Dick Simpson has uniquely combined a distinguished academic career with public service in government. He has published widely, been an outstanding teacher, and affected public policy. He began his academic career at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1967 where he has taught for 46 years. At UIC he received the highest awards given for teaching including the UIC Silver Circle Award (twice), CETL Teaching Recognition Award, the UIC award for Excellence in Teaching, and the American Political Science Association (APSA) and Pi Sigma Alpha National Award for Outstanding Teaching in Political Science. He is a former Department Head from 2006-2012, a previous Director of the department’s Preparing Future Faculty program and currently Professor of the Political Science at UIC. He has served on the Teaching and Learning Committee of APSA and as co-chair of the Founders of the Distinguished Teaching Award for the APSA.
Dick Simpson has published numerous studies of elections, urban politics, voting patterns of elected officials, local government, public policy, and government budgeting. He is author or co-author of a number of books on political action, ethics, and politics, including Rogues, Rebels and Rubber Stamps (2001), Winning Elections (1996), Struggle for Power and Influence in Cities and States (2011), The City, Revisited (2011), Twenty-First Century Chicago (2012), African Development and Democracy (2012), and Teaching Civic Engagement (2013).
His Rogues book received honorable mention as one of the best books in adult nonfiction by the Society of Midland Authors in 2002. He has produced eight films and video documentaries winning a variety of film awards including an EMMY nomination. Simpson has also published professional journal articles, magazine articles, book chapters, op-ed columns, and book reviews.