AEJMC nominates Paul Parsons for presidential ladder

Paul Parsons, dean of Elon University’s School of Communications, is one of two nominees on the 2013 ballot for the line of succession to the presidency of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

If elected, Parsons would serve as AEJMC vice president during 2013-14, president-elect in 2014-15 and president in 2015-16. The other vice presidential nominee on the 2013 ballot is the dean of the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette. Online balloting of the membership is open through April 8.

Parsons came to Elon 12 years ago as founding dean of the School of Communications. In 2011, he received the national Administrator of the Year award from AEJMC and the Scripps Howard Foundation. The year before, Elon’s School of Communications received AEJMC’s national Equity & Diversity Award in recognition of its successes in gender equity and racial diversity.

If elected, Parsons would have the unusual distinction of becoming president of both national organizations in the discipline. In 2010-11, Parsons served as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, which serves those in leadership roles. AEJMC, with 3,700 members nationally, is the organization of faculty members, graduate students and media professionals.

During his year as ASJMC president, he partnered with AEJMC to secure a $180,000 innovation grant from the Knight Foundation to help faculty members pursue academic or student media applications of software developed through the Knight News Challenge.

Parsons has been active in the life of AEJMC for 25 years – elected three times to the Standing Committee on Teaching, twice a mentor in the leadership diversity program, and elected as a representative of both AEJMC and ASJMC to the Accrediting Council. He has chaired accreditation site teams to the University of Missouri, University of Georgia, Texas Christian University, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo and other schools and made pre-accreditation visits to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He led the leadership sessions at the World Journalism Education Congress in South Africa.

Parsons is a graduate of Baylor University, spent 10 years as a United Press International reporter and Associated Press editor, received a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee.

He spent 16 years on the faculty at Kansas State University, where he received the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Arts and Sciences and authored two books published by university presses. He served eight years as associate director of the school at Kansas State, a year as a Fulbright Professor in Beijing, and another year as a visiting professor in Singapore before becoming founding dean at Elon in 2001.

The current AEJMC president is Kyu Ho Youm of the University of Oregon, president-elect is Paula Poindexter of the University of Texas, and vice president is Elizabeth Toth of the University of Maryland.

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