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College Appoints Dr. Brent Smith as Permanent SOC Dean

Dear members of the Emerson community,

I am pleased to announce that following a national search, Dr. Brent Smith, who has served as Interim Dean of the School of Communication since last June, has been appointed to the permanent role of Dean beginning this summer.

Dr. Smith has successfully led the School of Communication with fresh eyes and deep commitment to the institution for the better part of a year, since the departure of Dean Raul Reis last year.

“I am thrilled that Brent will continue to lead the School of Communication during an exciting new period as the College welcomes new leadership,” said Jan Roberts-Breslin, Interim Provost.

Emerson’s incoming 13th President Dr. Jay Bernhardt said, “I’m excited to join my Emerson colleagues in a few short weeks and to begin working closely with Dean Smith and institutional leaders, as we begin a new chapter in the college’s history.”

Dr. Smith said, “When I joined Emerson nearly four years ago, I pledged to model servant leadership and cultivate a sense of ‘team’ that would help us achieve meaningfully inclusive progress, outcomes, and fulfillment. During my tenure as Interim Dean, we have refined our discipline, positioning, and gameplans to make the most of future opportunities.”

In his year as interim dean, Dr. Smith has worked with department chairs and faculty to advance the School of Communication’s mission of preparing students to be critical thinkers and innovative storytellers in a global, multicultural, and digital world. He also has strengthened existing academic programs, such as the Media Psychology major, and invigorated initiatives to enhance the School’s engagement with students, families, alumni, and industry.

Dr. Smith is an accomplished educator, consultant, and entrepreneur with expertise in marketing, global business, analytics, ethics, and business education. His scholarly research has appeared in leading academic journals, including Journal of Business Research, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Business Ethics, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Technology in Society, Journal of Consumer Marketing, and Journal of Sport & Social Issues. He is also the editor of two multi-authored texts, Mission-Driven Approaches in Modern Business Education (IGI, 2019) and Global Perspectives on Contemporary Marketing Education (IGI, 2016).

Over the course of his career, he has developed more than 20 courses in undergraduate, graduate, international, and online programs, as well as several teaching innovations, including the Five Creatures Lesson, which combines game theory and multicultural paradigms on value creation and competition. Dr. Smith’s professional experience extends to projects in web development, gaming, music, and consumer experiences. 

Prior to joining Emerson as department chair in Fall 2019, Dr. Smith was professor of marketing in the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he developed the Master of Science in Marketing program (International Marketing; Customer Analytics and Insights) and served as Interim Associate Director of the Pedro Arrupe Center for Business Ethics. He holds a PhD in Marketing from Drexel University, an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Tulane University, and a BA in German and a BS in Economics from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Dr. Smith is well positioned to lead the School of Communication into a new period of growth and scholarship with clarity of purpose, energy, and excellence. Please join me in congratulating him on this well-deserved appointment.


William Gilligan
Interim President

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