Dennis Riley

  Title: Professor Emeritus



Ph.D., University of Michigan
M.P.A., Syracuse University
B.A., Willamette University


Introduction to American Politics, Introduction to Public Administration, The American Presidency, Public Personnel Administration, Government Finance, American Political Thought, and Administrative Law. An informal set of descriptions of these courses is available upon request.

To learn more about Dr. Riley's courses, visit Dr. Riley's Pub and Used Idea Emporium​.

Career Path

Coming to the realization that to find a viable career he would have to find one in which a lack of talent would be easy​ to conceal or largely irrelevant, Riley quickly went from baseball player to baseball coach to baseball announcer to lawyer to city manager. Amazingly, he had made this remarkable progression by the age of 21 and without ever actually performing any of them as a professional. Well, he did get paid $10 per game as play by play man for Lodi California’s Post 22 American Legion baseball games in the summers of 1963 and 1964. Fortunately, the intervention of Professor Edwin James Stillings in the spring of 1965 brought Riley around to the idea of becoming a college professor. Hence the PhD in 1971 and stints at Gonzaga University from 1969-1973, the University of Minnesota, Duluth from 1973-1978, and at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 1978 to the present. Along the way, he was lucky enough to win UWSP Excellence in Teaching Awards in 1980 and 1998, the Eugene Katz Award from the College of Letters and Science in 2007, and to be voted Best Professor on campus in an on line poll conducted by the Pointer in the spring of 2009.

Prof. Riley was recently voted the "Best Professor in Point" by the UWSP Pointer newspaper.


Bureaucracy and the Policy Process by Dennis Riley and Bryan Brophy-Baermann. (Rowman Littlefield, 2006).


Family Matters

Relatively speaking, the following people make me who I am:

Pam Becker. We married in 1997.  I am very glad about that.  I’m pretty sure she is, too.

Then there are three magnificent daughters and five incredible grandchildren. Oh yeah, and two fine sons in law. They are listed below by family groupings:

Emily Sipiorski. Emily is married to Justin Sipiorski (Biology Professor here at UWSP), is a fine violinist, fantastic cook, and great Mom. Her daughter Sophie (15) was our first grandchild and was the subject of hundreds of stories told to dozens of classes during the past decade. Her son Hugo is a year old and nearly ready to lead Grandpa on many a merry chase. Both Emily and Justin have Bachelor’s degrees from UWSP.

Ann Galloway. Ann graduated with honors from UWSP (Psychology) and completed an MS in Psychology from Western Washington University. Chewed up a bit by nearly a decade in social service work, she is about to begin preparing to be a registered nurse. She currently lives in Southern California.

Helena Collins-Price. Helena is married to Scott Price, actor, juggler, stilt walker, and, alas the need for money what it is, trainer/account representative for Skyward, the Stevens Point educational software company. Helena is an actor and singer who worked for Star Trek the Experience in Las Vegas for a few years. She also worked for a bank in Las Vegas, but Star Trek is more fun to talk about. She and Scott have three magnificent boys, Aiden who is 11, Jonah who is 7, and Liam who is 4. Liam has already led Grandpa on enough merry chases to last the old guy for a while, but Hugo (3) is so close to sharing that role with Liam that Gramps has his work cut out for him. Oh yeah, Helena’s Bachelor’s degree is from Illinois Wesleyan and Scott’s is from Stephens College in Missouri. Scott is a certified public school teacher – Illinois State – with several years of experience in Las Vegas schools. Helena plans to pursue a degree in Communicative Disorders here at UWSP.

Students Matter

​I cannot begin to list all of the great students I have taught in my 32 years here. Seriously, I can’t. There have been so many. There still are so many. There will even be many more. Thanks to all of you.