Two UM leaders leave great legacies Dean

When Dr. Edward Pfister, founding dean of the School of Communication, first began to serve at the school, his goal was to make the program nationally known and admired. He accomplished those goals – now he wants to end his successful career teaching in the classrooms, where he says he has had the most enjoyment. This is one of the reasons Pfister recently decided to resign from his position.

“When I first got to this school my goal was to provide basic organization and basic leadership,” Pfister said. “It was a brand new school, and those goals were accomplished 12 to 18 months after that.”

This May, after 19 years as dean of the School of Communication, he can be satisfied as he steps down from his position, knowing that he has fulfilled his ambitions. The School of Communication is now a nationally renowned program, and it continues to rise higher.

“I think [Pfister] has been doing a great job, and that can be seen just by looking at the School of Communication and the students and faculty within it,” Nicole Becker, junior and print journalism major, said. “The programs, speakers and opportunities for students never seem to cease, and I don’t think any communication student can deny that.”

Dr. Robert Hosmon, associate dean of the School of Communication, and Pfister’s colleague of 13 years, speaks highly of Pfister’s achievements.

“He took a small program, and turned it into a nationally recognized program,” Hosmon said. “We are headed to becoming one of the elite programs in the country”

“I only interacted with him briefly, but he was a good man and did a lot for the School of Communication,” Kerri-Anne Alexanderson, senior and motion pictures major, said. “He really wanted us to learn and benefit from his experience as well as the experience of the other communication professors.”

Dr. Pfister will take a sabbatical for one year, and then he will be back at UM doing what he loves most-teaching in the classrooms. During his year off, he will spend time with his grandchildren, read and organize lessons for his future courses, which will include Public Broadcasting and Communication Ethics.

“Everything is now in place,” Pfister said. “My job is essentially done, and it is up to someone else now to take it to the next level.”

Vanessa Krause can be contacted at