Covenant at Annenberg School for Communication ASC UPenn
The Annenberg School is faculty governed, with all major hiring, promotion, and curricular issues made by the standing faculty or with their input. While much of the work of the School takes place through committees, ultimately it is the faculty as a whole that makes final decisions on important policy issues. This takes place in faculty meetings, which are held once a month and are run by the Dean of the School. Agendas for these meetings are put together by the dean, but all faculty members are invited to add items for discussion prior to each meeting.


Dean: John L. Jackson, Jr.

The School is led by Dean John L. Jackson, Jr., who is also a tenured member of the ASC faculty. The dean reports to the Provost and President of the University. In addition to University-wide responsibilities, the dean is responsible for the physical, financial, and administrative management of the School.

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies: Guobin Yang

Reporting to and appointed by the dean of the School is the Dean of Graduate Studies, a position filled by a member of the ASC Standing Faculty. Working with the Dean of the School, the Graduate Studies Committee, the Annenberg Graduate Student Council, and the ASC Standing Faculty, the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and his/her staff are responsible for the management of all aspects of the graduate program, including admissions, curriculum, and placement.

Associate Dean of Research: Barbie Zelizer

Reporting to and appointed by the dean of the School is the Dean of Research, a position filled by a member of the ASC Standing Faculty. Working with the Dean of the School, the ASC Standing Faculty, and members of the ASC senior staff, the Associate Dean of Research will work to oversee all School-based Centers and develop strategies for expanding the School's research infrastructure.

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies: Felicity (Litty) Paxton       

Reporting to and appointed by the dean is the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, a position filled by a Ph.D. holding, full-time staff member. Working with the Dean of the School, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Undergraduate Studies Committee, and the Standing Faculty, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and his/her staff are responsible for the management of all aspects of the undergraduate program, including curriculum, course offerings, undergraduate advising, and co-curricular activities.


The Annenberg School has organized the following committees, which report to the Dean:

Faculty Executive Committee: Sandra González-Bailón, Victor Pickard (Diversity Search Advisor), Joseph Turow and Barbie Zelizer

The Executive Committee is made up of four members of the Standing Faculty who are elected each year by the Standing Faculty. As the central representative body of the faculty, the Executive Committee meets regularly with the Dean to discuss policy and administrative matters related to all aspects of the School’s research, teaching and service missions. It also serves as the School’s faculty search committee (one-year terms).

Diversity Search Advisor: Victor Pickard

Appointed each year by the Dean from one of the four elected members of the Executive Committee, the Diversity Search Advisor acts as an advocate for diversity in consulting and or deliberating with other members of the Executive Committee, the standing faculty, and the Dean on any new proposed faculty hire.

Communication Graduate Group: All members of the Standing Faculty

As established by University policy, the essential duties of the Communication Graduate Group are to design an academic program that meets the requirements of the students and the University for depth, breadth, and academic quality of the highest order, and to adapt the program in response to the challenges by and opportunities for new developments in the field; establish well-defined academic standards and requirements that are rigorous and that ensure quality and encourage the free development of the scholarly abilities of individual students. These standards and requirements must be consistent with the intellectual style and spirit of the field and also with the minimum base requirements of the University, as established by the Graduate Council of the Faculties; and establish standards and procedures for admission of graduate students and the operation of an admissions program that will attract and admit students. Only members of the Standing Faculty, Associated Faculty, and Emeritus Faculty are eligible for membership in Graduate Groups at Penn. Currently, the Communication Graduate Group consists of all tenured and tenure-track members of the ASC Standing Faculty, and only they have voting rights on curricular matters. Emeritus Professors and Secondary Appointments have more limited involvement in the Communication Graduate Group, as decided on by the Standing Faculty.

Graduate Studies Committee: Sandra González-Bailón, Yphtach Lelkes, Jessa Lingel, and Julia Ticona (Diversity Officer)

The Graduate Studies Committee is made up of the ASC Dean of Graduate Studies and four additional members of the ASC Standing Faculty who are elected each year by the Standing Faculty. Their central responsibilities are to review applications for admission into the graduate program, oversee the Qualification Evaluation process for graduate students (discussed below), and serve as the initial group that considers policy changes regarding the structure and content of the Communication graduate program.

