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Jason Shepard Named Interim Dean of the College of Communications

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Jason Shepard was appointed interim dean of Cal State Fullerton’s College of Communications, effective June 1. 

“Cal State Fullerton has been my home for my entire academic career, and I am humbled and honored to be appointed interim dean of the College of Communications,” said Shepard, chair and professor of communications.

Over the years, Shepard has established himself as a prolific media law and First Amendment expert whose academic scholarship looks at several trending topics, including legal protections for journalists, ethics and the regulation of social media.

He has contributed his expertise to more than 120 publications and presentations. In addition to publishing his work in academic journals like the Yale Journal of Law and Technology, Communication Law and Policy, and Journal of Media Law & Ethics, he’s been interviewed and quoted by such popular media outlets as The New York Times, CNN and NPR.

Shepard has also been tapped as an expert witness in multiple court cases and was invited to attend oral arguments for two First Amendment cases at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. 

Before he joined the Titan community, Shepard worked as an award-winning reporter, covering crime, courts, politics, education and media, before earning his doctorate in mass communications and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It was his passion for teaching and research that led him to CSUF in 2009. In the Department of Communications, he first served as the adviser to the Daily Titan student newspaper and taught courses in journalism and media law, history, and ethics.

Outside of the classroom, Shepard has held multiple leadership positions. He has been elected to serve as chair of the Department of Communications four times since 2014. In this role, he led the implementation of a $500,000 grant from NBC Universal to expand learning and training opportunities for journalism students from underrepresented communities. The department was also recognized with the national Equity and Diversity Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which honors programs that have succeeded in increasing equity and diversity within their units. 

At the systemwide level, Shepard has served as a member of the Academic Senate of the California State University and vice chair of its Academic Affairs Committee. At Cal State Fullerton, Shepard has served as vice chair of the CSUF Academic Senate and a member of the CSUF Executive Committee.

For his dedication to student success and academic excellence, Shepard was recognized with the University Leadership Award in 2015 and the John  W. “Jack” Bedell Leadership in Collegial Governance Award in 2016. 

In his new position, Shepard said he plans to leverage the college’s many strengths by supporting and promoting its signature programs as well as its community and professional partnerships.
“For me, as a first-generation college student from a working-class family, a high-quality public university education changed the trajectory of my life,” said Shepard. “That’s why the CSU and CSUF’s mission is so personal to me, and why I’m so excited as dean to support our faculty and staff who work tirelessly to provide our students with transformative experiences that change lives.”