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Bradley Hamm to step down as Medill dean

Spearheaded Medill's expansion to San Francisco and led record fundraising

Bradley J. Hamm, dean of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, will step down as dean at the end of the 2017-18 academic year when he completes his term as dean, Provost Jonathan Holloway announced today.

Bradley Hamm
Bradley Hamm

“Brad Hamm has done a remarkable job of guiding Medill at a time of significant change in the fields of journalism, marketing and communications,” said Holloway. “In doing so, he has helped lead the transformation of Medill, while maintaining the school’s historic strengths.”

Hamm joined Medill at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve as the leader of Medill, one of the best schools in the world,” Hamm said. “We are blessed with incredible alumni, talented faculty and staff, and outstanding students. Together with this team, I believe we have made Medill stronger than at any time in its 97-year history.”

Under Hamm’s leadership, Medill created a year-round program in San Francisco to be a leader in the field in innovation and technology; opened a new site in Chicago for graduate students; surpassed the school’s $60 million fundraising goal more than two years ahead of schedule in the University’s We Will campaign and hired more than a dozen top faculty and directors.

Hamm also led Medill as the school increased scholarships and financial aid by 50 percent; created new domestic and global study programs that involve more than 300 students; funded significant reporting projects throughout the country and internationally; greatly increased alumni events and outreach; expanded the work of the Spiegel Research Center, Medill’s first research center; and launched signature specializations in the journalism graduate program.

In addition, Hamm has raised nearly $9 million in commitments for financial aid to create a “need-blind” model at Medill so every student, regardless of family income, can take advantage of internships, the Washington, D.C. and San Francisco sites, professional conferences and the new domestic and global programs.

The school also created the Milestone Achievement Award with the Native American Journalists Association in 2014 and the Cecilia Vaisman Award with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2018 to honor audio and video journalists who report on critical issues.

“Over the past few years, my professional interest and personal life have become more split between Chicago and Asia, and my wife, Hiromi, and I have made a strong commitment for our 7-year-old son, Yoshiki, to live and attend school in both Japan and the U.S.,” Hamm said. “I want to be fully involved in that part of his life in the coming years and expand my own work with Asian media and research.”.

Hamm previously was dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Prior to that, he was a professor and administrator at Elon University in North Carolina. He plans to take a sabbatical in 2018-19 before returning to the Medill faculty, where he is a tenured professor in journalism.

Holloway will oversee an international search to select Hamm’s successor during the coming academic year.