Arnold Ismach became dean of the SOJC in 1985, and served until 1994, when he returned to teaching. Ismach retired in 1997, and taught part-time until 2000. Ismach grew up in New York City in an immigrant family, and graduated from The Bronx H.S. of Science. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in 1951, served in the army from 1951 to 1954, and returned to civilian life as a daily newspaper editor from 1954 to 1970, when he earned an M.A. from UCLA, then a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington. Ismach taught at the University of Minnesota, where he was co-director of the journalism graduate program until he came to Oregon in 1985.