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Yates swaps Interim with Founding as CCA Dean

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="222"][/caption] The Office of the Provost has announced that Deirdre Yates, interim dean of the College of Communication and the Arts, has been named the Founding Dean of the college, which was established in 2015. According to the press release the Office of the Provost sent out on March 21, Yates has been a member of SHU faculty since 1992 and achieved the rank of full professor in 2007. She has received the University Humanitarian Award and was selected SHU’s Woman of the Year in 2014. With balloons for her new role at the University hanging from the lamp in her office in Fahy Hall, Yates expressed her excitement to have been selected founding dean of the college. “I feel extremely honored,” Yates said. “I feel humbled and grateful. This is an incredible opportunity.” The search process took approximately two months and involved both students and faculty members, according to Yates. Juergen Heinrichs, associate professor of the art history program, led the faculty search committee. Students were invited to attend each of the final three candidates’ interview sessions to ask questions they found to be most important. “Truly, what is this all for but for the students?” Yates questioned. “They’re the major part of why we’re doing the college, why we’re doing all of this,” she said. Ryan Dziuba, a senior biology major and member of Gentlemen of the Hall, an all-male a cappella ensemble, has worked with Yates to coordinate an affiliation between the new college and the Gentlemen of the Hall. “I think she knows the performing arts very well and has always been passionate about them in the limited time I’ve interacted with her,” Dziuba said. Yates said that her goal for the College of Communication and the Arts, first and foremost, is national recognition as one of the top Catholic colleges for communication and the arts. “I’m looking to develop a college that is aligned with the mission of the university, and a college that fosters expression throughout the entire student community,” Yates said. Yates expressed her plan to collaborate with other colleges at Seton Hall to make communication a part of all of the University’s colleges and majors. Collaboration plans include a public relations and marketing program with the Stillman School of Business, acting majors working with nursing students, and a science and design combination for medical illustration. In addition to collaborative efforts, Yates also mentioned the expansion of programs within the College’s majors, including an accelerated master’s degree program in health communication. “We are also looking at design classes that are going to be combined with computer science classes for data visualization kinds of things,” Yates said. “We’re also planning expansion in our journalism program, for broadcasting and sports broadcasting.” Stephanie Garcia, a junior public relations major, said that she thinks that the College’s expansion is adding to the already-positive reputation of SHU’s communication program. “The reason why I came here is because I heard the Communication school is very good, especially the Public Relations program.” Yates added that there are plans to make a home for the College of the Communication and the Arts. “I just recently saw a presentation with the plans, and Mooney Hall is still on the planning board for the new College of Communication and the Arts,” Yates said. Above all else, Yates said that the College of Communication and the Arts is seeking “growth” and is ultimately “dedicated to the students.” Brianna Bernath can be reached at


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