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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

Robby Benson joins faculty

Next fall, IU will welcome veteran actor, producer, director and editor Robby Benson as a new professor in the Department of Telecommunications.
Benson, who has been acting, writing and producing since the age of 11, has acted in 30 movies and three Broadway plays.

He has been nominated for two Golden Globes and has worked alongside famous actors such as Audrey Hepburn and Paul Newman. Benson also voiced the Beast in Disney’s Academy Award-nominated “Beauty and the Beast.”

“Benson is an extraordinarily gifted person,” Telecommunications Director Walter Gantz said. “He will be bringing skills from his experiences with writing, directing, acting and composing and combining them with teaching.”

Gantz said Benson is coming to IU as the new professor of practice, which is a position that wasn’t open when Benson initially applied to teach in the telecommunications department. 

“We had two regular positions open, and Robby saw the researcher position, and he wrote in,” Gantz said. “He didn’t fit the position, but discussions led to his new position, the professor of practice.”

The professor of practice position is available in different schools and departments throughout IU. The professors are people with outstanding credentials in the field in which they teach, Gantz said.

As a telecommunications professor of practice, Benson will be teaching two higher-level advanced production courses starting next fall, Gantz said.

The first class will be a production class in which students will produce a 13-15 minute short film. In the second class, students will be working to create a YouTube comedy show that will argue through issues of the day in a comedic way.

Though Benson will be working full-time next year, he will be working on his professional work as well.

“During the summers, Benson wants to produce full-length films,” Gantz said.
Gantz said he is looking forward to the experience and skills that Benson will bring to the department. 

“He’s going to bring enthusiasm, energy and vision to IU,” he said.  “He’s going to tap into resources across campus to make film. It’s why he’s such a great hire.”

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