Salisbury native Brad Hamm new dean at Northwestern

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism, has been named dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern Provost Daniel I. Linzer announced today. Hamm will join the faculty as dean-designate on July 1 and assume the deanship on Sept. 1.
Hamm, 47, is a native of Salisbury, N.C., the son of Alice Owens and Bud Hamm. He graduated from East Rowan High School and Catawba College and worked at the Salisbury Post.
He has served as dean and professor of IU’s School of Journalism since 2005, where he has led the school’s undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. programs on both the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses. As dean, he led the creation of several distinctive academic programs, substantially increased financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students and significantly increased enrollment.
“President Schapiro and I are very pleased to welcome Dean Hamm to Medill and Northwestern. He has helped transform the journalism school at Indiana and he brings a track record of significant academic innovations and successes,” Linzer said.
Hamm created the nation’s first master’s degree program in sports journalism and a master’s in public relations on the Indianapolis campus. He has also established several new programs, such as the Ernie Pyle Scholars program, in which selected students have the opportunity to participate in a study abroad course, and a program at the Poynter Institute for students to interact with keynote speakers coming to campus. In addition, under his tenure, student enrollment, quality and diversity have increased significantly.
Another focus during his tenure at Indiana has been the development of international educational opportunities for students. The initiatives have tripled the percentage of journalism students studying abroad to 60 percent, the highest percentage among all of the schools at IU. In partnership with IU’s medical school, he created a cross-campus collaboration that allowed journalism students to cover the work of the medical students in Kenya.
“I am excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to join Northwestern and lead Medill, which is recognized both nationally and internationally for its programs in journalism and integrated marketing communications,” Hamm said. “I look forward to working with faculty, students, alumni, supporters, and other partners in keeping Medill at the forefront of its fields.”
Prior to becoming dean at Indiana, Hamm served as associate dean of the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina. He was one of the founding faculty members of the School of Communications there, and as associate dean, helped establish a strong undergraduate research focus.
Hamm holds a Ph.D. in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. His research interests include media history, international communications and work on agenda-setting theory.
He has been closely connected with the media organizations, establishing institutional relationships with the Poynter Institute, USA Today, the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and the Scripps-Howard Foundation.
Hamm succeeds John Lavine, who has served as Medill’s dean since 2006, leading a transformation of the school that included revamping the undergraduate curriculum, the creation of a new undergraduate certificate program in integrated marketing communications and significantly extending the school’s global footprint.
Hamm and his spouse, Hiromi Sumiyoshi, have a 2-year-old son, Yoshiki. His twin brother, Benjy Hamm, is the editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers, handling news and legal issues for more than 60 newspapers and seven college sports publications.