Mike Williams is the Director of Innovation and Special Projects for the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. He re-joined the KU faculty as an associate professor and chair of the News/Information curriculum track in 2008. He was appointed as the first director of innovation for the school in 2011 as he launched the KU Media Innovation Lab. He continues his academic and professional work in media entrepreneurship and innovation, and interactive media publication with emphasis on interface design and visual communication.
Prior to his move to Kansas, Williams was an associate professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland – College Park where he taught multiple courses in interactive journalism and conducted new media workshops for professionals around the world.
He has also served as the director of graduate studies for the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University.
Williams returned to the profession in 2000 as Director of Internet Development for Kalmbach Publishing Company, a magazine publisher in Milwaukee, Wisc. There he was founding editor of Trains.com, the most frequently visited site for railroad enthusiasts and rail industry professionals. He was also publisher for Astronomy.com and oversaw the development of converged web sites for other Kalmbach publications.
Williams previously taught photojournalism and multimedia design in the visual communications sequence in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his academic career at the University of Kansas where he was a member of the journalism school faculty. He has also been a visiting professor in the School of Journalism at Marquette University.
International education and media development are important elements of Williams’ work. In Russia, he has held appointments as a visiting professor at Ural State University and St. Petersburg State University. He also did design consulting with several independent Russian newspapers and developed a professional trade magazine for Russian journalists. He also developed, directed or taught multiple study-abroad programs in Europe and Asia.
Williams began his professional career as staff photographer for the Salem (Ore.) Statesman-Journal where he was later promoted to Photo Director. He served as Graphics Director at the Albuquerque Tribune and Assistant Managing Editor at the Clarion-Ledger and Jackson Daily News in Mississippi.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Master of Science in Journalism degrees from the University of Kansas.