Digital Relationship Guru: UCSB names Joseph Walther, a professor of communication and social media research, to the Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Information Technology and Society

If you think you spend a lot of time on Facebook, imagine researching it for a living. Joseph Walther, a preeminent scholar of online communication, goes beyond the “likes” and emojis to study the implications of online relational behavior. He delves into how people form impressions online, and how trust, fondness and influence are affected by social media and other communication technologies.

Walther, who has deeply influenced the study of computer-mediated communication and its implications for intrapersonal relationships, has been named the inaugural Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Information Technology and Society at UC Santa Barbara. He will also be the director of UCSB’s Center for Information Technology (CITS).

“Professor Walther has developed a remarkable academic record and strongly deserves his international reputation as a world leader in the interdisciplinary study of computer-mediated communication,” said Norah Dunbar, chair of UCSB’s Department of Communication. “We are thrilled he is joining our faculty.”

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