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Higher Education
Texas Southern University
News Release
Monday, October 16, 2017

TSU academic community welcomes new deans
Communication and Honors College leaders take the helm today

HOUSTON – Texas Southern University is proud to announce that two top professors have been named as deans, leading the academic community in two colleges. Dr. Maurice Odine will assume the position as dean of the School of Communication and Dr. Dianne Jemison-Pollard will assume the position as dean of the Honors College.

Drs. Pollard and Odine started their respective terms today.

Maurice Odine, Ph.D., served as professor and associate dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University. Dr. Odine served as a professor and academic administrator at Tennessee State University, Winston-Salem State University, Grambling State University, Northeast Louisiana University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Sam Houston State University and United Arab Emirates University. He gained cross-cultural communication experience in the United States, Africa, West Indies and the Middle East. He served as the United Nations Chief Information Officer in Sierra Leone, as a senior journalist for Radio Cameroon, and as communications specialist for the U.N. and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Botswana, Lesotho and Haiti. 

Dr. Odine acquired $10 million for a new Performance Arts Center at Tennessee State University and an additional $500,000 to install modern instructional facilities designed to propel student learning into digital media. He obtained $62,000 for an International Curriculum Development Seminar in Cameroon, $160,000 for a three-year high school communications program through a partnership with Vanderbilt University, and another grant to host a communications professor from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. He increased the radio station’s transmission wattage at Grambling State University and Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Odine is a prolific researcher and considers knowledge discovery and dissemination as a vital scholarly component in the pursuit of excellence. He has published 21 sole-author refereed articles in various recognized academic journals.

Dr. Odine earned his B.A. in Communications from The State University of New York at Geneseo, an M.A. in Radio-Television from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is fluent in French, Krio, Douala and Bakundu languages.

Dianne Jemison-Pollard, Ph.D. is Professor of Theatre and Theatre Area Coordinator in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. For over ten years, Dr. Jemison Pollard served as the Chairperson of the Department of Fine Arts at TSU (Art, Music, and Theatre). Under her leadership, the Department of Fine Arts received multiple Department of the Year honors at TSU recognizing it for performance, scholarship, research, and community outreach.  In her tenured service to the University she has served as Director of Theatre, Education Coordinator for the Deluxe Theater, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College. Among a myriad of responsibilities in the Honors College, Dr. Jemison Pollard was primarily responsible for developing courses and academic programs, increasing collaborative educational projects with faculty of various academic units, and monitoring and assessing student performance and overall program effectiveness.

Dr. Jemison Pollard is an award-winning university stage director who has directed over fifty productions from Greek and Shakespeare to Contemporary Theatre, Musicals and Children’s Theatre.  She has written eighteen religious pageants that have been produced around the globe. Her academic and creative pursuits have taken her to Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Scotland, England, France, Italy, Zimbabwe, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, and across the United States, including Hawaii. She earned the BA degree in Speech and Drama from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, the MA degree in Communications-Theatre from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, the MFA degree in Directing from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and the Ed. D degree in Counseling from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Her dissertation was titled, “The Use of Music to Improve Social skills Development in Children Diagnosed with Autism.”

Her local board appointments have included, the Kuumba House Dance Theatre, the Black Theatre Collective, Ebony Opera Guild and the People’s Family Workshop. Additionally she has served on the theatre panel for the Houston Arts Alliance and the Cultural Arts Alliance in Austin. Recently, she received the Educational Excellence Award from the National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts and is listed in the 7th Edition of Who’s Who in Black Houston publication. She is an active member of the Antioch Baptist Church-Downtown, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Texas Spring Cypress Chapter of the Links, Inc.

“I’m very excited about our two new deans,” said Dr. Bobby Wilson, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  “Dr. Odine has an impressive background, especially his international experience, so he brings a lot to the School of Communication, and Dr. Pollard is a good example of the quality of people right here at the University that we can promote.  They have the experience and, in some cases, on-the-job training.  Our two new deans will be warmly welcomed at Texas Southern University.”


Texas Southern University (TSU) is a comprehensive, special-purpose institution providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities. TSU’s academic and research programs address critical urban issues, and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The University’s enrollment has a population of more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate-school academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating underserved students and many who are the first in their family to attend college.

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