Curriculum Committee: All members of the ASC Standing Faculty

The Curriculum Committee is responsible for approving any changes in the graduate curriculum and for approving individual courses offered in the program. The committee consists of all members of the ASC Standing Faculty (plus other members of the Communication Graduate Group who have been granted voting rights), and is chaired by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Undergraduate Studies Committee: Felicity (Litty) Paxton, Michael Delli Carpini, Jessa Lingel, Matt O'Donnell, and Kim Woolf

The Undergraduate Studies Committee is made up of two members of the ASC Standing Faculty, the ASC Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and at least one additional representative who is a Lecturer at ASC or who teaches in a School of Arts and Sciences department related to Communication. The committee advises the Dean of Undergraduate Studies on policy and curricular issues regarding the undergraduate program.

Events Committee: Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Andy Tan, Guobin Yang and Debra Williams (ex officio), and Jeanna Sybert, Graduate Student Representative

The Events Committee advises the Dean of the School on invited speakers to School-sponsored lectures, colloquia, and other scholarly events. It consists of three ASC faculty, one graduate student, and the ASC Director of Events, appointed by the School Dean (one-year terms).

Graduate Council of Students: Danielle ClarkDavid S. CorderoAssil Frayha, Shengchun Huang, and Brendan Mahoney

The Annenberg Graduate Council is made up of six members of the ASC graduate student body. The group’s primary function is to represent the ASC student body and to convey its interests, suggestions, and grievances to the faculty, staff, and ASC administration, as well as to foster a collegial atmosphere for students. Members of the Graduate Council of Students are elected by the ASC graduate student body for a one year term.

Gerbner Postdoctoral Selection Committee: Sarah Jackson, Duncan Watts, and Joanne Murray (ex officio)

Alternating each year, the Dean will appoint two faculty members to select a recent graduate from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, as a Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellow, so named after Annenberg School's former Dean, George Gerber. Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellows serve two-year terms.

Ad Hoc Committees

Either by his/her choice or at the request of the faculty the School Dean may appoint, or the faculty may elect, members to ad hoc committees intended to address major issues or decisions facing the School, including but not limited to facilities, library services, and other issues not directly covered by standing committees.

Diversity Committee: Murali Balaji, John JemmottJessa Lingel, David Lydon-Staley and Staci Jones, Florence Madenga, and Melissa Skolnick-Noguera, Graduate Student Representatives 

The committee was created to assist in thinking through ways to improve the diversity of our faculty and students, as well as to assist in creating an environment/culture/community that is supportive of diversity. The committee is made up of three faculty members selected by the dean, and three Ph.D. students, selected in the fall by the Graduate Student Council (one-year terms).

University-Mandated Appointments

In addition to these School positions and committees, ASC faculty members fill several University-mandated elected or appointed roles. These include:

Academic Freedom and Responsibility Committee: Diana Mutz (Chair), Emily FalkGuobin Yang, Yphtach Lelkes (alternate) 

Responsible for all issues and grievances connected to academic freedom. Consists of three ASC faculty members elected by the ASC Standing Faculty (one-year terms).

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Representative: Damon Centola

The University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate is the body in which full-time teaching faculty members may “discuss and express their views upon any matter they deem to be of general interest to the faculty.” The Senate is expressly empowered to “request reports from the University administration,” and to “make recommendations directly to the President, the Provost, and the Trustees.” Its responsibilities are to routinely act for the Senate on substantive policy issues. The Annenberg School representative to the Senate Executive Committee is selected by the Senate based on nominations from the ASC faculty (two-year term).

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) Representative: Xinyi Wang

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) is the official student government body for graduate and professional students at Penn, representing over 13,000 students across twelve schools. A representative is appointed by the ASC Graduate Student Council each year.

Graduate Council of Faculties Representative: Joseph Turow

The Graduate Council of the Faculties is an advisory body to the Provost and the Associate Provost for Education. The Graduate Council assists in the evaluation of graduate programs by participating in or conducting periodic reviews; advising on policy matters related to the well-being of graduate education; advising on University-wide admissions and degree requirements for the Ph.D., A.M., and M.S. degrees; and certifying for the Trustees the candidates for the award of those degrees. ASC’s representative is a faculty member elected directly by the ASC faculty (three-year term).

Provost’s Research Council Representative: Joseph Cappella

The Provost's Council on Research is a major advisory committee for the Vice Provost for Research and plays an important role in formulating and implementing research policies at the University level. The Council is constituted of faculty representatives of each of the 12 Schools, many of whom hold administrative appointments, such as Associate Dean for Research. The Council meets monthly during the academic year. ASC’s representative to the Council is appointed from among the ASC faculty by the Dean (one year term).

Sexual Harassment Officer: Diana Mutz

Responsible for any issues or grievances regarding sexual harassment or discrimination involving ASC faculty or graduate students. Held by a tenured faculty member appointed by the Dean (one-year term).