Mike Wirth, dean of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Communication and Information for the past 14 years, has announced his decision to step down and return to teaching at the end of the current academic year.
Wirth is an internationally known expert in the field of cable telecommunication and broadcast economics, and his career includes many accomplishments and accolades. He is a current member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.
As a co-editor of the Handbook of Media Management and Economics, he received the 2006 Robert Picard Award for the most significant contribution to the field of media management and economics. Under his leadership, the college received UT’s inaugural Dr. Marva L. Rudolph Diversity and Interculturalism Unit Excellence Award in 2014.
His many accomplishments in the past 14 years include working with donors and alumni to double the college’s endowment by raising more than $33 million to support research, scholarships, experiential learning, and facilities upgrades. During his time as dean, CCI established an internationalization and outreach program, making it a campus leader in study abroad opportunities, and an award-winning diversity and inclusion program. It also increased its sponsored research through its Center for Information and Communication Studies, with grants from such entities as the National Science Foundation, the US Geological Survey, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Department of Defense. In addition, CCI launched a new undergraduate degree program in information sciences, the first program of its type in Tennessee, as well as a new online master’s degree concentration in strategic and digital communication.
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick will consult with faculty in the college to plan the search for a new dean in the coming weeks.