MTSU College of Mass Communication names dean

Former 'USA Today' editor has legal, music, journalism backgrounds

Ken Paulson, who served as editor-in-chief of USA Today from 2004 to 2009, has been named dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University.

A lawyer, musician and president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, Paulson (pictured) will assume leadership of the college on July 1. He replaces Roy Moore, dean of the college since 2008, who will remain with the college as a professor.

Paulson was on the team of journalists who founded USA Today in 1982 before moving on to manage newsrooms in Westchester County, N.Y.; Green Bay, Wis.; Bridgewater, N.J.; and at Florida Today in Brevard County, Fla. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.

In a release, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said Paulson’s blend of national media leadership, scholarship in the First Amendment and music background will prove useful.

“We were impressed by the breadth of Ken’s experience,” McPhee said. “He has led a national news organization, traveled the country with a rock ‘n’ roll band to tout the First Amendment and hosted a national television program. His career has touched all of our college’s disciplines.”

MTSU bills itself as having the nation's fifth-largest mass-communication college and the only one that features departments of recording industry, journalism and electronic media communication. It also is home to the Center for Popular Music, which maintains a large research library and archive and interprets various aspects of American vernacular music.

Read more here.