Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

Donald Heider, PhD, appointed as School of Communications Dean

April 29, 2008

Dear Loyola Community:

The Provost and I are pleased to announce that Donald Heider, PhD, of the University of Maryland, has been appointed the first dean of Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication (SOC). Dr. Heider is an award-winning broadcast journalist and currently serves as associate dean at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, a position he has occupied since 2006.

In his current capacity, Dr. Heider serves as the chief academic officer for the College of Journalism and has oversight responsibilities for instruction, curriculum, academic affairs, and the college cable channel. Previously, he served as associate professor, graduate advisor, and broadcast journalism sequence head at the University of Texas at Austin. He also has taught at the University of Colorado, the University of Mississippi, and American University. From 1980 through 1990, Dr. Heider worked in broadcasting, including positions as syndication producer for the Gillett News Bureau in Washington, D.C., special projects producer and manager of Special News in Nashville, Tennessee, and executive producer at WTVC-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee. During his broadcasting career, he has been recognized with five Emmy awards and an Associated Press award.

As one of the nation's largest media markets, the city of Chicago offers Loyola students abundant opportunities to intern in the fields of journalism, communication, media/public relations, and advertising. Dr. Heider's background and leadership perfectly equip him to be the foundational leader of our new School of Communication--as we strive to become Chicago's premier school of communication and the first choice for students seeking a Jesuit foundation for their careers in communication.

Dr. Heider holds a PhD in communication from the University of Colorado, an MA in journalism from American University, and a BS in speech communication from Colorado State. Dr. Heider is chair of the Standing Committee of Professional Freedom and Responsibility for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. He is also an associate editor of Communication Methods and Measures and the reviews editor for Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.

I want especially to thank the SOC dean search committee, which included Dean Jeff Rosen, chair of the committee, and Raymond Benton Jr., Mary Jo Bohr, Amanda Daly, Sarah Gabel, Steven E. Jones, Elizabeth Lozano, Arthur Lurigio, Herb Ritchell, and John Slania.  Assisted by search consultant Dr. Michael Ferrari of EFL Associates, their efforts brought outstanding candidates to the Loyola community. I also want to thank the members of the Loyola community for offering Dr. Heider such a warm welcome.

Dr. Heider's position will officially commence on August 1, 2008, but he plans to be on campus several times over the next few months to meet with faculty and staff and lead the transition effort. 


Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.