Chancellor Yang appointed Communication Professor Cynthia Stohl as the newest member of the UCSB Press Council on Nov. 21.

The Press Council, formed in 1974, has such responsibilities as approving the election of the Daily Nexus editor in chief, approving and overseeing the budget of the Nexus and La Cumbre yearbook and acting as a mediator between the community and the paper when controversy arises.

Storke Publications Director Jerry Roberts, who acts as the financial officer for both the Nexus and La Cumbre, said he approved of the chancellor’s decision.

“The chancellor was very thoughtful about making this appointment and looked at a lot of interesting candidates and judged her as the best qualified person in the faculty to take on this feat, and I fully support and endorse his view on that,” Roberts said.

Stohl was the head of the Department of Communication at Purdue University before joining the UCSB faculty in January 2002.

She specializes in group and organizational communication and was recognized with a number of awards in organizational communication including the National Communication Association Organizational Communication Division’s Best Book Award in 1995 for her book, Organizational Communication: Connectedness in Action.

According to Roberts, the Press Council, which normally consists of three students, one professional from the news industry and one faculty member, has been without the faculty member for well over a year.

“It’s been a while since it’s been a vital and complete, fully operating group,” Roberts said.

Roberts said he expects the Press Council will function more effectively now that it is a fully constituted body.

“I think in terms of the governance of the university, it’s a very significant step,” Roberts said.

Roberts also said Stohl’s educational background, experience and strong commitment to the First Amendment should make her an asset to the Press Council.

According to UCSB’s Web site, Stohl is a Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant titled “Technological Change and Collective Association: Changing Relationships Among Technology, Organizations, Society, and the Citizenry.” Through this grant, Stohl works alongside two other colleagues who research technology’s effect on member and collective organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and Amnesty International.