Dr. Matthew Seeger



Matthew W. Seeger, (Ph.D., 1982, Indiana University) has been a faculty member and administrator at Wayne State University for more than 30 years. Prior to stepping down in 2022, he most recently served for the last 12 years as Dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts.  

The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) serves over 2,500 students majoring in 16 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs through its four departments: Department of Communication, Department of Music, James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History and Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. Seeger also served as associate dean of the Wayne State University Graduate School and advised 35 doctoral dissertations.

Seeger’s research concerns crisis and risk communication, health promotion and communication, crisis response and agency coordination, the role of media, including new media, crisis and communication ethics, failure of complex systems and post-crisis renewal.

He has worked with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than a decade. He has worked with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense on issues of food safety and recalls. Seeger also is a member of the World Health Organization Guidelines Development Group for Emergency Risk Communication. He has consulted with several Fortune 500 firms on crisis management planning and response. His work has been supported by the CDC, NCFPD, NSF, NIH and the State of Michigan. He is currently involved in a multi-year, interdisciplinary project focusing on contamination of the Flint, Michigan water system.

His work on crisis, risk and communication has appeared in over 100 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. Seeger is the author or co-author of ten books on crisis and risk communication. He is currently completing Best Practices in Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication. He has advised over 40 doctoral dissertations in the areas of risk and crisis communication.

Follow @DeanMattSeeger on Twitter and @cfpca_dean on Instagram

Selected book publications:

Schwarz, A., Seeger, M. W. and Auer, C. (2016) The Handbook of International Crisis Communication Research. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.

Sellnow, T. L., Ulmer, R. R., Seeger, M. W., & Littlefield, R. S. (2009). Effective risk communication: A message-centered approach. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Ulmer, R.R., Sellnow, T. L., & M. W. Seeger (2006). Effective crisis communication. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Seeger, M. W, Sellnow, T. L, & Ulmer, R. R. (2003). Organizational communication and crisis. Prager: Westport, CT.

Seeger, M. W, (1997). Organizational communication ethics: Decisions and dilemmas. Series on Communication and Social Organization. Hampton Press: Cresskill, NJ.

Selected journal publications:

Seeger, M. W., & Novak, J. M. (2010). Modeling the Recall and Warning Process in the Foodborne Contamination Event: Perspectives from Disaster Warnings and Crisis Communication. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 28, 1, 115-145.

Seeger, M.W., & Griffin Padgett, D.R. (2010). From image restoration to renewal: Approaches to understanding post-crisis communication.Review of Communication. 10, 2, 127-141.

Seeger, M. W., (2009). Does communication research make a difference? Reconsidering the impact of our work. Communication Monographs, 76, 1, 12-19.

Spence, P.R., Lachlan, K., McIntyre, J. J., & Seeger, M. W. (2009) Serving the Public Interest in a Crisis: Radio and Its Unique Role. Journal of Radio Studies, 16, 2 1-16.

Veil, S., Reynolds, B., Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (2008). CERC as a theoretical framework for research and practice. Health Promotion Practice 9, 4, 26S-34S.

Ulmer, R. R., Seeger, M. W., & Sellnow, T. L. (2007). Post-crisis communication and renewal: Expanding the parameters of post-crisis communication. Public Relations Review, 33, 130-134.

Spence, P.R.. Lachlan, K., Burke, J. M. & Seeger, M. W. (2007). Media use and Informational Needs of the Disabled During a Natural Disaster. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 18, 394-404.

Crisis links of interest:

Crisis Communication Scholars Blog

Emergency Maganement Laboratory 

Disaster Research Center 

Federal Emergency Management Administration 

Erik Auf der Heide’s book Disaster Response: Principles of Preparation and Coordination 

National Center for Food Protection and Defense

Center for Communication, Health and Risk, University of Maryland

Institute for Information Technology and Culture, Wayne State University

Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pandemic Preparedness Communication Guidance

Ethics links of interest:

Communication Ethics Division of the National Communication Association

Poynter Center for Journalism Ethics

November 20, 2014
Dean Seeger was inducted into PRSA Detroit Chapter's Hall of Fame:

April 15, 2011
Dean Seeger delivered the welcome at the beginning of Wayne State University's celebration of the inauguration of its 11th president, Allan Gilmour:

Primary Research Interest

crisis and risk communication, crisis response and agency coordination, health communication, the role of media in crisis, crisis and communication ethics, failure of complex systems and post-crisis renewal