Faculty conversations: Jef Richards
“In advertising, public relations and retailing, we really thrive on change,” Jef Richards said. “We embrace change because that’s what makes it fun and exciting.”
True to his profession, Richards embraced change when he made the decision to join MSU as the new chairperson of the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing after spending 22 years teaching advertising at the University of Texas at Austin.
“It’s a lot of fun for me personally to come in to the university and experience a different culture, different students and different faculty,” said Richards, who joined the faculty in January. “So far it’s fabulous.”
Richards earned a B.S. in photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and his juris doctorate from Indiana University Bloomington. He earned his doctorate in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Richards spent much of his time at the University of Texas teaching an advertising ethics course. He has conducted research on the regulation of deceptive advertising by the Federal Trade Commission and on what advertising regulations are and are not permitted by the First Amendment.
As the department chairperson, Richards would like to increase outside awareness of MSU’s excellent advertising and public relations programs.
“In fact, where I came from … something like five out of the last six faculty that have been hired at the University Texas have come from Michigan State,” Richards said. “That’s how good of a program we have here.”