e-mail: simpson@uic.edu
web site: www.uic.edu/depts/pols/faculty/dicksimpson.html

Dick Simpson

Dick W. Simpson has uniquely combined a distinguished academic career with public service in government.

He began his academic career at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1967, where he has taught for 30 years. At UIC, he received four of the highest awards for teaching including the UIC Silver Circle Award and the Teaching Recognition Program Award. He has been the principal researcher on important studies that have led to reform in many units of government in Cook County, Illinois.

During the past 35 years, Dick Simpson has published numerous studies on elections, voting patterns of elected officials, local government, public policy, and government budgeting. In his most recent book, Rogues, Rebels and Rubber Stamps (2001), Simpson challenges and recasts current theories of Regime Politics as he chronicles the often turbulent story of the internal wars in the Chicago City Council from 1863 to the present.  He is also author or co-author of 14 books on political action, ethics, and politics, including Winning Elections (1996), The Politics of Compassion and Transformation (1989), and Chicago's Future in a Time of Change (1993).He has produced seven films and video documentaries winning a variety of film awards including an EMMY nomination. Simpson has published more than 80 professional journal articles, magazine articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

Professor Simpson has received 28 grants and fellowships totaling more than a half million dollars.He has served on numerous faculty committees and governing bodies at UIC, and as Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science.

In the public service arena, Simpson surprised political observers when he won election as Chicago's 44th Ward Alderman in his first campaign for political office in 1971, despite a well-financed opponent with an army of precinct captains. As Alderman, Simpson consistently voted for and introduced reform and legislation occasionally persuading old-line public officials to support his proposals as well.
Results include:

  • Elimination of bank redlining
  • Ending salary discrimination in the city budget for women holding the same jobs as men
  • Budget amendments to provide more money for daycare
  • Programs to help the homeless and the hungry
  • Extension of senior citizen public transportation hours

Simpson served the 44th Ward for two terms before voluntarily retiring in 1979.

As a private citizen and university professor, Dick Simpson continues to work in areas where he can put his ideals into practice. Simpson served on transition teams that advised Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne in 1979, Mayor Harold Washington in 1983, and Cook County Clerk David Orr and State's Attorney Jack O'Malley in 1990. He helped shape their positions on ethics, fair hiring practices, citizen participation, and efficient, local government. In 1992 and 1994, Dick Simpson ran for Congress in Illinois' 5th Congressional District opposing Congressman Dan Rostenkowski on a platform of congressional reform, women's rights, universal health care, economic recovery, and senior citizen's issues. In addition, Simpson has served as a political consultant on many campaigns for candidates from Alderman to President. He has also testified before city council, the state legislature, and congressional committees, and has frequently been an expert witness in federal court cases. Awards from many organizations including the City Club of Chicago, Clergy & Laity Concerned, Lakeview Shelter Team, and Clarence Darrow Community Center have recognized his extensive public service.

In addition to his work as a Professor of Political Science at UIC, Simpson currently serves on the UIC Faculty Senate as Chair of the Public Service Committee, and on the Provost's Task Force on the Engaged University. He is also in the process of completing three textbooks to be published by Longman, and continues to give numerous speeches to university and civic audiences.

Please click on the following link for reviews of Simpson's new book Rogues, Rebels, and Rubber Stamps and the opportunity of ordering it: www.amazon.com.