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MU School of Journalism dean inducted into Iowa School of Journalism Hall of Fame

Mills was inducted for his academic integrity and contribution to academia.

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Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, will be inducted into the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication's Hall of Fame on April 19. Mills said he was "surprised and flattered" when the director of the school called and told him the good news.

Naveen Mahadevan/Senior Staff Photographer

March 19, 2013

Dean Mills, dean of the MU School of Journalism, will become the third from MU inducted into the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication Hall of Fame.

Iowa journalism faculty selected Mills and Alan Waxenberg, former publisher and vice president of Good Housekeeping magazine, as the 2013 inductees. Members of the Hall of Fame are chosen for their professional and academic contributions to the journalism industry. Mills was selected for his work as a professor and as dean of the MU School of Journalism.

“The award is meant to honor those who have a great reputation, achievements, high ethics and integrity, the development of visionary spirit and have contributed to improving teaching and research in the practice of professional journalism and mass communication,” UISJMC director David Perlmutter said.

Mills has a strong background in the journalism field and in academia, according to the MU School of Journalism website.

He served as Moscow bureau chief for the Baltimore Sun and was the paper’s Washington, D.C. correspondent during the early 1970s. Mills then received his doctoral degree in communications from the University of Illinois in 1981 and went on to serve as director of the Pennsylvania State journalism department and graduate study coordinator at California State University- Fullerton.

Mills said he was “surprised and delighted” to learn that he will join former journalism school deans Frank Luther Mott and Earl F. English, as well as 65 other prominent journalists and professors, in UISJMC’s Hall of Fame.

“I am both touched and amazed that Iowa, to which I already owe so much, has chosen to add to the debt this very special award,” Mills said in a news release.

Esther Thorson, associate dean of Journalism Graduate Studies, has worked alongside Mills for 20 of his 24 years as dean.

Thorson said that since becoming dean in 1989, Mills has devoted his time to help aid the growth of the Missouri School of Journalism. He helped fundraise and oversee the construction of Lee Hills Hall and the Reynolds Journalism Institute and watched the school grow from 35 faculty members to more than 80. He helped the school become a center for innovation by overseeing the creation of Newsy and the RJI Futures Lab.

Mills has shown many positive qualities as the longest-serving dean on campus, Thorson said.

“Dean Mills is first and foremost an ethical individual,” Thorson said in an email. “Truth, trust, transparency and integrity are strongly developed in him. He is fair and judicial in his handling of our faculty. He is generous with praise and the sharing of credit for accomplishments. He has one of the loudest laughs in central Missouri, and he doesn’t hesitate to use it.”

A photo of Mills will be on display on Iowa’s campus and Mills will have the opportunity to speak with University of Iowa journalism students at the ceremonial Fourth Estate Banquet on April 19.

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