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Office of the Provost | Communications


Office of the Provost
Fax: 202-885-2173
Leonard, Room Lower Level

Bass, Scott A.

Office of the Provost
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8061

April 16, 2012

 TO:  American University Community
 FROM:  Scott A. Bass, Provost
 SUBJECT:  Appointment Dr. Jeffrey Rutenbeck as Dean of the School of Communication


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jeffrey Rutenbeck as Dean of the School of Communication, effective July 1, 2012. Dr. Rutenbeck comes to AU following six years as Professor and founding Dean of the Division of Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College in Vermont. Previously, he served for 17 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Denver’s School of Communication. He holds a BA in History and Political Science from Colorado College, MA in Journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia and PhD in Communication from University of Washington.

Dr. Rutenbeck is an innovator who represents the future of communication. His abiding respect for tradition serves as an important foundation for sustainable change and has allowed him to create the largest and most dynamic division at Champlain. He oversaw the expansion and revitalization of programs in communication, public relations, professional writing, graphic design and digital media, and digital filmmaking along with groundbreaking undergraduate programs in game design, broadcast and streaming media, game art and animation, and creative media. Under his leadership, the college also established its first MFA program in emergent media. Rutenbeck played a strategic and significant role in the opening of Champlain’s new campus in Montreal. His networking activities yielded a thriving advisory council of industry professionals from across North America, and he worked closely with Champlain’s leadership to raise funds for a soon-to-be-constructed 47,000-square-foot facility for teaching, learning and collaboration.

At University of Denver, he founded an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in cultural and critical studies, which integrated a range of humanities, social and professional studies, and was the founding director of the graduate and undergraduate programs in digital media studies (now called “emergent digital practices”) integrating art, computer science and communication. His entrepreneurial efforts extended to the development of a new professional association, the International Digital Media and Arts Association, for which he has served as president and chair of the board.

Dr. Rutenbeck is a recognized scholar and consultant with expertise in social and cultural change, the relationships expressed by and formed through technology, and the disruptive impacts of digitization. He is the author of one book, over thirty journal articles and book chapters, and numerous reviews, papers and presentations. His consulting portfolio includes work with corporations including Microsoft and Time Warner, agencies such as the USAF Space Command, and several colleges and universities.

His experience aligns well with AU’s School of Communication, which is solidly positioned to take the lead in shaping the future of communication. His record will build upon the vast array of professional partnerships and new programs introduced under the leadership of Dean Larry Kirkman. I want to thank the search committee, and its chair, for their efforts during this entire process. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Rutenbeck to American University.