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College of Communications Dean Announces Retirement

Penn State announced Dean Doug Anderson of the College of Communications will retire at the end of the academic year, effective June 30, 2014. A national search will soon begin to find his successor, who is expected to take over on July 1, 2014.

“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented faculty members, staff members, and students during my tenure here. Their combined efforts have made us what we have become,” Anderson said. “And it has truly been a privilege to get to know so many extraordinary graduates of our program and so many exceptionally supportive and loyal constituents and friends.”

Since 1999, Anderson has served as the dean of the College of Communications. Under his leadership, the college became the largest nationally accredited mass communications program in the country.

The college has seen many increases with Anderson at the helm — the number of undergraduate students, from 2,825 to nearly 3,300; annual for-credit internships facilitated, 275 to 650; annual undergraduate degrees conferred, 600 to 945; annual scholarships awarded, $192,000 to $710,000; and the permanent endowment value, from $8.9 million to $29 million.

Undergraduate education has remained his focus over the past 15 years, with the dean even team teaching a depth reporting class each fall. Anderson takes pride in the 80 percent graduation rate in the College of Communications, higher than any other academic college at Penn State.

Anderson will be leaving the college on a high note, coming off of back-to-back national championships in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program, often referred to as “the Pulitzers of college journalism.” The college has had consistently strong performances in competitions sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, regular praise for work produced by students and faculty in the film-video program, and numerous accolades across all four departments.

New programs, including the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, the Jim Jimirro Center for the Study of Media Influence, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, and the Don Davis Program for Ethical Leadership, have also been created during Anderson’s tenure.

“Doug Anderson has been a stellar dean. During the past 15 years he has led the development of the College of Communications into one of the most highly regarded and successful academic units of its kind in the nation,” President Rodney Erickson said. “He has done so with strategic vision, a great blend of academic and professional talent and a spirit of collaboration he has helped to instill in the college. He will leave very big shoes to fill.”

Prior to his arrival at Penn State, Anderson was the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees Professor and director of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State. Before working in academia, he worked as a newspaper reporter, sports editor, and managing editor.

“After 37 years in the academy and 27 in university administration, it’s time to retire,” Anderson said.“The college has plenty on its plate during the next year, and I will continue to be among the first in Carnegie Building each morning and one of the last to leave each evening.”

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