Dr. Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh has been named the Interim Dean of Butler University’s College of Communication (CCOM), effective April 1. Geertsema-Sligh has served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media since June 2016.
Geertsema-Sligh joined Butler in August 2005 as an Assistant Professor and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2011. She was promoted to Professor in 2017 and holds the Richard M. Fairbanks Chair of Communication. She served as Director of Global and Historical Studies for four years before her appointment as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media. Geertsema-Sligh’s teaching and research focus on global media, gender and news, and global women’s issues.
“I am delighted that Margaretha is stepping into this new role as Interim Dean and I know that she will provide excellent leadership for the college during this time of transition,” says Dr. Brooke Barnett, the current CCOM Dean who was recently named Butler’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “She has already made a tremendous impact as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media and I look forward to seeing the ways she continues to shape and support the CCOM community.”
During her time as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media, Geertsema-Sligh provided leadership for majors in Creative Media and Entertainment, Journalism, Music Industry Studies, Sports Media, and Web Design and Development. She worked closely with faculty in each of these programs to implement curricular changes over the past years. In addition to her work as Director, Geertsema-Sligh served as chair of CCOM’s Professional Standards Committee, International Committee, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Intercultural Development Committee. She was also a member of President James Danko’s Faculty Advisory Committee.
Geertsema-Sligh earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from North-West University in South Africa, where she worked for five years in journalism and public relations before coming to the United States to attend graduate school. She received her master’s degree in Communication from Washington State University and her doctorate in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.
“I am excited to serve CCOM as the Interim Dean until a permanent Provost has been appointed,” Geertsema-Sligh says. “I definitely have some big shoes to fill with Dr. Brooke Barnett’s move to the position of Interim Provost. I look forward to working closely with the talented faculty and staff of our college to ensure the best experiences for students in all the CCOM majors and across the University.”