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Mark Lodato, an award-winning journalist who helped build the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University to national prominence, today was named dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
“We are fortunate to have found such an experienced, innovative and highly competitive leader to build on past success and propel the Newhouse School into the next decade to greater distinction,” said Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu.
“From curriculum design to enrollment and fiscal management, to alumni engagement and strategic planning, Mark brings with him an impressive depth of knowledge—in the field and in the classroom—and a track record of significant achievements. Together with its extraordinary faculty, the Newhouse School is poised for continued growth and excellence.”
Long considered one of the nation’s best schools of communication, Newhouse serves 2,300 students with more than 200 employees, including 80 full-time faculty members across 18 academic units.
“The Newhouse School is a global leader in communication, with a rich history of excellence stretching back more than 100 years,” Lodato said. “I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of such innovative leaders like Lorraine Branham and David Rubin. With a world-class faculty and unrivaled alumni support, I believe Newhouse students are poised for great success in the years ahead.”
Lodato joined the Cronkite School in 2006 and quickly built an award-winning 30-minute nightly newscast – driven by students and led by faculty – that today reaches more than 1 million households on Arizona PBS. Under his leadership, Cronkite students won more broadcast news awards than any other university in the country.
Lodato was named assistant dean in 2010 and associate dean in 2017. In those roles, he increased undergraduate enrollment and retention; led advising, high school programs and student success operations; and oversaw the broadcast news and sports media programs.
He also created professional partnerships with national and regional media organizations, including NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, Univision, Fox Sports Arizona, Pac-12 Networks, E.W. Scripps Co., TEGNA and Meredith Corporation.
Lodato, who has taught foundational courses in the principles and history of journalism and advanced levels of television reporting and newscast production on the undergraduate and graduate levels, was the second faculty member at the nation’s largest university to receive the ASU Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Curricular Innovation.
He also serves as associate general manager for innovation and design at Arizona PBS, the state’s main public television station and one of the nation’s largest PBS stations. Arizona PBS is operated by the Cronkite School.
Lodato also co-authored “News Now: Visual Storytelling in the Digital Age,” a textbook used at more than 30 universities around the world.
“Mark Lodato has been a central figure in the success of the Cronkite School for more than a decade, demonstrating every day his genuine passion for our disciplines, an impressive ability to think strategically and tactically, and an unwavering dedication to students and faculty alike,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan.
“I have no doubt that Newhouse, already a superb school, will rise to new heights under Mark’s leadership,” added Callahan, who worked with Lodato for 17 years at ASU and earlier at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Lodato was a faculty member at Maryland in the early 2000s, serving as director of television news.
Prior to his career in higher education, Lodato was an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter, political correspondent and anchor at network affiliates in Phoenix, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Ft. Myers, Florida.
He received an undergraduate journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master of education in higher and post-secondary education from Arizona State.
As dean of the Newhouse School, Lodato will be responsible for ensuring an innovative and relevant curriculum, managing fiscal resources and attracting and retaining talented faculty and students, ensuring that the school remains a leader among communications educators nationwide and an advocate for the importance of journalism.
His appointment was approved by the Executive Committee of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees. He starts July 1.