College of Communication dean resigns to take position as executive vice chancellor & provost at California-Riverside

Feb. 6, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Ellen Wartella, dean of the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin since 1993, has accepted the position of executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California Riverside, effective July 1.

University of Texas Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson will appoint an interim dean and will form a search committee to find a successor.

“Under Ellen’s leadership, the College of Communication doubled its endowment, earned a reputation for high academic standards, created synergy across and within disciplines and developed strong industry partnerships,” said Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “Her talent and energy will be missed, but the university community is pleased she is able to pursue such a prestigious opportunity.”

“While I’m saddened to leave the outstanding faculty and staff of the College of Communication, I look forward to the exciting opportunity before me,” said Wartella. “I also am confident that the college is ready to move forward with new leadership energy.”

During her tenure at The University of Texas at Austin, Wartella established numerous initiatives and programs, including the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation, and most recently, The University of Texas Film Institute. She also was instrumental in transforming the college’s technology base, affording students the opportunity to use the latest equipment in the classroom and in field projects.

Prior to becoming dean of the college in September 1993, she was a university scholar and research professor at the Institute of Communications Research at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also taught in the Department of Communication at The University of California, Santa Barbara and in the Department of Communication at Ohio State University.

Wartella earned her Ph.D. from The University of Minnesota in 1977 and completed her post-doctoral research in development psychology in 1981 at The University of Kansas. She serves on numerous boards, including the Board on Children, Youth and Families, part of the National Academies of Sciences; Sesame Workshop (formerly The Children’s Television Workshop); the Center for Media Education; the Council of Better Business Bureaus; the National Advisory Committee of the Decade of Behavior initiative; the Children’s Advertising Review Unit; and the Kraft Foods Worldwide Health & Wellness Advisory Council.

For more information contact: Don Hale, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-471-3151, or Kathleen Peach, University of California, Riverside, 909-787-2646.