Barbara J. Wilson Biography

Barbara J. Wilson became the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2014. As dean, she is responsible for providing leadership for the academic mission of the campus’s largest college, with 11,000 students, more than 60 departments and academic units and a $232 million annual budget.

Dr. Wilson has served on the Urbana faculty since 2000, and joined the Office of the Provost in 2009 as vice provost for academic affairs. In 2012, she was named executive vice provost for faculty and academic affairs, providing campus leadership on strategic and financial planning, faculty hiring, training and promotion, and innovative academic programs.

A professor of communication, her academic research focuses on the social and psychological effects of media, especially on youth. She is an elected fellow of the International Communication Association and her scholarly work is extensively published, with dozens of books, chapters and articles on a wide range of issues involving the social and psychological effects of media on children.

Before joining the Urbana campus, Dr. Wilson was a member of the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for 12 years. During that time, she served as director of graduate studies for the Department of Communication.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s degree and Ph.D in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She took her first faculty position at the University of Louisville.

Barbara J. Wilson