DePaul selects new communication dean

Following a nation-wide search, Salma Ghanem has been selected as the new dean of the College of Communication.

Ghanem has been the dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan for the past five years. She begins her new position at DePaul Aug. 4. Ghanem received her master’s and doctorate in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. At CMU, she established a Social Media Strategy program where they are also exploring a minor in Entrepreneurial and Business Journalism.

Ghanem taught at study abroad programs in Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Austria and Germany and is fluent in English, French, Arabic, with a working knowledge of Spanish. She credits her propensity to diversity to being born into an Egyptian and Swedish household then attending Sacré Coeur Catholic School in Cairo, Egypt.

When asked during an open forum for the search process about what drew her to DePaul, Ghanem responded with DePaul’s Catholic mission.

“I love what it stands for, genuinely what it stands for,” she said. “I went to a Catholic school in Egypt and have an intuitive sense to the service component. When I came here it was enforced; it’s very student centered … I am very impressed with what I see here.”

Ghanem plans to spend her time getting acquainted with the college’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs. Once her transition is complete, Ghanem plans to leverage DePaul’s advantageous Chicago location into further opportunities for students in order to keep them ahead in the dynamic field of communication.

“[Ghanem] is a prolific scholar and active in her profession,” interim provost Patricia O’Donoghue said in an email. “Many who interviewed her were drawn by her warmth, professionalism and openness. We are very fortunate to have attracted this capable leader to our university.”

Following months of interviews, the search committee, comprised of one dean, one student, one staff member and four faculty members, acted as an advisory board and sent its recommendation to O’Donoghue and President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M. for the final decision, according to committee member and public relations professor Teresa Mastin.

Jean-Claude Bruno Teboul will end his 13 month tenure as interim dean at the end of this academic year, O’Donoghue said.


“He has made a remarkable contribution to the College of Communication during the past 13 months,” O’Donoghue said. “We are very grateful for his service in this interim capacity.”

Now three dean positions remain that will need to be filled by the start of next school year. The Law School, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Music will all need interim deans with the current deans stepping down this year.

However, Ghanem said she looks forward to providing the best holistic experience possible. “I’ll try my best (to connect with students any time there is an opportunity,” Ghanem said. “I also maintain an open-door policy so if they want to meet with me, they will always be welcome.