Moody College of Communication Dean Hart to Resign in May

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Roderick Hart, dean of the Moody College of Communication, has announced he will resign in May after a decade of administrative service, according to the Daily Texan, who first broke the news. Hart announced his decision in an email to faculty Monday, and his departure was made official by a  joint statement from President Powers and Provost Greg Fenves yesterday.

Hart, who has worked at UT since 1979 after nine years as a professor at Purdue University, has been an instrumental leader during his 10-year deanship, notably overseeing the Moody Foundation’s $50 million naming gift to the College of Communication in 2013. In his resignation email, he also lists opening the Belo Media Center in 2012 and starting UT3D, the nation’s first comprehensive 3D production program, as other highlights of his tenure.

Dean Hart has been not only a steady hand in a time of rapidly changing media environments and economic challenge but an active leader who has transformed the college for the better,” Powers and Fenves said in their joint statement, going on to laud him as a pivotal leader and a favorite among staff and students alike.

Hart has said that after his tenure is over, he will most likely spend a year researching and writing before returning to teach at the university.

“I think it’s time for me personally,” Hart said. “I have not been able to teach as much [as dean], and I love teaching.”

Hart also told the Texan that he will take up a 10-year-old offer to play as point guard in a UT basketball game, made personally by men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes. Barnes offered this after Hart announced that the only thing that would make him happier than being dean would be playing for the university’s basketball team.

“In spite of your lack of speed and agility, we believe you still possess qualities that may be an asset to us,” Barnes wrote to Hart in 2005. “Our players have a lot of pride in what they do, and we are confident that your presence on the team will increase that spirit and energy.”

Hope to see you on the court, Dean Hart!

Photo credit: Amy Zhang, Daily Texan

 

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