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Francis Graham Lee, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Professional Experience

Francis Graham Lee, a native of Boston, was educated at the Boston Latin School, received his bachelor's degree from Boston College, and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia where he has also served as President of the Faculty Senate, Dean of the University College, and Director of Graduate Programs. He now serves as Coordinator of the University's Washington Semester,  Pre-Law Advisor and Director of the Legal Studies (Para-Legal) Program. In additional to these responsibilities, Lee serves as advisor for the ETA NUChapter of the national political science honor society, PI SIGMA ALPHA. The chapter has been awarded grants three times by the national office in recognition of outstanding achievements by its student members. The chapter sponsors an annual distinguished lecture. Past lecturers have included Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, the Honorable Lawrence Pierce, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Stephen J. McEwen, President Judges of the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Professor Lee's primary disciplinary specialty is American Constitutional Law. In addition to courses in this area, which include Constitutional Politics and a Seminar on Religious Liberty, the latter is conducted conducted in moot court format utilizing current cases involving either the free exercise or establishment clauses, Lee teaches a section of the research methods course in American Government and an upper division courses, Religion and American Politics. During alternate summers, Lee offers a four week study tour of examining issues of law and democracy. In the summer of 2010 the study tour, POL 2041, will be in Rome.



Dr. Lee was a founder of the Pre-Law Advisors National Council, and is a past President of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors, a former Secretary Treasurer of the Association of Graduate Schools at Catholic Colleges and Universities, and past president of the Ethnic Studies Association. He currently edits NAPLA Notes, the oldest journal serving the needs of pre-law advisors and their students and is the author of the section on financial aid in The Handbook for Pre-Law Advisors. Since 1997, Dr. Lee has offered a workshop at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association on pre-law advising for political scientists. Under the aegis of Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, he has offered seminars on constitutional law topics for high school and college teachers and has worked with the Union League of Philadelphia on citizenship forums for high school students. Working with Dr. Bruce Murphy of Lafayette College, Lee recently offered a prototype of a Pennsylvania Governor's School in Government and Public Service for superior high school students in the Commonwealth. He has served thee terms as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, speaking on issues that include judicial selection, the right of privacy as well as church-state matters. For the past three years, he has worked with the Philadelphia School District in implementing a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to improve the teaching of American history. Lee is a member of the Liaison Advisory Board of the Washington Center, the nation's largest provider of internships. Approximately, fifteen students a year from Saint Joseph's participate in the internship, working in a wide variety of placements ranging from the Departments of State, Commerce, Justice, and Defense to the Supreme Court, the Senate Finance Committee, and the embassies of several foreign nations.


Dr. Lee currently serves as treasurer of the Radnor Haverford Marple Sewer Authority, overseeing a budget in excess of four million dollars. He is active in local politics, serving as a judge of elections and as parliamentarian for his ward committee. Previously he was a member of the Haverford Township Planning Commission. Lee has served as chairman of the Diocesan Appeals Board, and chaired both the Faculty and Education and Planning Committees at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur where he also was a member of the board of trustees.

Courses Taught

POL 201 Introduction to Political Science Research (writing intensive course) syllabus Government and Politics Courses POL 2151 Constitutional Politics POL 321 Religion and American Politics Seminars POL 401 Seminar on Freedom of Religion (writing intensive course) syllabus POL 411 POL 412 Washington Internship I-II 


Lee is the author of six books: Neither Conservative nor Liberal, a study of the Burger Court's decisions on civil rights and liberties, Wall of Controversy, an examination of the different philosophies of Supreme Court judges with regard to First Amendment controversies, and All Imaginable Liberty a study of the historical and legal development of the religious liberty clauses of the Constitution which features articles by some of the nation's leading scholars on the First Amendment, prepared as part of the University's Bicentennial Observance. More recently, Lee authored Church-State Relations focusing on fourteen issues that have confronted American society and the Court. This was published by Greenwood Press in 2002. Equal Protection: Rights and Liberties under the Law was published by ABC-CLIO in 2003. It examines issues such as busing, affirmative action, women's rights and homosexuality. Most recently, Lee edited a volume on the judicial opinions and legal writings of Chief Justice William Howard Taft that is part of a larger eight volume series edited by Professor David Burton of the History Department of Saint Joseph's University. It was published by Ohio University Press in 2004.

Magazine Articles

Faculty Expert Profile

  • Expertise: Constitutional Law, Church-State Relations, Free Speech, Equal Protection, Judicial Selection, Supreme Court Appointments