Past Directors

Donald M. Gillmor

Donald M. Gillmor was the founding Director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, serving as its Director from 1984 - 1996, and as Silha Professor from 1990 - 1998.  He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota’s Law School. 

Dr. Gillmor was the author of Free Press and Fair Trial; Power, Publicity, and the Abuse of Libel Law, and the co-author of Mass Communication Law: Cases and Comment.  He was the co-editor of Justice Hugo Black and the First Amendment; Enduring Issues in Mass Communication; Media Freedom and Accountability, and Essentials of Mass Media Law.  He also wrote numerous book chapters and articles, some of them for academic and professional journals in England, France, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and Canada.  He was the recipient of four teaching awards.

A former reporter and editor for the Winnipeg Free Press, he also worked for the Fargo Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.  At the University of North Dakota he was a professor in the School of Communication from 1953 - 1965.  He was also the founding director of that institution’s All-University Honors Program.

Gillmor was an exchange teacher in American studies and communications at the University of Munich in Germany and political science at the University of Lund in Sweden.  He has lectured in Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, Canada, and in Moscow.  In 1989-1990 he was a senior fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University.

He held a B.A. degree from the University of Manitoba, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Professor Gillmor passed away on February 14, 2013. Click here to read a press release and tributes from colleagues, former students, and friends.

William A. Babcock

William A. Babcock was associate director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law from 1992-1995, and director from 1995-2000.  His political communication research has appeared in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Journalism Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal, and other publications, and has been presented at various conferences in North America and Britain.  He received five teaching awards and fellowships.

At Syracuse University he was a professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications from 1979-1987, where he directed the journalism department’s program in London and coordinated the school’s internship program.

Dr. Babcock worked for portions of the 1970s and 1980s at the Christian Science Monitor, serving at various times as Asia Editor, West Europe Editor, Latin America Editor, Assistant National News Editor, copy desk editor, and writing coach.  He reported for the Monitor in the United States and Britain, writing on the environment, politics, and the media.  He also worked as a reporter, photographer, and editor for the Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, Ohio.

After becoming affiliated with the Silha Center in 1992, Dr. Babcock inaugurated two media ethics courses.  In spring 1994 he participated in the Associated Press Managing Editors’ study of its draft ethics code.  During his time at the Silha Center, he also coordinated a nationwide Silha Center study of the media’s use of anonymous sources.

Dr. Babcock has a B.A. from Principia College, and M.A. from American University, and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University.  Currently he is Senior Ethics Professor at the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale where he teaches media ethics and public policy reporting.  He is also editor of the Gateway Journalism Review.

Hazel Dicken-Garcia

Hazel Dicken-Garcia was a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, from 1979 - 2008.  She served as the Silha Center’s interim director from December 1989 - June 1990.  Dr. Dicken-Garcia served two terms as director of graduate studies for the School, and was a member or chair of numerous professional committees.  Her book, Journalistic Standards in Nineteenth-Century America, published by the University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, won the prestigious Kappa Tau Alpha-Frank Luther Mott Award for “best researched book about the media published in 1989.”  Dr. Dicken-Garcia holds a B.A. from Berea College, an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Theodore L. Glasser

Theodore L. Glasser, associate director of the Silha Center from 1984 - 1989, became a professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University in 1989, where he also served as director of the graduate program in journalism.

Dr. Glasser has received many academic honors, including a senior Fulbright scholarship to lecture and conduct research in Israel, 1992 - 1993.  He was visiting professor of communication and journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, February through August 1983.  He was awarded the Hillier Krieghbaum Under-40 Award for Outstanding Teaching, Research, and Public Service by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 1987.

His publications include several books, including Custodians of Conscience, with James S. Ettema of Northwestern University.

Dr. Glasser has served on a number of editorial boards, and has been a member of the Silha Center’s national advisory council.  He received a B.S. from Baker University, an M.A. from Oklahoma State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.