News Obituary

Former Student Publications director Richard Cigler remembered for leadership

Longtime Student Publications director Richard Cigler is remembered for his leadership and humor. | Courtesy of Kerri Cigler Runge

Richard Cigler, a former director of UH’s Student Publications department, died on Jan. 24 from COVID-19. He was 79. 

Cigler worked at the University for 23 years until his retirement in 2010. During that time, he touched the lives of countless up-and-coming journalists and UH staff. 

To Student Publications — The Daily Cougar and the Houstonian yearbook — he was equal parts guardian and guardrail,” said Matt Dulin, former director of the Center for Student Media.

“A guardian who defended the students’ freedom to exercise their best judgment, and a guardrail when that judgment might not have been the best, gently steering us in the right direction.”

Prior to working at UH, Cigler attended the Art Institute of Chicago and won a fellowship that took him traveling around Europe before an advertising opportunity led him to the Houston Post.

After his career at the Houston Post, Cigler took a position at UH as the director of Student Publications, where he oversaw production of The Cougar and the Houstonian yearbook. 

“He was a very loyal leader and was dedicated to the mission of the school newspaper,” said Candy Littleton, an assistant department business administrator. “He was friendly, always had a smile on his face and a corny joke for you. He made everyone feel at home at the Student Publications office.” 

Cigler saw the Student Publications department, now known as the Center for Student Media, through decades of history and a transition to the digital age. 

“In his time at UH, The Cougar went from being a four (days) a week production powered by typewriters, glue and X-acto knives, to a being a five (days) a week daily that entered the digital age with a firm foothold on the web by the time he retired from UH in 2010,” Dulin said.

Cigler’s impact on student publications can still be felt to this day. 

“Now known as the Center for Student Media, we owe much of our success to Richard Cigler’s years of direction while providing a holistic journalistic experience for students beyond the classroom,” said Lawrence Daniel, director of the Center for Student Media. 

“His passing is met with great sadness throughout the UH community. Yet, his legacy will remain within the CSM’s purpose in maximizing student experience for those seeking an involvement opportunity or career in media. 

[email protected]

Leave a Comment