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COM gets new dean

by Kalamalama staff

HPU’s College of Communication welcomes the appointment of Dr. James Whitfield as its new dean.

Dr. Whitfield replaces Dr. Helen Varner who will retire on May 31, 2005. Dr. Varner was the founding dean of the College of Communication.


“Helen shepherded College of Communication’s development from a small division with much promise to its status today as a major college within HPU,” said HPU President Chatt G. Wright.

“Under Dr. Whitfield’s leadership, the College of Communication will continue to grow and our communication majors will continue their excellent track record of winning national competitions and awards.”

Dr. Whitfield is currently a professor of communication as well as the undergraduate program chair for the College of Communication.

“ Jim has been a valued faculty member and professor in the College of Communication since 2003,” added President Wright. “In his career he has demonstrated an ability to lead faculty through his experience for six years as head of the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.”

Dr. Whitfield brings to the position significant experience in teaching, scholarship, and service to his profession. He has expert knowledge of, and experience with, the standards for professional accreditation of communications programs by the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Whitfield is also a nationally recognized scholar in journalism and won an award from the National Journalism Honor Society in 2002 as “Adviser of the Year.” He is a Fulbright scholar who visited China and Tibet and taught for a semester at sea in 2002.

While at HPU, Whitfield has acquired an excellent working knowledge of the University’s academic administration and has demonstrated an understanding of HPU’s multicultural community and has a commitment to furthering that community.

Whitfield earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri, his master’s at the University of North Texas, and his doctorate at Texas Tech University. He is a veteran of the United States Army and worked as a professional journalist and editor of a string of newspapers for several years. Before joining HPU in 2003, he had 26 years of prior teaching experience.


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