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Bruce Christensen, Former Dean of BYU’s School of Fine Arts and Communications, Dies at 79

Beloved Former School of Fine Arts and Communications Dean Bruce Christensen Is Remembered By Those He Impacted Through His Work And Life After Recent Passing


Bruce Christensen, former dean of BYU’s School of Fine Arts and Communications, passed away on Nov. 18, 2022, in Orem, Utah.

Christensen grew up in Clearfield, Utah, before serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Brazil. He met his wife, Barbara Decker, while studying at BYU. They were married in Mesa, Arizona, on June 17, 1965.

Christensen graduated from the University of Utah in 1968 with a degree in journalism. He and Barbara moved to Chicago where he worked to earn his master’s degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1969.

Throughout his career, Christensen held several roles in news and reporting. While a student, Christensen worked for KSL as a reporter and WGN News as a writer. He worked with BYU’s public communications department as well as the University of Utah’s public television and radio stations.

Christensen moved his family to Washington, D.C. in 1983 to work at the National Association of Public Television Stations, or APTS. He became president of the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, in 1984. He was well respected for nearly ten years before returning to Utah with his family in 1993.

From 1993 to 2005, Christensen served as the Dean of BYU’s College of Fine Arts and Communications. While there, he worked as the president of KSL and the vice president of Boneville International. Christensen retired in 2009, but briefly worked as interim dean of the College of Fine Arts at Utah Valley University.

Ed Adams, current Dean of BYU’s College of Fine Arts and Communications, said “Christensen’s impact on the College of Fine Arts and Communications as well as the world of communications as a whole will not go unrecognized.”