Gantz named incoming associate dean
After a very active and productive four-year term, Media School associate dean Betsi Grabe has decided not to renew the contract for the position. After June 30, she will return to research and teaching. Walter Gantz, who was chair of the former Department of Telecommunications and then of the communication science unit in The Media School, will become the new associate dean July 1.
“Betsi Grabe was a fantastic leader for our school at the moment of its creation. We will miss that, but we know that she’ll continue to make important contributions in her areas of expertise,” said dean James Shanahan. “I’m confident that Walt’s experience and demeanor will help us take all the next needed steps in our development, and I look forward to working with him.”
Gantz was a faculty member in the Department of Communication at SUNY-Buffalo before joining IU’s Department of Telecommunications in 1979. He served as chair of the department and the communication science unit from 1997 to 2017. He has taught courses on media processes and effects, research methods, advertising strategies, and media and sports. His research focuses on the ways in which media fit into daily life, and he has conducted extensive research on the audience for mediated sports, most recently on the interplay between aging, sports fanship and emotion regulation.
As associate dean, Gantz will work closely with unit directors and faculty members to guide the academic direction of the school at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He will have leadership duties across all of the academic activities of the school, and will help the dean with strategic directions and execution.
“This is an exciting time for our school as we continue to grow, spread roots across the university and attract students and scholars from across the globe,” Gantz said. “I’m honored to be selected, am grateful for all the excellent work our deans, faculty and staff have done and look forward to contributing as we move ahead.”
Grabe, a professor of communication science, became associate dean in 2015 at the beginning of the school’s first full year. In that role, she helped establish academic operations, working with faculty members as they set parameters for faculty governance.
Grabe’s research focuses largely on media images, studying how those images affect audiences’ understandings of the world. She also has worked recently on special grant-based projects. In 2017, she led an initiative that brought 30 young filmmakers from the conflicted Punjab region of India and Pakistan to IU to create 10 short films, uniting residents through their love of film.
Last October, she co-wrote a successful grant proposal to design and implement academic programs in government communications in Ukraine. The $1 million U.S. Department of State grant will involve Grabe and other Media School faculty in a four-year collaboration with IU Bloomington partners and faculty at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv, Ukraine.