KINGSTON, R.I. – Aug. 23, 2017 — The University of Rhode Island recently appointed Adam Roth to the positions of associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, as well as director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media.
Roth had previously served three years as interim director of the Harrington School. He joined the University as a professor of communication studies in 2007.
“Adam has proven to be a thoughtful and strategic academic leader during his time as interim director,” said Jeannette Riley, dean of Arts & Sciences. “He raised more than $2 million for capital projects, student scholarships and faculty research, and he has been a strong collaborator with colleagues across departments and colleges.”
Roth, a Providence resident, appreciated the confidence of the search committee in his ability to continue to lead the Harrington School as it emerges as a global leader in communication and media research and education.
“It’s wonderful to have the full support of the faculty, the administration, our alumni and the executive advisory board,” Roth said. “I think becoming the permanent director gives the Harrington School a strong sense of stability going forward, and it demonstrates the University’s commitment to the school.”
During his time as interim director, Roth has worked diligently to establish a strong mentoring program for students of the Harrington School, allowing them access to experiential learning programs that connect them with global business leaders to prepare them for the rapidly changing communications landscape.
Roth has expanded the Harrington School’s Executive Advisory Board to include alumni and executives from HBO, NBCUniversal, CBS, ESPN, and Alex and Ani, as well as TV personalities such as Rhode Island native Meredith Vieira.
“We’re also doing a good job of hiring faculty with industry and academic experience, bringing in guest lecturers from the business world, and making sure the curriculum reflects the rapidly changing nature of the communications and media industry,” Roth said. “These are real global leaders in media research and education, so students are learning from the best and being prepared with skills that are applicable to a wide variety of careers. They’re gaining the critical thinking skills essential to their personal and professional success.”
Such access to industry professionals has helped raise the Harrington School’s global profile, and is attracting more students to the school. Roth said URI has seen out-of-state applications to the school rise to 86 percent – up from 65 percent – during his three years as interim director.
In addition to the successful marketing of its faculty and students through newsletters and social media in recent years, the Harrington School has driven the increase in its public profile by improving the school’s physical learning spaces, including the recent $6.5 million renovation to Ranger Hall.
Roth also noted the upcoming installation of a professional video and sound recording production and broadcast center in Chafee Hall, set to open in 2018.
Also, Roth said the school developed a strong portfolio of grant funding for faculty and student scholarships, including the recent establishment of the Arthur and Helen Herman Scholarship for students who have lost a parent, the Karen Adams Scholarship for women leaders in media, and the Winifred E. Brownell International Excellence Fund, among others.
Roth said the school is also devoting significant resources to the curriculum, with the establishment of a new minor course of study in the business of digital media and expanded offerings in sports media, which will precipitate the hiring of a new tenure track professor. The school also intends to hire a tenure track professor in multimedia journalism, as well as a video production engineer.
Roth continues to enhance the school’s internship program in an effort to place students in high-tier internships that can lead to big jobs after graduation.
“We’re developing courses that bring students to meet executives all around the country –to hear TED-like talks telling the students what they need to do to prepare to get jobs like these,” Roth said. “These are extraordinary networking opportunities and this industry is all about connections.”
Roth teaches a wide range of undergraduate classes, from public speaking, communication fundamentals, and organizational communication skills, to rhetorical theory, advanced rhetorical theory, and the ethics of persuasion, as well as graduate seminars on the rhetoric of medical discourses. His teaching has earned him several prestigious honors, including the Douglas Ehninger Award for Teaching Excellence and The University of Iowa Outstanding Teaching Award.
A Passaic, N.J. native, Roth received bachelor’s degrees in communications and rhetoric and business administration from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate in communication studies from the University of Iowa.