Newsroom > News > Press Releases > DePaul University trustees appoint Salma Ghanem as provost

DePaul University trustees appoint Salma Ghanem as provost

​​CHICAGO — DePaul University’s Board of Trustees voted on Friday, May 7, to appoint Salma Ghanem as provost, effective immediately. Ghanem, professor and dean for the College of Communication, has served as interim provost since July 2019 and as acting provost since October 2018.

“Throughout Salma’s time at DePaul, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to fulfilling our mission as a Catholic, Vincentian and urban university,” said DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D. “I am especially grateful for the wisdom and stability she provided during this past year, as we navigated countless challenges caused by the global pandemic. I look forward to our continued partnership.”

Salma Ghanem
Salma Ghanem, who's served as interim provost since July 2019 and as acting provost since October 2018 has been appointed as provost, effective immediately, by DePaul University's Board of Trustees. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
A communications and higher education leader, Ghanem first joined DePaul in 2014 as dean for the College of Communication. During her tenure as dean, the college created the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence, co-directed by Carol Marin and Don Moseley, the award-winning Chicago journalism team.

As acting and interim provost, Ghanem elevated research and innovation efforts, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Academic Affairs now has dedicated leadership in both areas with the hiring of an associate provost for research and an associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion. Ghanem appointed deans for the College of Science and Health and the School for Continuing and Professional Studies, as well as the vice president for Enrollment Management. She also led the development of new academic programs and encouraged open dialogue by regularly hosting campus conversations.

“The strong positive feedback we received from across the university community demonstrated tremendous support for Salma,” said Board Chair Gerald Beeson. “With unanimous support from the Board of Trustees, we look forward to her contributions to DePaul over the years to come.”

Prior to joining DePaul, Ghanem served as dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University. She also held the position of chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Texas-Pan American, a Hispanic-serving institution. In both roles, she worked extensively on strategic planning and launched multiple interdisciplinary programs.

As an immigrant, raised by Egyptian and Dutch parents, Ghanem is passionate about cultural awareness and interdisciplinary research. Growing up in Egypt, she attended the Sacré Coeur Catholic School in Cairo. Fluent in Arabic and French, and near-fluent in Spanish, Ghanem has taught in several study-abroad programs in Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Austria and Germany. She also has received multiple awards for her research and teaching.​

Before embarking on her academic career, she served as a communications specialist for Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Texas and as an information and press officer for the Egyptian Mission to the United Nations in New York. Ghanem has a doctorate and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas-Austin and a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Texas-Pan American.

“I am happy and honored to serve the DePaul community,” said Ghanem. “For me, leadership is about where I can make a difference. DePaul is an amazing institution, and I look forward to continuing our work together, teaching our students how to make the world a better place.”

In November, Dr. Esteban announced the convening of a Provost Review Committee comprised of faculty, staff, a student and board members. All faculty and staff had the opportunity to attend presentations delivered by Ghanem in March, as well as to submit feedback.

“I would like to recognize the members of the Provost Review Committee for their time and service," said Esteban. “The review committee facilitated a robust and valuable process, which engaged our many campus constituents and is a tribute to our shared governance system."

An update about the College of Communication's leadership will be shared with the university community soon.​


Media contact:
Russell Dorn
312-956-2176 cell​​​