Maria Marron, chair of the Department of Journalism at Central Michigan University, has been selected as the new dean of UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Ellen Weissinger, UNL’s senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced the appointment Jan. 6. Marron will take over her duties as dean on June 1, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
Marron succeeds Gary Kebbel, who stepped down June 30, 2012, to lead a university-wide mobile media initiative. James O’Hanlon is the interim dean of the journalism college.
Marron has been chair of Central Michigan’s journalism department since 2002. In that time she led two departmental reaccreditations; strengthened local, statewide and national media connections; fostered partnerships with local companies, alumni and academic organizations in support of her unit; raised funds for program initiatives including a grant to attract more minority students into journalism; pioneered a program of visiting professionals and international exchange partnerships; and worked with curricular and faculty committees to develop a new master’s program.
Her teaching areas are in journalism, media law and ethics, and her research spans journalism pedagogy, investigative journalism, health and aging issues in the media. She is the editor of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, one of the three journals published by Sage for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. She is a former president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts and postgraduate diploma from University College Dublin; a Master of Arts in journalism from Ohio State University where she was a Rotary International fellow representing Ireland; and a doctorate in journalism and mass communications from Ohio University. Marron has worked as a journalist, editor and public relations professional in Ireland and the United States. She also has held faculty positions at Ohio State and Texas State University-San Marcos. She was on the initial planning team for the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“Dr. Marron’s professional and academic accomplishments make her an excellent fit for our dean position, and she is genuinely enthusiastic about joining the campus and becoming a Nebraskan,” Weissinger said. “She has a Big Ten graduate degree and understands the opportunities presented by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. She has professional experience in print journalism and public relations. She fosters success for students, faculty, staff and alumni. She supports diverse people and ideas. She facilitates interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial programs and professionally relevant research. She has especially strong international experience.
“This is a great match and I’m excited for the college and its constituents.”
Marron was one of five finalists chosen by a search committee.
“I believe this is an enormously exciting opportunity at a particularly interesting juncture for journalism and media education,” Marron said. “The College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL has been legendary in its offering of a stellar undergraduate education. The college has enormous potential in continuing that tradition and in innovating new programs.
“The college has highly talented faculty who offer a state-of-the-art curriculum, and who are engaged with their students in fascinating projects. I’m very much looking forward to being a part of this, and to being a part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.”