Elliott School of Communication interim director named
Lou Heldman will serve as interim director while a national search is conducted for a new director of the Elliott School of Communication in the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wichita State University.
The appointment, which is expected to last about one year, was announced Tuesday by William Bischoff, dean of liberal arts and sciences. Bischoff said Heldman would assume the post in mid-June, when director Susan Huxman leaves to become president of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Heldman joined Wichita State in 2007, after retiring as president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com.
"We are fortunate to have Lou Heldman in place to work with Dr. Huxman on the transition and to continue the momentum she has built in seven years as director,” Bischoff said. “Lou has the support of the school's faculty and can draw on extensive communications industry knowledge and community contacts to strengthen the school in this interim period."
Heldman will continue as Distinguished Senior Fellow in Media Management and Journalism. In that role, he teaches courses on the impact of the Internet on media and society. He also created and serves as executive producer of the monthly television series "Wichita State & The World," concluding its third season.
“Lou provides continuity and connection with students and communication professionals,” said Deanna Harms, chair of the Elliott School Advisory Board. “His proven management capabilities, outstanding reputation and industry contacts deliver just what we need during this transition.”
“Not only is he familiar with the Elliott School and university workings, his background in management at major newspapers and his connections to the Wichita business community will be invaluable,” said Anderson.
The Elliott School is the only comprehensive integrated school of communication in Kansas. Its mission is to develop well-rounded media and communication professionals with essential skills — including an ability to think critically, plan strategically and communicate effectively in multiple communication platforms.
One of the largest units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School has more than 400 undergraduate majors, 50 graduate students and teaches 2,000 students a semester in general education courses in communication.