NU-Q appoints new leadership to head academic affairs and research

January 27, 2013

Top talent from media and research worlds recruited as part of leadership restructuring, which also brings new directors for journalism, communication and liberal arts programs

As it enters a new phase of institutional growth and development, Northwestern University in Qatar has announced new leadership appointments that add top international talent to its administrative ranks aimed at unifying and strengthening its programs in journalism, communication and liberal arts.

Dr. Jeremy Cohen of Penn State University has been named associate dean for academic affairs and chief academic officer, while Dr. John V. Pavlik will serve as associate dean for research, both newly created positions.

The two new deans will “bring exceptional reputations as institutional leaders, scholars and media experts to NU-Q and the Qatar community,” said Dr. Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO. “This comes at a time when NU-Q has been granted greater autonomy, but still works closely with its U.S. campus schools of communication, journalism and the liberal arts as well as the university library.”

Cohen comes from a high level post at Penn State University where he was associate vice president for undergraduate education, senior associate dean and professor of communication.  He was previously a tenured associate professor of communication at Stanford University and is a noted media law scholar.  An expert in higher education, he also edits the Journal of General Education.

Pavlik served as director of the journalism school at Rutgers where he is a professor of journalism and head of the Journalism Resources Institute.  He was previously at Columbia where he led digital media operations in journalism and served as director of the School of Communication at San Diego State University. He is also the author of leading books on digital journalism and new media.

Along with the two new deans, three others, Dr. Scott Curtis, Mary Dedinsky and Dr. Sandra Richards were named as directors of the programs of communication, journalism and liberal arts respectively. Senior associate dean Richard Roth, formerly head of journalism, continues with school-wide responsibilities.  Roth, an academic leader and respected journalist had led the journalism program since the school’s inception in 2008.

The new leadership signals “a maturation of the NU-Q program, connecting and integrating our academic programs and services with professional outreach, all to be responsive to a digital and global society,” Dean Dennis added.

As chief academic officer, Dr. Cohen will report to the dean and work with the program directors, as well as the library, writing center, registrar’s office and other key departments at NU-Q. He will also continue and extend NU-Q’s collaboration with other branch campuses in Education City as Hamad bin Khalifa University develops its graduate programs.

Dr. Pavlik is charged with developing an institutional research program with major school-wide projects and collaborations with other research institutions as well as assisting individual faculty and encouraging new projects and funding. Anticipated is a print and electronic publication series and more signature academic and professional events.

New appointments to strengthen research and academics at NU-Q

Dr. Cohen brings an extensive background in communication practice, scholarship, and undergraduate education to his position at NU-Q.  An expert on media law and freedom of expression, he has authored two books on navigating communication in a global society where legal and regulatory concerns are at the fore.  He has served as editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, for which he received the AEJMC 2006 Outstanding Service Award, and former editor of Journal of General Education. Dean Dennis called him “an advocate for inquiry-driven learning and practice-oriented education that melds scholarship and purposeful engagement, taking knowledge to action.”

John V. Pavlik is a renowned authority on digital media, having served as head of the Center for New Media at Columbia University and author of studies on the impact of new technology on journalism and media industries and society. His books include “Converging Media, Media in the Digital Age, Journalism and New Media” and “The People’s Right to Know. He recently completed a two-year project funded by UNESCO on curriculum reform in journalism and mass communication in Iraqi higher education.

Commenting on Pavlik’s appointment, the dean said: “Pavlik is a respected and much admired scholar and research administrator who will help connect NU-Q with media industries in Qatar and the region.”

New directors for journalism, communication, and liberal arts programs

Also part of the university’s restructuring, the communication and journalism programs are now headed by directors Dedinsky and Curtis. Dedinsky’ s professional credentials include serving as managing editor of the Chicago Sun Times and in several key leadership roles at the Chicago Tribune. She was the first woman in the U.S. to lead the news operations of a major metropolitan newspaper, and previously served as associate dean at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in the U.S.  Curtis is a film historian and expert on visual media with several articles to his credit and a forthcoming book on film history.  He is also president of Domitor, an international film organization and was a film archivist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Both are associate professors at NU-Q.

The restructuring at NU-Q began officially in September 2012, when Dr. Sandra L. Richards was appointed as director of the Liberal Arts program, where she also serves as a professor in residence.  A renowned scholar of African American and performance studies she holds a full professorship in NU’s School of Communication in Evanston, Illinois.