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University of Utah
Department of Communication
Brieanna Olds


Dr. Mike Middleton Appointed Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Humanities

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - The College of Humanities recently announced the appointment of Dr. Mike Middleton to the role of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Dr. Middleton will concurrently serve as the Department of Communication’s Director of Graduate Studies—a role he assumed in 2021—through the remainder of 2022.

Dr. Middleton is an Associate Professor of Argumentation and Public Discourse and previously served as the Director of the John R. Park Debate Society, a role which he has held for 11 years. Under his leadership, the University of Utah Debate Team has earned ten national or international championships, multiple undergraduate research fellowships (including two Fulbright awards and two College of Humanities Steffensen-Cannon Awards), and acceptances at top-tier graduate programs, including Cambridge and NYU. Additionally, Dr. Middleton’s efforts to enhance the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) work of the Department of Communication resulted in the most diverse entering class in the Department’s history with 80 percent of students in the 2022 admitted class identifying as diverse.

In his role as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, he will lead the College’s efforts related to undergraduate and graduate curriculum, student advising, and the Humanities Scholars program, as well as supporting the broader academic mission of the College. 

Dr. Middleton’s research focuses on rhetoric, argumentation, public discourse and cultural studies in the contexts of political advocacy and social movements. In his leadership of the Debate Society, Dr. Middleton has worked with multiple universities and organizations to support academic debate, as well as students from dozens of high schools throughout the country who have participated in the Debate Society’s Beehive Forensics Institute held each summer since 2011. Dr. Middleton has also worked as a consultant for the International Debate Education Association, is the past President of the Western Forensics and Argumentation Association and the National Parliamentary Debate Association, and currently serves as the Secretary for the International Forensics Association.

Last Updated: 8/23/22