Paulson receives honorary doctorate from Buena Vis...

Paulson receives honorary doctorate from Buena Vista University

The  incoming dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, Ken Paulson, recently received an honorary doctorate degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Ken Paulson, center, MTSU’s incoming mass communication dean, prepares to accept an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Buena Vista University during BVU’s May 25 commencement. At left is Dr. Swasti Bhattacharyya, associate professor of religion at BVU, and at right is Jamii Claiborne, associate professor of digital media. In the background is Dr. Andrea Frantz, associate professor of digital media. (Photos courtesy of Buena Vista University)

Paulson, president and CEO of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, D.C., received the Doctor of Humane Letters on May 25 during spring commencement for the private university, where he also served as the keynote speaker.

Paulson starts his MTSU post on July 1. He replaces Roy Moore, dean of the college since 2008, who will remain with the college as a professor.

A member of The Recording Academy and a former music journalist, Paulson is active in the Nashville music community, serving as vice chair of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, a member of the Music City Music Council convened by Mayor Karl Dean and a Leadership Music board and executive committee member.

Paulson served as editor-in-chief of USA Today from 2004 to 2009. He was on the team of journalists who founded USA Today in 1982 before moving on to manage newsrooms in Westchester County, N.Y.; Green Bay, Wis.; Bridgewater, N.J.; and at Florida Today in Brevard County, Fla.

He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.

MTSU boasts the fifth-largest mass-communication college in the nation and is the only one that features departments of recording industry, journalism and electronic media communication. It also is home to the Center for Popular Music, which maintains a large research library and archive and interprets various aspects of American vernacular music.

— Jimmy Hart (

Incoming MTSU Mass Communication Dean Ken Paulson delivers the commencement speech at Buena Vista University in Iowa on May 25.