Marquette welcomes new hires

The College of Communication has a new dean, and two other administrative positions were filled over the summer.

Lori Bergen was named dean of the College of Communication, William Welburn was appointed senior advisor to the provost for diversity initiatives and Michael Monahan was selected as director of core curriculum.

Bergen was selected as the new dean in March, after a lengthy search. She came to Marquette from Texas State University-San Marcos, where she was a professor and director of its School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

One of her main projects now is an effort to continue renovation of the facilities in Johnston Hall, especially the first floor, she said.

“One of the dreams we have collectively as a college is to introduce an aesthetic that is consistent with the grandeur of the building and recognizes our high technology needs,” Bergen said.

Planning for the renovation is expected to begin this fall, with input from students, faculty and administrators, she said. Actual work could begin as soon as spring break.

Bergen hopes to improve the layout of Johnston’s first floor, add student common areas and in general make the floor’s appearance more aesthetically pleasing.

The college is also preparing for an upcoming visit from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, a group that evaluates journalism and mass communication programs in universities, Bergen said. Currently, Marquette is the only Jesuit university with an ACEJMC accredited Journalism program.

Additionally, Bergen said she hopes to continue to expand the use of various technologies within the college to ensure graduates are prepared to work in current industries.

“She’s doing great. She’s very poised and articulate,” university Provost John Pauly said. “She’s everything we thought she’d be.”

Welburn, diversity adviser to the provost, comes to Marquette from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was associate dean of its graduate college.

His appointment represents a shift in the direction of the university, Pauly said.

“We’re trying to rethink our approach to diversity,” he said. “I’ve narrowed the focus of that job so that it just focuses mostly on recruitment and retention of diverse students and faculty.”

Welburn said he is excited to work alongside the office of the provost on this initiative.

“For me, it’s not a matter of William Welburn as an adviser to the provost, working independently to develop things or for the university to identify me as the individual,” he said. “Rather, what I want to do is work with the office of the provost to build a culture of diversity on the academic side of the campus.”

Attracting a more diverse faculty will benefit students by improving the quality of education provided at Marquette, Welburn said.

“What we’re simply trying to do is broaden those opportunities (for better education),” he said. “In part you do it by addressing the needs of students. Where you can really have the greatest change is with your faculty.”

Monahan, the new director of core curriculum, has been a member of Marquette’s faculty for seven years as a professor of philosophy.

The position entails overseeing the core curriculum committee, made up of faculty members, Monahan said. He said he did not anticipate making major changes to the structure of the core, but he would like to make the core’s purpose clearer to students.

“One of the things I would like to see us work on is really making it clear up front what role the core plays and how the different courses play together,” Monahan said.

Monahan pursued the position after it was suggested to him it might be a “good fit,” he said.

“I think the core is important,” he said. “I think having the opportunity to participate in that really integral part of the Jesuit mission is very appealing.”