Medill announces new dean Bradley Hamm

    Updated May 3, 3:18 p.m:

    The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications announced Thursday that Bradley Hamm, the current dean of Indiana University's School of Journalism, will take the helm as dean in Fall 2012.

    "You've accomplished so much already," Hamm said to faculty and students in the McCormick Tribune Center. "My goal is to work with all of you with our friends and alums that are all over the world help continue making those accomplishments even more powerful."

    University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Daniel Linzer made the introductions.

    "It's a particularly high stakes day, announcing a dean for Medill," Schapiro said. "Lavine was transformative and he's a tough act to follow. And it's Medill, it's one of our best known brands at Northwestern."

    Following Schapiro, Linzer detailed the process of the search committee that formed after current dean, John Lavine, announced in September that he would be stepping down the following August.

    "We looked for someone that would give us confidence in that uncertain future," Provost Dan Linzer said before introducing Hamm. "In identifying Brad, we found someone that fit the aspirations of the search committee."

    Linzer stressed the strides Hamm made in the field of journalism and education during his tenure at Indiana, including increasing diversity within the journalism program by 65 percent.

    "It's hard to leave behind good friends and a program you've done a lot to build," Hamm said about the decision to move to Medill. "But we knew it was the kind of opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime."

    Hamm is scheduled to attend Indiana's graduation Friday and will be on campus full time starting in July. "We're going to be getting all the materials, financial and academic and starting a conversation among the faculty about where we're headed next," Hamm said.

    Before his seven years as the dean at IU's School of Journalism, Hamm served as associate dean of the School of Communications at Elon University, where he established a strong focus on undergraduation research opportunities. He has reported for the Associated Press and the New York Times Regional Media Group.

    Hamm will take the place of Dean John Lavine, who saw tremendous change at Medill during his leadership. Since 2006, Lavine has drastically changed the undergraduate curriculum, adding the Intergrated Marketing Communications certificate for undergrads and classrooms in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Doha, Qatar.

    "It really is the people that make the difference," Lavine said. "The faculty will have an impact for a very long time."

    Though Lavine has not announced what's next for him, his email in September mentioned he is looking forward to focusing "on an initiative that is also close to my heart – examining how the media can determine if people are truly informed by the content they provide, and seeking out new ways for the news media to remain viable."

    Online news outlets have taken a strong interest in Medill's search for a new dean in the past month. Last week, media reporter Jim Romenesko published opinions from Medill alumni about what the dean search committee should look for in candidates, and he was one of the first to break news of Hamm’s hire Thursday. IU's Daily Student also reported on Hamm's career move. The community of online journalists are already looking towards Hamm's involvement in new media and what that could mean for Medill's future. Medill alum and sports reporter Dan Shanoff (BSJ '95) wondered aloud if Hamm’s commitment to sports journalism at IU would carry over to Medill.

    Referencing the "strong foundation" Lavine built at Medill, Hamm said he looks forward to building upon those successes and maintaining Medill's global reputation.

    "I hope going forward we will be able to make this a magical place as always," Hamm said, "and a special place as always in the world."


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