Before coming to UTC in 1971, Dr. Richard L. Wilson served on the congressional staff of Senator (then Representative) Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland. He served as the Registrar at Large (or chief executive officer) of the Hamilton County, Tennessee, Election Commission from 1977 to 1984. For two years, he was a Visiting and Fulbright Professor in Beijing, the People's Republic of China in 1986-87 and 1988-89 and was named a 1996 Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer - an award reserved for "outstanding scholars of an international reputation."
The holder of several teaching awards, Wilson has taught American Government, State and Local Government, Public Administration, Constitutional Law, Comparative Government: Asia and Europe, International Relations, Parties and Elections, and Political Theory. He is currently working on several manuscripts in American Government and comparative government.
Dr. Wilson has won the national 2002 "'Outstanding Reference Award" for his co-authorship and co-editorship of the three-volume Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court (2001) and won the national 1998 "Outstanding Reference Award" for his co-authorship and co-editorship of the three-volume Censorship (1973) both from the American Library Association. More recently, he has received the national "Highly Recommended" Choice Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries for his American Political Leaders (2002). In addition to these seven volumes, he published two books, Tennessee Politics (1976) and American Government (1995) and published in twenty other books for a total over 300 articles, book chapters and professional papers, including some in Chinese and one in twenty-six languages.