CU Journalism Dean Willard Rowland Announces Resignation

Published: Feb. 2, 1999

Willard "Wick" Rowland, dean of the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Journalism and Mass Communication, announced today at a faculty meeting that he will be stepping aside from his 12-year administrative post at the end of the current academic year.

Rowland, who has been dean since 1987, said he will be planning his first sabbatical and research leave since coming to CU. During the coming year he will focus his attention on completing two book projects, and on pursuing his research and teaching interests in public policy for communications and on the history of communications research and education in the academy.

"The past 12 years have been highly productive for the school, and very rewarding" he said. "I have been privileged to serve as part of the recent team of scholar-administrators at CU who have worked with the faculty to build new segments of its increasing excellence. Nonetheless, I believe it's a good time for me to take a little break from administration and refresh my skills in the other portions of my academic career -- teaching and research."

"The university is very proud of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, which has made great strides during the 12-year tenure of Dean Wick Rowland," said Vice Chancellor Phil DiStefano.

Under Rowland's leadership the school has instituted a variety of changes that have significantly enhanced its programs and reputation. Among these achievements are:

--Building a nationally competitive faculty of outstanding media professionals and internationally recognized scholars;

--Establishing the school's centers for environmental journalism, mass media research, new media and student diversity;

--Overhauling both the graduate and undergraduate curricula;

--Designing and implementing the school's first doctoral program;

--Developing a highly visible advisory board for the school;

--Reviving and advising a strong student governance organization in the school;

--Instituting major innovations in the school's industry and alumni relations and in its internship and placement programs;

--Significantly enhancing fund-raising for the school's programs and attracting several large grants from major national foundations;

--Launching the university's new radio station, KVCU; and,

--Establishing a long-term vision for integrated media and communications education at CU.

"None of these achievements are mine alone," Rowland said. "They have involved the considerable talents and contributions of many others in the school and across the campus. Together we have positioned the school and the campus in a whole new relationship to the study of the information society, communications technology and all the related challenges marking our transition into the 21st century. "

Rowland has been a leader nationally in the associations of journalism and communication deans and directors, and in the accreditation of journalism education programs. He has worked closely with the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Broadcasters Association, the Colorado High School Press Association, and in Colorado public television.

In Denver he has been a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Front Range Educational Media Corp., KBDI-TV, Channel 12, serving as its chair from 1992-1998, and he was an active planner for and early member of the Board of Directors of the Five Points Media Center Corp.

Throughout his tenure as dean, Rowland has taught regularly and has maintained a steady stream of published research in national and international media research journals and book series, particularly on the public interest in the electronic media, national and international issues in public broadcasting, and the history and forms of journalism and media education.

DiStefano said he will announce plans for an interim dean and a search later in the spring.