Interim dean garners support from students and faculty

The College of Communication announced that its interim dean for the 2005-'06 school year is Ana Garner, the current associate dean for graduate studies and research.

Garner will replace Bill Elliott, who is retiring as the college's dean at the conclusion of this school year. Although the college has been searching for a replacement since June, the search did not yield a permanent replacement.

Elliott said he has worked with Garner for the past six years and is confident in her abilities.

"We've made our justice to each other long, long ago," he said. "She's an excellent person. She's an active dean. She's not going to be just an acting dean."

Garner said she will keep the college moving on "the road toward greatness."

"I like working with the students and faculty," she said. "I hope they're as excited as I am."

Garner added she looks forward to her new job but will miss teaching some of her classes, like COMM 167: Race and Gender Issues in Mass Media.

Students in her class said Garner is going to be a good dean.

"I think she'll do pretty well," said Eddie Byrd, a College of Communication senior. "She's very engaging. She has a lot of experience dealing with other people."

Another COMM 167 student agreed.

"She's very approachable," said Amy Massarsky, a junior in the College of Communication. "When people have problems, they won't be afraid to go to a source that knows what they're talking about."

University Provost Madeline Wake said in an e-mail that while the search initially looked outside of the college, she later asked the College of Communication faculty to nominate candidates from within their ranks.

Wake then reviewed the recommendations, selected Garner and asked the faculty for their input.

"All were positive about Dr. Garner's appointment," Wake said in the e-mail. "With their concurrence and (University President the Rev. Robert A.) Wild's approval, I appointed Dr. Garner."

In the e-mail, Wake said coming up short after a search for a dean is not as rare as some may think.

"We have done this four times in recent years for administrative positions in the academic division," she said. "In this case, the faculty and senior administration did not agree on the choice among finalists."

Garner has been at Marquette for 13 years since beginning work in the Department of Journalism, according to the university's April 21 press release.

She is now an associate professor and associate dean for graduate studies and research, focusing on magazines and visual communication.

Before arriving at Marquette, Garner worked as a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, where she obtained her master's degree in journalism in 1987 and her doctorate in mass communication in 1992.

The newly appointed interim dean focuses her professional research on women's issues and popular culture. Some of Garner's published works were printed in the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, the Journal of Communication and Women's Studies in Communication.

Garner is set to step into her post this July.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on April 26 2005.