CCMS’s Roberts named Acting Provost of ZU

Marilyn Roberts. (Staff photo)

Marilyn Roberts. (Staff photo)

By Leila Luqman and Mariam Al Qubaisi

ABU DHABI—Marilyn Roberts, who has been dean of the College of Communication and Media Sciences for six years, has been named the Acting Provost of Zayed University, it was announced Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.

ZU Vice President Reyadh AlMehaideb made the announcement to students, faculty and staff via email on Wednesday morning.

“It is our pleasure to inform you that the University Council, in its meeting held on Feb. 16, 2015, chaired by Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid AlQasimi, has approved the appointment of Professor Marilyn Roberts, current dean of the College of Communications and Media Sciences, as Acting Provost of the University,” Professor AlMehaideb said.

Dr. Roberts takes the place of former provost Professor Abdalla AlAmiri, who resigned last August. Dr. AlAmiri served one year.

Dr. Roberts said she was thankful for getting the new position and looked forward to the challenge of being provost.

“I express my appreciation to the University Council and Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bin Khalid AlQasimi for their confidence in my leadership to assume the challenging role as Acting Provost,” she said. “I look forward to meeting with students, faculty and staff in all the colleges and units to listen, learn and develop innovative solutions  and new opportunities to further fulfilling the mission  and vision of Zayed University.”

About Dr. Roberts, the vice president said the university community looks “forward to her contributions” to ZU as provost, Professor AlMehaideb said.

The new provost earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and came to ZU from the University of Florida in 2009. At Florida, Dr. Roberts had been the head of the graduate program in the College of Journalism and Communications.

In her first job after earning her doctoral degree from Texas, she worked at Ohio State University.

Dr. Roberts has been overseeing the College of Communication and Media Sciences’ accreditation process. CCMS earned compliance in all eight categories from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. Russell Williams, the assistant dean for student services in CCMS, says Roberts will be a forward-thinking provost.

“She has a vision for where the university should go,” Dr. Williams said. “I think she can do good things for the university. She seems to have sensitivity to the culture and understands up and down the chain how things work, and certainly has the academic pedigree. I think she tries her hardest to put the concerns of students before her.”

Asma AlMarzouqi. (Photo by Mariam Al Qubaisi)

Asma AlMarzouqi. (Photo by Mariam Al Qubaisi)

Robin Dada, the interim dean of the College of Education, applauded the decision to hire Roberts as provost.

“We are very excited to have her as our provost,” Dr. Dada said. “She is very experienced and has been here awhile. She understands what Zayed University is all about.”

For the time being, Provost Roberts will also continue as dean of CCMS. This was supposed to be her final semester at ZU, as she was expected to retire in June.

Student reaction was positive.

“When I heard the news, I was amazed,” said Asma AlMarzouqi, 23, an integrated strategic communication student. “I think that Dr. Marilyn has a big role to play in ZU, and I think she deserves to be in that position.”



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