School of Communication and Design begins new director search


Senior Will Ingram works in the podcast studio of the fourth floor of the communications/music complex. Ingram is a student of the school of communication and design which is in the process of finding a new director.

Gabriella Killett

Loyola has started its search for a new director of the School of Communication and Design after the last director, Sonya Duhé, left Loyola and lost out on another job offer amid allegations of racism and insensitivity in June.

As of now, the firm is working with a search committee chaired by Cathy Rogers, head of the school’s strategic communication program. The members of the search committee will be in charge of hiring the new director.

Jade Myers, NABJ president and the student representative on the new director search committee, said she is looking for a candidate that will “empathetically” push students to their highest potential.

“I believe it is important for faculty to be relatable to students and meet them at the levels they are at,” Myers said.

Since June, Communications Professor Lisa Collins has served as the interim director of the school. Collins said Loyola has hired an external employee search firm, WittKieffer, to assist in the search. Loyola previously used the firm to hire the university’s new College of Nursing and Health and College of Business deans.

The goal of hiring WittKieffer is to “widen the reach,” of the job search, according to Collins.

Andi Robinson, junior public relations major said she’d like to see a future director have a strong focus on students and all majors within the School of Communication and Design.

“And of course, a director who cares deeply about diversity and inclusion,” Robinson said.

Zoë Stambaugh, junior graphic design major, said she is looking for a director with professional experience but that is also “open and fun.”

Stambaugh said that maybe someone younger would be a good fit because she said she believes they may better adapt to frequently used technology that everyone has worked with in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collins said she believes the goal is to have a new director in place by the fall 2021 semester, but she knows Loyola wants to be thorough and take their time. She also stated that the COVID-19 pandemic could slow the process down.

Duhé was set to become the next dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University last summer. Her position was revoked, however, after allegations of racism from Loyola students.

“I apologize on behalf of the university that Loyola did not do a better job of fixing this situation that was, in fact, brought to our attention,” University President Tania Tetlow said in an to students regarding Duhé last summer.

Collins said she thinks it’s important that they find someone who prioritizes diversity and inclusion and that students deserve someone who is going to move the School of Communication and Design forward.

“This person has to rebuild student trust,” Collins said. “I think that’s what everyone at Loyola has been saying since June.”

Mikayla Ferro contributed to this report.