Rachel Davis Mersey Appointed Dean of the Moody College of Communication

Dear UT Community,

I am extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Rachel Davis Mersey will serve as the next Dean of the Moody College of Communication, effective immediately.

As many of you know, Dr. Mersey has served as Interim Dean of the Moody College since June 2023, taking on the role as the college celebrated the 10th anniversary of the transformational gift from the Moody Foundation that gave it its name. She holds an appointment in the School of Journalism and Media where she holds the Everett D. Collier Centennial Chair in Communication.

During her time as Interim Dean, she has made a significant impact on our community, focusing on partnering across the University to build impactful programming and opportunities for students and prioritizing culture and wellness for Moody College faculty and staff.

Dr. Mersey joined the college in 2020 as the Associate Dean for Research and has been a champion for research and creative projects during her tenure. In her role as Associate Dean, she expanded the research office to address the funding and support needs of professional-track faculty members, where she provided hands-on guidance and oversaw year-over-year growth in both research proposals and expenditures. With more than 15 years of experience in higher education, academic administration, and as a professional journalist, her career working with faculty and researchers across disciplines and in industry will benefit the college as it looks forward to a new and exciting future.

Before joining the UT faculty, Dr. Mersey was a professor and the Associate Dean for Research in the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. She also held appointments in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education and Social Policy and was a fellow at the Northwestern Institute for Policy Research.

I want to thank the consultative committee for its excellent work identifying a strong pool of candidates for this position. I hope all of you share my excitement and enthusiasm for Dr. Mersey as the next leader of the Moody College. She is an accomplished academic administrator, journalist, and educator with extensive experience in the communication field, particularly in news engagement, emerging technologies in journalism and media, and using artificial intelligence to bring transparency to court records.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Mersey on her appointment as Dean!


Sharon L. Wood

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