Richard A. Lee, Ph.D., is a writer who has worked in journalism, government and academia during a career that spans more than 40 years. He developed the concept for the Jandoli Institute as his sabbatical project during the 2018-19 academic year and launched the institute in October 2019.
As a journalist, Rich held a variety of jobs ranging from political reporter to rock music critic. He worked at daily and weekly newspapers as well as an entertainment news-magazine, and his freelance articles appeared in a variety of publications, including The New York Times. While working as State House Correspondent for The News Tribune of Woodbridge, he was awarded first place in the New Jersey Press Association’s 1987 Better News Contest in the Interpretive Writing Category.
In government, Rich held communications positions at the Mayor’s Office in Woodbridge, N.J., the New Jersey General Assembly and the Office of the Governor, where he served as Deputy Director of Communication. He began teaching public relations as an adjunct instructor at Mercer County Community College in 1996 and taught a media and government class at Rutgers University from 2006 to 2011. In the summer of 2010, he served as a visiting professor at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, where he taught a class on media and elections.
Rich was a founding member of the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey and served as its Communications Director from 2005 to 2011. While at the Institute, he provided commentary and analysis for a number of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, WNBC-TV and the Fox News Channel. When Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, he provided an American perspective for Times of India television.
Rich wrote a chapter on the impact of protest music during the Vietnam War era for War and the Media: Essays on News Reporting, Propaganda and Popular Culture, a book published by McFarland & Company in September 2009. He also authored chapters in two books published by the Hall Institute.
In 2011, Rich returned to his alma mater, St. Bonaventure University, as an assistant professor in the Jandoli School of Communication. Rich has taught numerous journalism, strategic communication and integrated marketing communication courses. He teaches the Jandoli School’s Media and Democracy course and an honors class on political campaigns. He was promoted to associate professor and received tenure in 2015. He was promoted to full professor in 2022.
In April of 2021, a research project conducted by students in Rich’s Media and Democracy class was featured on CNN and C-SPAN.
Rich served as director of the Jandoli School’s graduate program in Integrated Marketing Communications from 2014 to 2018, when he stepped down to devote more time to media research. He continued to teach in the IMC program, teaching a graduate public relations seminar in St. Bonaventure’s summer program at Oxford University in Great Britain. In 2022, he taught a British version of his Media and Democracy course at Oxford.
Rich and his wife Anne team-teach the Jandoli School’s Journalists’ Workshop course in which journalism students staff a news site that covers the communities near St. Bonaventure. Under their leadership, the site, TAPinto Greater Olean, has grown into a leading source for news and information for the Greater Olean community.
Rich and Anne speak regularly at academic conferences devoted to journalism, communication and pop culture. They often work with students on research and bring them to conferences, so they can participate in presentations. Rich has presented at academic conferences dedicated to the work of the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. He also spoke at an international music and cinema symposium organized by a research group from the Sorbonne.
Rich holds a B.A. in English from St. Bonaventure, an M.A. in Public Media Arts from Montclair State University and a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Rutgers University. He is a graduate of St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J.
He and Anne live in Olean, N.Y. They have two grown daughters, Meredith and Jessi, and a grandson.