Everette E. Dennis begins tenure as dean

June 26, 2011

Northwestern University in Qatar plans to sharpen its focus on educating students to tackle the rapidly evolving digital media landscape under its new Dean and CEO, Dr. Everette E. Dennis who arrived last week.

Dennis is an experienced educator, institution builder and media expert who has worked with universities, think tanks, foundations and media industries, and is known for his longstanding research and thought leadership on technological convergence and its impact on media organizations and careers.

Dr. Dennis comes to NU-Q from Fordham University in New York City where he was the Felix E. Larkin Distinguished Professor of Media and Entertainment Industries and Director of the Center for Communications. Most recently his research and writing have examined the digital strategies of the world’s leading media companies.

“At a time when the media industries – and global society – are being utterly transformed and redefined, NU-Q represents an exciting educational collaboration,” Dennis said. “Northwestern University in partnership with the Qatar Foundation has created a vital, one-of-a-kind institution for the benefit of Qatar, the Middle East and the wider world.”

“The challenge now,” Dennis said, “is to continue NU-Q’s momentum and build on our existing achievements in an ever changing media and communication landscape amid the profound changes taking place across the Middle East.”

He added, “I can’t imagine a better venue for media studies than the one we have at Northwestern University in Qatar. We are able to draw on the best expertise the region and the world have to offer in order to create a truly new educational experience in communication and journalism, that is solidly anchored in settled knowledge and experience.”

The region is also ripe for the type of media professionals that Northwestern University in Qatar will produce, Dennis said.

We are creating a media work force and leadership that meet the changing needs of the region and world,” he said. “This is particularly important given recent events in the Middle East and North Africa that have underscored the need for highly competent media and communication professionals who can produce content – whether it’s breaking news, entertainment or other media fare.”

Dennis also plans to increase Northwestern Qatar’s outreach to the community and media industry throughout the region.

“Northwestern’s trajectory demands continuous attention to its communication, journalism and liberal arts curricula,” he said. “I’m planning on extensive visits with leaders in media, business, government and cultural institutions in Qatar and the region to gain further understanding of their needs and build strong relationships for the University and its students.”

Dennis’ preliminary meetings with partners at QF and other universities have already stimulated interest.

“Qatar Foundation is of course very pleased that a leader and educator of Dr. Dennis’ stature has assumed the Deanship at Northwestern University in Qatar,” said His Excellency Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, President of Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Vice President, Education, at Qatar Foundation. “In the past three years Northwestern University has become a core member of our academic community. It is also making a substantial contribution to the evolution of the media in Qatar and, at the same time, to the development of our society. I am certain that Dr. Dennis will provide outstanding academic and organizational leadership during the coming critical years.”

Dennis who is the author of some 45 books, including his most recent, “Understanding Media in the Digital Age,” received his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and held advanced fellowships at Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, Harvard’s Institute of Politics and Stanford University.