New Dean Appointed

William G. Briggs Named to Lead College of Communications

William G. Briggs, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in the College of Applied Science and Arts at San Jose State University, is the new dean of the College of Communications at Cal State Fullerton.

He begins his new duties Jan. 20.

“Dr. Briggs brings a lifetime of commitment and expertise in international programs and global affairs,” noted President Milton A. Gordon. “I look forward to him joining our campus and management team, the Council of Deans, the faculty, staff and students of the College of Communications.”

“I am very excited about Cal State Fullerton and my role as dean,” Briggs said. “There is an enormous amount of respect for the university and the college among the other CSU campuses. It is gratifying to be able to join the team there as we plan and prepare students for the future.”

As director of San Jose’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications — a position he has held for five years — Briggs was involved in the launch of universitywide efforts to globalize curriculum, the creation of new interdisciplinary majors, and the coordination and support of international programs and initiatives. In addition, he led efforts for strategic and diversity planning and was an active member of numerous college, university and academic committees. He taught public relations and mass communications on the campus for more than 26 years.

Briggs is the founding director of two San Jose State institutes: the Global Studies Institute, which launched the university’s efforts to globalize curriculum, create a new interdisciplinary major, and coordinate international programs and initiatives; and the Pacific Rim Institute, established to promote relations between the university and the Pacific Rim. More recently, he secured a $1.22 
million State Department grant to train journalism professors at Herat University in Afghanistan.

The educator’s scholarly contributions include numerous journal articles and papers presented nationally and internationally. He also has been recognized by several professional communications organizations, including being named a fellow by the International Association of Business Communicators — the group’s highest honor — as well as a fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria.

His international experience includes service as a visiting professor in study abroad programs in such countries as England, Mexico, China, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, as well as a providing training and consultation for many years with City University of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Briggs also built houses in Mexico, alongside former President Jimmy Carter, through Habitat for Humanity.

“The communications field is changing so rapidly and we need to keep pace with that change,” Briggs said. “With the increased attention on globalization and new media, I believe we can offer graduates tremendous opportunities that many never dreamed possible. Information flows so quickly and freely that our students can, with the right balance of academic preparation, hard work and experience, go on to great careers. I’m looking forward to a very exciting future.”

Briggs earned his doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco, a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State and a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University.

# # #

Media Contact:
Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs, 657-278-4540 or

Top of Story