Wayne Danielson

Brief Narrative Vitae 2002


Brief Narrative Vitae of Wayne Danielson, Nov. 19, 2002

Wayne Allen Danielson holds the DeWitt Carter Reddick Regent's Centennial Chair in Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.  He teaches in the Department of Journalism and also holds a professorship in the Department of Computer Sciences.  From 1995-1997 he served on special assignment in the office of the executive vice president working on materials for the accreditation of the university, including a special study on information technology and the future of the university.

A magna cum laude graduate in journalism of the University of Iowa in 1952, he also holds the M.A. in journalism and the Ph.D. in mass communication research from Stanford University. He worked briefly as a reporter and newspaper research manager at the San Jose Mercury, and he has also taught at Stanford, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He served for five years as dean of the School of Journalism at UNC and for 10 years as dean of the then School of Communication at UT Austin.

Dr. Danielson's undergraduate teaching centers on writing, editing and theories of mass communication.  His graduate teaching emphasizes survey research on communication behavior and public opinion, and content analysis involving the use of computers to analyze texts. He is an avid user of the Internet in his teaching, and in fall 2002 his Theories of Mass Communication class became the first course in the College of Communication to be offered entirely online.  Although most of the 48 students who enrolled were from the Austin area, one lived in the Valley and one was a UT student completing an internship in Los Angeles.

A pioneer in the use of computers to help produce newspapers, he has continued to do research in that area, most recently working on software to create individualized newspapers on the Internet.  In the mid-’90s he worked for three years with Dean Ellen Wartella, D. Charles Whitney and Dominic Lasorsa as part of a nationwide group of researchers studying television violence.

On the national scene, he served as president of the Association of Schools and Departments of Journalism and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He was the founder of Journalism Abstracts, a publication of abstracts of doctoral dissertations and master’s theses in the field.  He has also served the University of Texas  in many ways – as chair of the Faculty Senate, as chair of numerous committees on information technology, and as chair of the  ad hoc Committee on Multiculturalism in the Curriculum. In 2000 he received the Civitatis Award in recognition of his service to the University.

After 47 years of teaching, he says he is still learning from his students, from his four children and two stepchildren, and from his ten grandchildren.  Once a month for the last 32 years, he has shared the lessons of his academic and family life with members of the Fellowship Sunday School Class of Tarrytown United Methodist Church.  A book gleaned from these lessons is in progress with the title, "Partly Saved."

Now in the third year of staged retirement, he looks forward to the “real thing” in September 2003, but he says he may try to teach an online course or two from his home office.