Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s top-ranked Department of Recording Industry, will take the reins of the university’s College of Media and Entertainment as its new dean, University Provost Mark Byrnes announced Oct. 23. She succeeds former USA Today editor-in-chief Ken Paulson, who returned to the faculty earlier this year to serve as director of MTSU’s newly-created Free Speech Center. Keel will begin her new role Jan. 1, 2020.
The six-time honoree in the Nashville Business Journal Women in Music City Awards and member of its Hall of Fame will begin her new role with the university Jan. 1.
“Chair Keel’s deep and extensive ties to the recording industry, as well as her considerable experience in journalism and strategic media, elevated her to the top of an impressive list of finalists,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.
Keel received her bachelor’s degree from MTSU in 1988, joined the recording industry faculty in 1995, and was named chair of the department in 2013.
“I want to provide our students with the opportunities, knowledge and experience necessary to compete in the quickly changing workplace,” Keel said. “I want to add value to a degree from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment and do work that continues to make our faculty, staff and alumni proud. Attending MTSU was one of the best decisions of my life because it prepared me for a multifaceted career in media and entertainment and profoundly shaped my life.”
Keel, who will be the first female dean in the college’s history, joined forces with Tracy Gershon and Leslie Fram in 2014 to create Change the Conversation, a coalition designed to help fight gender inequality in country music. During her tenure at MTSU, she also served as director of the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies and as president of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US.