Administration News

Valenti director to leave behind memorable accomplishments

Beth Olson, director of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, will step down from her position in August.

“After 12 years as director and five years as director of graduate studies and undergraduate studies, it’s time for me to focus on research and to enjoy teaching more classes. I’m proud of how the Valenti School has changed and grown in that time,” Olson said.

Highlights of Olson’s leadership include increasing funding for the school and overseeing the building’s remodeling, as well as the addition of the Lance T. Funston Communication Center. The school also raised nearly $700,000 in scholarship funding.

During Olson’s leadership, 13 faculty members and six staff positions have been added. The Community Advisory Council was created, which is made up of Houston communication professionals, to help students. Enrollment in the college has also increased by 60 percent in the last six years.

As Olson steps down, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences John Roberts selected individuals to serve on the search committee, which includes professors from the Valenti School as well as a few others who serve on the Valenti School Advisory Committee but are not faculty.

“Our intention is to work diligently to complete a successful search for a new director to be in place by the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester,” said Julie Fix, Instructional Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will also serve on the search committee.

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