Richard Vatz

Professor Emeritus

Richard Vatz

Contact Info

Hawkins Halls, Room 405J


B.A. University of Pittsburgh, Sociology; Minor: Philosophy, 1969
M.S. University of Pittsburgh Rhetoric and Communication, 1971
Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, Rhetoric and Communication, 1976

Areas of Expertise

Political Persuasion; rhetoric; Psychiatric persuasion


Dr. Richard E. Vatz recieved the status of Professor Emeritus after his retirement in 2023. He won Towson University’s "President’s Award for Distinguished Service," the university’s highest honor, in 2004. In the 2009-2010 school year he won the Towson Student Government Association Faculty Member of the Year and was the first Towson professor to win that award. He won the 2002 "Teacher of the Year Award" from the Student Government of Towson.

Vatz was the 1994 winner of the Thomas Szasz Award for dedication to civil liberties and has written a book on Dr. Szasz’s work. He also published a book on Persuasion entitled “The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion” (Kendall-Hunt, 2013). Vatz has published articles and reviews on persuasion, political persuasion and psychiatry-and-rhetoric in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, and has published hundreds of academic articles, reviews and blogs. 

Over his career Vatz has discussed issues on political persuasion and psychiatry on CNN (including "Crossfire"), "The Phil Donahue Show" and "Larry King Live" and William Buckley's "Firing Line." He has provided political commentary for local and national television and radio including CBS, ABC, WBAL, and MPT. 


Vatz, R. (2017). Thomas S. Szasz: The man and his ideas. New York, NY: Transaction.