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CCI Announces New Director of the School of Communication Studies

Dr. Jon Hess has been named the next director of the School of Communication Studies at the College of Communication and Information, effective July 1, 2022. Hess currently serves as associate dean for faculty scholarship, internationalization, and inclusive excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Dayton.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Hess join the team as we implement the university’s new strategic vision and craft a new strategic plan for the College of Communication and Information,” said Dean Joseph Mazer. “He brings extensive academic leadership experience and disciplinary expertise to this position and will empower our faculty and students to excel in their research, teaching and studies.”

Hess is a scholar of interpersonal and instructional communication. His research has focused on communication in relational maintenance, particularly in managing relational challenges, and how interpersonal dynamics such as immediacy and face support impact classroom outcomes. He has published articles in journals such as Human Communication Research, Personal Relationships, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. He is also a past editor of the discipline’s flagship journal for instructional communication research, Communication Education.

In addition to his faculty work, Hess has held a range of academic leadership roles across his career — Introductory Course Director, Director of Graduate Studies, Department Chair, Associate Dean, and President of the university’s Academic Senate. His work across these roles has included curriculum design at every level, including development of a new general education architecture; diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives; personnel and hiring processes; onboarding and mentoring faculty; and global learning initiatives. Hess has also served on the National Communication Association’s Chair’s Advisory Council, and the University of Dayton’s Athletics Advisory Committee.

“I am impressed with the university’s forward-looking approach and commitment to innovation, along with the collaborative spirit I have seen in my visit to campus,” Hess said. “I am eager to begin working with our faculty and staff to strengthen the already excellent educational opportunities and research contributions from CCI.”

Hess will succeed Dr. John Haas, who announced in April 2021 that he will return to the faculty after serving as the school’s director for the past 27 years.

Hess holds a doctorate in speech-communication from University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in interpersonal communication from Ohio University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Manchester College.