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MU School of Journalism Dean Announced

David D. Kurpius is accomplished journalist, researcher, educator and administrator

April 2nd, 2015

Story Contact: MU News Bureau, 573-882-6211,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Garnett Stokes announced today that David D. Kurpius, professor of mass communications and associate vice chancellor for enrollment management at Louisiana State University, will be the new dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, effective July 1, 2015.

“With more than 10 years of professional television news and production experience and a proven record of increasing diversity in student and faculty populations as an academic administrator, David is uniquely qualified to lead the School of Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute,” Stokes said. “We’re excited to have him here as the School of Journalism is poised to enter a new era of innovation. David’s scholarship as well as his academic and professional background will help elevate MU’s status as a top-tier, AAU (Association of American Universities), land-grant institution.”

In his new role as dean, Kurpius will provide leadership and help shape the future of journalism and strategic communication through the school’s missions of education, research and engagement. He will lead the School in development of strategic and innovative interdisciplinary programs, industry outreach, alumni engagement and fundraising, effective recruitment nationally and internationally, and promotion of best practices in traditional and emerging forms of journalism and strategic communication.

“It’s a time of great change in journalism and strategic communication, and I look forward to working with the students, faculty, staff and administration as we work to rethink and reshape our practice and study in this industry,” Kurpius said. “I’m honored to join the University of Missouri School of Journalism community and to continue building the school’s strong tradition and reputation.”

At LSU, Kurpius managed 89 staff members and a $5.6 million operating budget. He also oversaw almost $305 million in state and federal financial aid and scholarships.

Kurpius has been with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication since 1997 where he served as associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration from 2005 to 2010. As a full professor, he taught advanced newsgathering classes, public affairs reporting and courses on minorities in journalism. Kurpius also served as the director of the Office of Student Media, which is home to LSU’s five student-produced media outlets providing news, information and entertainment to the campus as well as a hands-on learning opportunity for print and broadcast journalism students.

“Dave Kurpius is an outstanding choice to lead the School of Journalism,” said Gary Myers, chair of the search committee and dean of the MU School of Law. “He combines a passion and vision for journalism and strategic communications with extensive administrative experience. Dave will be able to lead our world-renowned J-school with his tremendous focus on students and faculty, and he will help get the school’s story out to alumni and industry leaders. The members of the search committee, myself included, are very impressed with his accomplishments and are very excited that he will be joining MU.”

Kurpius has published studies in more than 20 peer-reviewed journals and books on subjects ranging from civic journalism to local television news. As a researcher for the Kettering Foundation, Kurpius studied how journalism educators could effectively teach the connections between media and democracy. At the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, he led discussions on building broadcast newsrooms that focus on civic responsibility using qualitative data he collected and analyzed.

Kurpius is a regular reviewer for journals, national journalism competitions and the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Kurpius received a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication from Indiana University in 1986, a master’s in 1995 and a doctorate in 1997 in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin.

Founded by Walter Williams in 1908, the University of  Missouri School of Journalism is the world’s first school of journalism. The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, launched in 2004, engages media professionals, scholars and other citizens in programs aimed at strengthening journalism in the service of democracy. The first school of its type in the world, the School of Journalism educates students for careers in journalism, advertising and other media fields by combining a strong liberal arts education with unique hands-on training in professional media.