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June 2018

incoming MCAE ED Don Heider headshot

incoming MCAE ED Don Heider headshot

Veteran Communication and Journalism Leader Named Executive Director of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Donald Heider, experienced author and educator on digital ethics in journalism, will lead SCU's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics starting Aug. 15.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 20, 2018—Santa Clara University is pleased to announce that Donald Heider, dean of the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago, has been named executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Heider, whose term begins on August 15, will serve as the chief executive of the Ethics Center with full responsibility for the vision, strategy, fundraising, and leadership of the Center. In addition to his role as executive director, Heider will serve as the John Courtney Murray, S.J. University Professor of Social Ethics and hold an appointment as professor of communication. He will report directly to Dennis Jacobs, Santa Clara University provost and vice president for academic affairs.

In addition to his current role as dean, Heider serves as associate provost for strategy and innovation and is the founding director of the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

An experienced innovator and collaborator, Heider has edited multiple books and written numerous articles on digital ethics and journalism. Before his appointment as professor of communication at Loyola University Chicago, Heider held faculty appointments in communication and journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Texas, Austin; and the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also a five-time Emmy award winner following a highly successful career in broadcast television news.

“Dr. Heider brings a wealth of experience to Santa Clara University as a scholar of digital ethics, public intellectual, and creative leader,” said Jacobs. “I am excited by his bold aspirations for taking the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to the next level.”

Heider will succeed Kirk Hanson, who is completing his seventeenth year as executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and who will remain active as a part-time senior fellow. Under Hanson’s visionary leadership, the Ethics Center has greatly expanded its scope, reach, impact, and visibility.

“This is a remarkable opportunity to join a world-class ethics center at an outstanding Jesuit university,” said Heider.  “I look forward to working with the staff and advisory board at the Markkula Center, and with students, staff and faculty at Santa Clara to continue and expand the fine work the center has done.”

Heider received a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Colorado; an M.A. in journalism from American University; and a B.S. in speech communication from Colorado State University.

About Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University
Founded in 1986 with a seed grant and initial endowment from Linda and A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real world problems. Beyond a full range of programs for the Santa Clara University community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through its website and international collaborations, the Center brings ethical decision-making resources to the wider world. For more information see

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; plus graduate degrees in business, engineering, education, counseling psychology, theology, and law. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.  For more information, see
Media Contact

Deepa Arora | SCU Media and Internal Communications | | 408-554-5125


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