Kent State University Dean Named Provost at Columbia College Chicago

Kent, OH – Feb. 26, 2014 – Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D., dean of the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University, has been named senior vice president and provost of Columbia College Chicago, effective July 1. Wearden will retire on June 30, 2014, after 30 years at Kent State, five serving as dean.

He began his career at Kent State in August 1984 and spent 20 years on the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, rising from assistant professor to professor. During that time, he also served for 11 years as coordinator of graduate studies, served as chair of the Institutional Review Board, and won the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002. Immediately prior to becoming dean, Wearden served for five years first as interim director and then as director of the School of Communication Studies. He has been an active scholar with more than 30 publications and two Ohio Board of Regents Research Challenge Grants.

Some key successes during his tenure as dean of the College of Communication and Information include:

  • Increasing college graduate enrollment by 27 percent in four years.
  • Growing international graduate enrollment by 160 percent and international undergraduate enrollment by 287 percent.
  • Forming a college-wide, integrative Ph.D. program.
  • Creating education-abroad scholarships and programs and increasing education-abroad participation in the college by more than 1,500 percent.
  • Opening a student-operated integrated marketing communication firm, IdeaBase, that serves both university and external clients from off-campus commercial space in downtown Kent.

Wearden holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wheeling College (now Wheeling Jesuit University), Wheeling, W.Va. His graduate work includes a Master of Science Journalism from West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va., and a doctorate in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Columbia College Chicago is an international leader and recognized pioneer in arts and media education. With more than 120 years of deep experience teaching creative students to develop authentic voices and meaningful skills, Columbia graduates are fully prepared to launch sustainable careers in the visual, performing, media and communication arts.

Columbia College Chicago is located in the South Loop area of the city. It has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students. It occupies more than 25 buildings, mostly on Michigan and Wabash Avenues. Wearden described Columbia College Chicago as "an amazing institution with a passionate, engaged faculty, staff, administration and student body."

He also said, "I am inspired by the vision, intelligence and commitment of Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim, who will be my new president at Columbia. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I enthusiastically look forward to working with Dr. Kim and his team to make a very special institution even greater than it is now." But Wearden also will miss his colleagues and friends at Kent State University.

In an email he sent to colleagues, he said: "I am excited about this new opportunity, but of course that excitement is tinged with sadness because I have loved, and will continue to love, Kent State University and all the people here with whom I have had the privilege of working. I will miss you, and I hope you will stay in touch with me in the future."


About the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University

Four academic programs united in July 2002 to establish the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. The Schools of Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design joined in one college to create a unique learning community and to begin a pioneering effort in integrative research and professional practice. The College of Communication and Information continues to build its reputation for collaborative, applied and theoretical research while providing a first-class education for the next generations of communicators and leaders.

Contact: Jennifer Kramer, APR,, 330-672-1960 (o), 330-714-8302 (c)

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 03:32 PM
UPDATED: Monday, May 27, 2024 02:46 PM
College of Communication and Information

Strong written and oral communication skills are essential to the practice of law. Communication Studies is one of several majors that students at Kent State can choose for the university’s 3+3 partnership with area law schools. We caught up with three alumni from the School of Communication Studies to explore how an undergraduate communication studies major prepared them for the study and practice of law.

The class, Global Perspectives Book Club, has become a refreshing classroom experience for students; it’s structured as a student-led, seminar-style class, so the students have an important role in deciding the course content and discussions. In addition to expanding their reading library, they’re gaining exposure to new cultures and learning how to empathize with those they are reading about through a storytelling and communication lens.  

As a Kent State student, Michael J. Houser, ’11, learned the value of good communication, and those lessons have propelled him throughout his career.

"From the first class to the last," he says, "you are assisted in learning the necessary skills to advocate and organize."