Springer came to the School in 2008 as an academic adviser. Prior to that, he spent 19 years at the Akron Beacon Journal as a copy editor, reporter and, for his final 14 years there, as the Op-ed editor and member of the editorial board. Springer also spent a dozen years with the Associated Press in its New Orleans, Atlanta and Chicago bureaus, as a statehouse/political reporter in the AP Capitol bureau in Springfield, Ill., and as the AP's western Illinois correspondent based in Peoria.
Springer earned his master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting in 1978 from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and his bachelor's in journalism from Southern Illinois at Carbondale. He also spent stints at the (late) Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post and itsy-bitsy, 700-circulation weekly Center (Colo.) Post-Dispatch during the 1970s.