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SIU names new dean for the College of Arts and Media

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SIU University Communications and Marketing

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Hong Cheng, dean and professor in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago, will be the dean of the College of Arts and Media (CAM) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Cheng will begin his duties at SIU on July 1.

Cheng, a scholar of international communication and mass media, has been at Loyola since 2019. Prior to that, he was director and professor of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University, beginning in 2013.

SIU’s ‘excellent reputation’ was attractive

Cheng said he is “excited by the opportunities and potential” for the new college, which was launched July 1, 2021. Cheng noted that he has been familiar with the programs within the college for years and looks forward to helping shape its future.

“My goal for the college is to make it a mission-driven, distinctive and recognized national and international leader in arts and media education, research and creative work,” he said. “With its commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility, as well as public good, and through innovation and collaboration, the college will foster technologically proficient, culturally competent and socially responsible artists, designers, scholars, storytellers and leaders, who will thrive in the 21st-century global market and in the age of artificial intelligence.”

The college consists of six academic units in both undergraduate and graduate levels: the School of Architecture, School of Art and Design, School of Journalism and Advertising, School of Media Arts, School of Music, and the School of Theater and Dance. The college boasts a range of nationally accredited and internationally recognized programs, composed of a diverse faculty of respected scholars and award-winning creative professionals.

‘Impressive’ academic, scholarly background

Meera Komarraju, SIU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said people who met with Cheng noted his academic and administrative experience.

“Dr. Cheng has an impressive record as a professor, scholar and leader, and he has extensive international experience,” Komarraju said. “He will play an important role as the university implements its new strategic plan, Imagine 2030, which includes pillars addressing student success and engagement, innovation in research and creative activity, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Cheng said he believes his extensive and progressive experiences as a faculty member and administrator will well translate into his leadership and service for the college, along with helping him “fully understand the needs of CAM students, faculty and staff, and effectively support their initiatives and endeavors.” That includes his experiences in diversity and inclusion, interdisciplinary collaboration, and global and local engagement.

He said he is “especially thrilled” by the college’s plan for shaping its identity, developing innovative interdisciplinary academic and research activities, and reaching out to alumni and other constituencies.

“To me, SIU’s launch of this newly organized college is a visionary and smart move, which has brought together creative fields and has established a model for interdisciplinary education,” Cheng said. “I believe the newly organized CAM promises ample opportunities for both the college and all its schools and has enormous potential for regional, national and international recognition.”

Varied international experience

Cheng earned his doctorate in mass communications from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in international journalism from Shanghai International Studies University. His experience also includes professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and associate professor of the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts at Bradley University.

His research interests are international communication, cross-cultural advertising and global social marketing. He is associate editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and a former associate editor of the Asian Journal of Communication. He is a co-author of “Becoming a Media Savvy Student” and has edited or co-edited several other books.

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