Exclusive: Dean of School of Media Arts selected for provost role at Truman State University

By Olivia Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

Truman State University in Missouri selected Eric Freedman, dean of the School of Media Arts, to serve as its next provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs.

The news was announced Jan. 11 in what a spokesperson for the public liberal arts university called an “internal email.” But, the information was available on the college’s website

Freedman’s starting date in the role has not been determined, according to the post.

“We have hired a new provost and his name is Eric Freedman,” a spokesperson said in a telephone interview.

Freedman was one of three finalists for the provost position at Truman State, according to a Nov. 28 announcement. Freedman was scheduled to be on campus on Dec. 7. The other finalists were an associate provost at Morehead State University and an associate provost at the Columbus College of Arts & Design. Each candidate participated in an all-university forum on campus.

“Columbia is always proud when one of its own moves to the next stage of their career,” Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David told the Chronicle Friday evening by text through a spokesperson. “We congratulate Dean (now Provost) Freedman and thank him for his contributions to Columbia and its students’ success.”

Freedman has held the position of dean at Columbia College Chicago since July 2016 and also serves as a professor in the Cinema and Television Arts Department. He is the author of a book published last year on artificial intelligence and playable media. 

Freedman holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Cornell University, a master’s degree in art history and a doctorate in cinema-television critical studies, both from the University of Southern California. 

Prior to coming to Columbia, Freedman was dean of the Knight School of Communication at Queens University. Freedman also served as the associate director of the School of Communications and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University, before becoming assistant dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the school in Boca Raton, Florida.

Freedman did not respond immediately to an email or telephone message seeking comment.

Truman State is a public university in Kirksville, Missouri, about three hours northwest of St. Louis. It has about 4,225 students. 

This is a developing story. The Chronicle will continue to update the campus community.