DePaul University trustees appoint Salma Ghanem interim provost

Salma Ghanem
Salma Ghanem, professor and dean of the College of Communication who has been serving as acting provost since October 2018, was appointed interim provost by DePaul University’s Board of Trustees. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2019. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — DePaul University’s Board of Trustees voted this week to appoint Salma Ghanem, Ph.D., interim provost effective July 1.

Ghanem, professor and dean of the College of Communication, has been serving as acting provost since October 2018.

“Over the last eight months, Salma has served admirably during a challenging time for Academic Affairs, and I am grateful for her willingness to continue in this role,” said A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of DePaul University.

With a background blending the theoretical and applied aspects of the field of communication, Ghanem was appointed dean of the College of Communication in August 2014.

Prior to joining DePaul, she served as dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University for five years. She also held the position of chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Texas Pan American for eight years.

In addition to her academic background, she served as a press and information officer for the Press Office of the Egyptian Mission to the United Nations in New York and as a communication specialist with Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Texas.

Born and raised in Egypt, she is fluent in Arabic and French and has considerable skill in Spanish. Her passion for cultural awareness and interdisciplinary research stems from the fact she herself is an immigrant and was raised by parents who are Egyptian and Dutch. She taught for 15 years at the University of Texas-Pan American, a Hispanic Serving Institution. She also taught in several study-abroad programs in Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Austria and Germany. Ghanem received multiple awards for research and teaching, and has published and presented nationally and internationally. She earned a doctorate in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996.

“Serving as acting provost for the last few months gave me further insight to the amazing accomplishments that are only possible at such a great institution as DePaul,” Ghanem said. “The dedication of the faculty and staff is unmatched. I’m honored and humbled to continue to serve DePaul in this capacity.”

Alexandra Murphy will continue to serve as acting dean of the College of Communication.

“It is indeed our good fortune to have talented leaders who can step up and take on expanded responsibilities, and on behalf of the university community, I thank them for continuing in these important leadership roles,” Esteban said.

The university intends to conduct a nationwide search for a new Provost in the summer or fall of 2021 with the goal of naming a permanent provost by July 1, 2022.

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