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New College of Communication dean named

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  • The College of Communication has selected Lori Bergen as its new dean.
  • Bergen was chosen from a field of four candidates.
  • Bergen will start at Marquette on July 1.

The College of Communication has selected a new dean.

Lori Bergen, currently a professor and director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University-San Marcos, was selected by the college's search committee out of a field of four candidates.

She will start at Marquette on July 1.

The choice for a new permanent dean was difficult, but the search committee felt Bergen was the best candidate to lead the College of Communication forward, said Ana Garner, an associate professor of journalism and chair of the search committee.

Garner cited several qualities Bergen possesses, such as her experience and her ideas for the college's curriculum.

"I think she will be a great leader," Garner said.

Bergen said she feels honored and delighted to be chosen from a pool of excellent candidates.

"It's humbling," Bergen said Wednesday night.

The original dean search list started with five candidates. In January, it dropped to four.

"The search attracted a number of exceptionally qualified candidates — a true testament to the quality of our programs and faculty," Provost John Pauly said in an e-mail Wednesday to faculty.

Pauly previously served as the dean of the college. He was chosen as provost in April 2008.

Lynn Turner has served as interim dean since July 2008.

Turner is expected to continue serving as a full professor of communication studies after stepping down as interim dean. She has done a great job in the position, Garner said.

Bergen said she comes to Marquette with enthusiasm, a sense of honor and a commitment to the success of each program in the college.

Leaving her current job will be emotional, but Bergen said she is excited for the opportunity at Marquette.

"I'm ready to jump on a plane and get started right away," Bergen said.

Bergen called the College of Communication a "hidden gem." She cited the resources, amazing faculty and opportunity for internships and jobs in Milwaukee as the program's fortes. As dean, she said she hopes to bring the college to national prominence.

Another goal is to have a curriculum that embraces new technology and communication skills for the 21st century, Bergen said.

She said she plans to use the available financial resources in a way that will have the most impact.

Bergen also cited some specific ideas for the college, such as increasing space in the Helfaer Theatre, revising the advising process and adding more "smart classrooms" with increased technology.

Following her campus visit in February, Bergen said she saw that the strength of the college is in its people.

Getting to know people and carving out a strategic path for the college are important functions of a dean, Bergen said. She said she will work to move the college in the right direction.

This is not Bergen's first encounter with Marquette. She applied to be an assistant professor of journalism here 20 years ago, but she withdrew her name from consideration when she became pregnant with her son.

At that time, Bergen had just finished her graduate work at Indiana University and was living in Texas.

"I visited (Marquette) and fell in love with the campus," Bergen said.

Now, 20 years later, she has come full circle.

"It's like the stars lined up," Bergen said. "I got a second chance to be in a place as wonderful as Marquette."

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