Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Robert Main, PhD*


Department of Communication Design
College of Communication and Education
Deceased: 2023

Robert Main's service to the University began in 1976, when he joined the College of Communication and Education to teach courses in instructional design, communications, media ethics, and media research. He served as chair of the graduate program in the School of Communication and later chaired the Department of Communication Design until his retirement in 2002. He was selected as Outstanding Professor in 1988; he holds a PhD in educational technology from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Main was active in research and consulting projects through the College Research and Development Office, completing projects for the California Department of Education, the California Peace Officers Commission, and Lockheed-Martin Corporation, among many others.

He was a pioneer in the design and use of digital content and delivery systems for the U.S. Air Force’s and U.S. Navy’s Cyber Space Classrooms and distance learning training delivery systems. He served as a U.S. representative on a nine-station consortium funded by the European Union (EU) tasked with designing a program to upgrade the work force in Eastern Bloc countries seeking entry to the EU. His model for incorporating motivation into the instructional design process has been widely adopted by industry, the military, and government agencies.

He is a retired U.S. Army officer who served 22 years including tours in Korea, Vietnam, and Europe and as a faculty member at the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

He is CEO of a nonprofit project to develop a smart phone application that will connect veterans with a network of trusted and supportive confidants.

Main continues his service to Chico State through weekly presentations at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, serving more than 1,100 residents in Chico, Oroville, Paradise, and Willows.

Portrait of Robert Main, PhD*