Dean & Professor, Media Law
Kathleen Richardson worked at The Des Moines Register for 20 years in a variety of newsroom jobs: copy editor and copy desk chief, wire editor, news editor, features editor, book reviewer and columnist.
Richardson taught part-time in the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication for several years before joining the faculty full-time in 2001. She was director of the School from 2007-2014 and has been Dean since 2014.
She was the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, a non-profit organization that promotes open government, from 2000-2015. In that role, she produced educational materials on the state’s open meetings and records laws, conducted workshops and answered citizens’ and journalists’ inquiries. She was also a founding member of the Iowa Public Information Board, a state agency that helps enforce the open-government laws.
Richardson has been given the Iowa Newspaper Association Distinguished Service Award and the Governor's Volunteer Award; honored by the state judicial branch for her service to the state legal system; and named an Iowa Watch Free Press Champion and Iowa State University Greenlee School Friend of the First Amendment.
Richardson is married to fellow Drake SJMC alumnus Doug Wells, a photojournalist. They have three adult children and a golden retriever, Finn.
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311
Office: Meredith 118A
Office Hours: By appointment