on the Journal of Personality Assessment editorial board for over two decades.

Bob was the Founding Editor of the journal Assessment, the lead developer of the MMPI-A-RF, and co-developer of the MMPI-A. He authored well over 200 journal articles, books, book chapters, and monographs, notably Using the MMPI with adolescents (1987), MMPI-A: Assessing adolescent psychopathology (1992, 1997, 2005), and Assessing adolescent psychopathology: MMPI-A/MMPI-A-RF (4th ed., 2017). He had strong ties with the University of Minnesota Press and was a regular participant in the annual MMPI Symposium.

After a long and distinguished career at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Bob retired as Professor Emeritus in 2016 and redirected his professional energies into forensic assessment practice at Bay Forensic Psychology alongside his daughter Dr. Elizabeth Wheeler. He had held various positions at EVMS including Associate Dean for Health Professions, Interim Chair of the Psychiatry department, and Director of the Clinical Psychology Internship Program. He had previously held faculty positions at the Medical University of South Carolina and Florida Mental Health Institute. Bob received numerous awards throughout his career including from American Psychological Association divisions in 2012 and 2009 for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and Academic Health Centers and to Clinical and Forensic Assessment, respectively, and from EVMS (2002) and the Virginia Consortium for Professional Psychology (2000), to name a few.  

Bob was a cherished mentor to innumerable graduate students and clinical trainees, many of who focused their careers on assessment teaching, training, research and practice. His legacy is evident in the generations of assessment psychologists he spawned who share his love for this specialty, and who have valued and idolized him. He was unstintingly kind and supportive to his students, colleagues, and friends. He was a wonderful collaborator and an inspiration for many. Behind his restrained demeanor and formidable intelligence, those who knew Bob experienced his wry humor, delivered with exquisite timing, that brought boundless hilarity to social exchanges. We heard of his love of sailing aboard his beloved “Bad Habit” with a close-knit crew that included his daughter Beth. We knew of his deep love for, and great pride in, his family.

Bob’s passing is an immeasurable loss not only to the profession but to all who knew him. May he rest in peace. He is survived by his wife Dr. Linda Archer, daughter Dr. Elizabeth Wheeler, son-in-law Jeff Wheeler, and granddaughter Amelia Mae Wheeler. 

-- Radhika Krishnamurthy, with Linda Archer and Beth Wheeler