Monday, June 12, 2023

William (Bill) E. Loges, Associate Professor of New Media Communications and Sociology, died unexpectedly at his home in Corvallis on June 6, 2023. He is survived by his family of siblings Jimmy, Nancy, Linda, Keith, and Dawn, and his daughter Jessie.

Bill completed his BA at UCSD in Communication in 1983 and spent his senior year at as an exchange student at the University of Sussex. After a few years working in the insurance industry, he began graduate work at USC completing in 1992. In 1995, he took a tenure-stream post at Baylor University and remained there until 1999, returning to USC as a lecturer, research associate, and faculty master of the Annenberg House from 2000-2003. For twenty years, he served as a research consultant for the Institute for Global Ethics. In 2003, he moved to Oregon State to unite with Joel Thierstein and Todd Kesterson in launching what would become the New Media Communications Department of what would eventually be the School of Communication at Oregon State University. 

Loges contributed as a scholar of media effects, bringing a unique perspective to what had been a subject treated in primarily psychological terms. That work culminated in the 2004 book Free Press v. Fair Trials in collaboration with Jon Brushke, a comprehensive review of existing research with original theorizing and new data. That monograph was the basis for the state’s response to publicity in the 2015 James Holmes trial, one of the most significant in the history of Colorado. Additional work in this area was published in 2013 and in 2016 in a flagship journal. Collaborators have noted his thoughtful contributions to the writing process and thorough attention to methodology. More recently, he was working in the scholarship of teaching and learning, in particular on the effects of differing designs of educational spaces, both physically and in the synchronous virtual modality. Beyond the classroom, Bill led an internship program which placed students in roles with the National Association of Broadcasters, which is a program of considerable weight and quality. 

As a teacher, Bill taught multiple courses including Media and Culture, Diffusion of Innovation, The Meaning of Video Games, Media Effects, and Media Ethics (with a focus on the ethics of the audience). He was slated to serve as a key faculty member in the new MA program in Communication at Oregon State. Bill took great pride in his teaching and cared about the students greatly in all modalities of teaching, from large lectures to online conversations in a Warcraft Guild (perhaps the pinnacle of creative COVID adaptation). 

As an administrator, Bill was a model of excellence. In conversations with other faculty both at Oregon State and now elsewhere, his thoughtful, ethical, caring approach was truly appreciated. Colleagues were known for channeling in their decisions what they thought Bill would do--and indeed Bill would do whatever was needed, accepting any course or timeslot that was needed to was in the best interests of students. He was an avid peer reviewer of teaching, providing real insight into the classroom experience with detailed letters and discussion. There was no service task too tedious and no committee too boring to receive his full attention. Bill mentored many students and faculty members and never needed external validation. 

He will be missed.

There will be a time of remembrance for Bill on Friday, June 16 at 11AM in LINC 100.