BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – James Shanahan, founding dean of Media School at Indiana University Bloomington, will step down on July 31 after a six-year term that saw the successful merger of three academic units in what is now one of the media the most comprehensive-related research and teaching programs in the country.
Shanahan will remain a faculty member at the school. An interim dean will be announced at a later date.
Under his leadership, the school created new undergraduate and graduate university programs, moved into the newly renovated Franklin Hall, and brought together over half a dozen media-related research centers. During For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign, the school raised nearly $ 13 million, including a $ 6 million donation to create the Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism – the largest donation in the world history of the school and its inherited units.
Thanks in large part to the work of the school’s faculty and graduate students, IU Bloomington maintained a consistent international ranking among the top eight in communication research during Shanahan’s tenure.
“As founding dean, Jim Shanahan led the school through the creation of new degrees and programs while maintaining its excellence in research,” said Lauren Robel, Executive Vice President and Vice President of IU Bloomington. “IU owes him a debt of gratitude for the solid foundation he helped build for the revolutionary media school.”
Shanahan came to IU in 2015 from Boston University to oversee the New School of Media, which brought together the old School of Journalism with the Department of Telecommunications and the Film Component of the Department of Communication and Culture. . The school has developed several new degrees in addition to the existing Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, including a Bachelor of Arts in Media; a Bachelor of Science in Game Design; a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Arts; a master of science degree with concentrations in strategic communication, journalism, data journalism, management, design and production; and a doctorate in media arts and sciences.
In 2016, faculty and staff moved to Franklin Hall, which, along with the Media School facilities in the Radio-TV building, is a showcase for educational and professional technologies related to broadcasting, filmmaking, and design. games. Franklin Hall features a high-end TV studio and control room, supported by gifts from former student Ken Beckley and his late wife, Audrey, as well as former student Ed Spray.
Students also have access to virtual reality software, motion capture cameras, a projection room and audio booths for podcasts, as well as a renovated studio in the Radio-TV building. The heart of Franklin Hall is a central, glass-covered common space with a 24-foot by 12-foot screen. The space has become, in Shanahan’s words, the “living room” of the campus.
With guidance from Shanahan, faculty and staff have developed a wide range of experiential learning opportunities for the school’s 2,200 students, including a popular Semester program in Los Angeles that takes students into California for internships and college courses. The school has over 20 student organizations, including student media, and a variety of travel and service learning opportunities, such as trips to the Gulf Coast to create informational films for the National Park Service and public relations campaigns for local nonprofit organizations.
The school is home to more than half a dozen centers and institutes, including the Black Film Center / Archive, the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, and the new Social Media Observatory. In partnership with the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and the IU Network Science Institute, the Observatory is funded by a $ 3 million grant from the Knight Foundation. Shanahan will continue to be an investigator at the Observatory.
The Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism has formed partnerships with state and national news organizations and involved dozens of students in investigative projects that have been published in Indiana and beyond. The Arnolt Center donation includes an endowed chair, a graduate scholarship, an undergraduate scholarship, and an endowed operating fund. During the bicentennial campaign, the school also created 25 new scholarship funds (15 endowments), as well as the Barbara Restle Press Law Project and the Roy W. Howard Archives Digitization Project.
In addition to serving as a dean, Shanahan has also been fully involved in the university’s grand challenge “Prepared for Environmental Change”. He was an associate director of the Environmental Resilience Institute, the administrative office of the challenge, and has developed several communications initiatives to educate Indiana residents about climate change and related issues. These initiatives included the formation of Indiana Environmental Reporter, now an award-winning state and country media outlet in The Media School; the In this Climate podcast; and an environmental reporting position at the WFIU / WTIU on the Bloomington campus.
Shanahan is a researcher on the effects of mass media with a particular interest in communication related to science and the environment. His most recent work resulted in a book, “Media Effects: A Narrative Perspective”, published in 2021. His previous academic appointments included Fairfield and Cornell Universities. He continued to teach undergraduate courses during his tenure, including a recent course in media and conspiracy theory.
“It has been a real privilege to serve as a dean,” said Shanahan. “Thanks to our talented and supportive students, alumni, faculty and staff, the Media School has a solid foundation and a bright future. I look forward to supporting the next dean and having the opportunity to continue and to broaden my relationships with my colleagues and students. I extend my sincere thanks to all members of the Media School community. “