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JEM Professor and Former Dean Dwight Teeter Retires

Professor Dwight Teeter, Jr. Revered Journalism and Electronic Media Professor Dwight Teeter, Jr. is retiring at the end of 2014 after 23 years of distinguished service to the College of Communication and Information and the University of Tennessee. 

He came to UT as Dean of the College of Communications in 1991, serving in that role until 2002. While serving as dean, he was instrumental in bringing the Department of Speech Communications (now the School of Communication Studies) into the College.

An internationally acclaimed scholar, Teeter’s teaching and research concentrate on mass communication law and history. He is best known for co-authoring Law of Mass Communications, a case book he “co-founded” in 1969 with his mentor, the late Harold L. Nelson of the University of Wisconsin. The book is now in its 13th edition and is co-authored with Bill Loving of East Carolina University. He also co-authored three additional books along with numerous scholarly articles and book chapters during his illustrious career.

Teeter previously taught at six other universities, including Iowa State, Wisconsin, Washington, Kentucky, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Texas, where he served as chair of the Department of Journalism and was the first holder of the William P. Hobby Centennial Professorship (1984-1987). While at Kentucky, he served as acting director of the School of Journalism and was an adjunct professor of law.

He was president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in 1985-1986, was named the Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Teacher in 1991, and was given a distinguished service award by AEJMC in 2001. He was awarded the College of Communication and Information’s Distinguished Research Award in 2005 and the CCI Extraordinary Service Award in 2013.

He began his career as a reporter with the Waterloo Daily Courier (Iowa). While working on his doctoral degree at Wisconsin, he served as a public relations writer for the Wisconsin State Highway Commission and as a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal (Madison).

“Dwight Teeter’s legacy is one of uncompromising excellence and accomplishment,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “The lasting legacy he leaves through his exemplary work as a teacher, scholar, administrator and colleague serves as an inspiration to everyone in the College of Communication and Information.”  

JEM Director and Professor Peter Gross said, “Dr. Teeter was nothing less than a giant in the area of media law scholarship. His contributions to CCI and JEM are equally noteworthy. When all is said and done about this great academic, what I appreciate most is that he is a wonderful, kind man with a great sense of humor. He is the type of colleague and friend we should all aspire to be.”