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K-State Today

March 8, 2012

Memorial service set for Todd Simon

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Todd F. Simon – 1951-2012

Todd F. Simon, a professor in the A.Q Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, died Monday, March 5, 2012. He was 61.

Simon was born in Omaha, Neb., Feb. 1, 1951. He began his journalism career while still in high school as a staff member of the youth section of the Omaha (Neb.) Sun. He later worked as an intern at the Sun and was hired permanently while still in college. In 1974, he received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and became the editor of the west Omaha zoned edition of the Sun.

In 1976, he was a part-time instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Beginning that same year and continuing through 1981, he did freelance writing, public relations, photography and publication design.

Simon earned a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1980 and practiced law for two years in Omaha. He accepted a position as an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1980 and left in 1982 to accept a teaching fellowship position at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., while pursuing an LL.M. degree.

Simon accepted a position as an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University in 1984. He was promoted to associate professor in 1989 and then to full professor in 1994. He twice served as director of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences inter-departmental Mass Media Ph.D. Program.

In 1997, Simon was recruited to Kansas State University and was named the director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. During Simon's tenure as director, the full-time faculty grew from 19 to 25, and student enrollment peaked at more than 800 students until an enrollment management plan went into effect to limit enrollment at approximately 600 students. The Miller School also became the sole occupant of Kedzie Hall after printing services and the philosophy department moved. A new lecture hall was built, and four other classrooms/labs were remodeled. Student scholarship funding was greatly enhanced by the receipt of a $1.1 million donation from retired Wall Street Journal executive and JMC alumnus Max Hollinger, the largest of its kind to date.

Simon stepped down from the JMC director’s position in 2004 to spend more time on teaching and research. He served as head of the journalism sequence from 2004-2006, and as head of the public relations sequence from 2006 through 2012. The comprehensive revision of the public relations curriculum he promoted went into effect in January 2009. The classes he has created include: Public Relations Strategy and Planning, Mass Communications and Political Campaigns, Economics of Mass Communication and Seminar on Political Communication.  He was also the faculty adviser for Public Relations Student Society of America.

Simon was the author or co-author of six books, including "The Economics and Regulation of U.S. Newspapers" with Stephen Lacy, and author or co-author of numerous articles in scholarly journals on law or mass communications. His main areas of research included media law, journalism performance and ethics, and political communication.

He was preceded in death by father Bernard R. and brother Raymond B. (Rudd). Survived by wife Geri and daughter, Gail, of Manhattan, and daughter, Nora, of Portland, Ore.; mother Betty, brother Curt and sister-in-law Julie, and sister Stacy, all of Omaha; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Joan and Larry Weber, of Salem, Ore., and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: 7 p.m. Sunday at All Faiths Chapel, K-State. Memorials suggested, in lieu of flowers, to Manhattan Public Library children’s library expansion project: 629 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502 or to a memorial fund for K-State students in Todd Simon’s name: KSU Foundation, 2223 Anderson Ave., Manhattan, KS  66502-2911.