Tom Halleen Exits AMC to Become Founding Dean of Biola University's School of Cinema and Media Arts

Courtesy of Tom Halleen/ WALLING MCGARITY LLC.

He served as executive vp at AMC Networks where he led programming and scheduling.

Tom Halleen has opened a new chapter in his career at Biola University. 

The AMC Networks executive vp has exited his post to become founding dean of the new School of Cinema and Media Arts at Biola University. In this new post, Halleen is charged with leading hundreds of students toward working in the entertainment industry. Biola's School of Cinema and Media Arts launched in 2018 and the faith-based school had been searching for a dean since then. 

Of Halleen's appointment, Biola University president Barry H. Corey says, "His credentials as a leader in the entertainment industry are impeccable and his appointment will be invaluable to our students as they pursue careers in the industry. This is a major step for our film school as we shape the next generation of students to be ambassadors of Christ who are excellent at their craft."

During Halleen’s 18-year tenure at AMC, he served as a key team member as the network transitioned to prestige and pop culture-driving TV with Emmy-winning series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, the highest rated basic cable series in television history. At AMC, Halleen led a 43-member programming strategy team across the linear and on-demand platforms for five of its entertainment services including AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV and WEtv. His experience covers all divisions of programming including acquisitions, scheduling, development, production, operations, viewer services, research, legal, standards and practices, and promo/media planning.

"Tom Halleen brings to Biola University the industry experience, leadership skills and strategic perspective to lead our quickly emerging School of Cinema and Media Arts to increased cultural impact," said Gary Lindblad, dean of Biola’s Crowell School of Business and chair of the search committee.

At the school, Halleen will oversee a team of nearly 30 faculty and instructors, a planned expansion of class size to double to 750 students by 2027, and also oversee the $76 million building project for the new school — a 50,000-plus square-foot facility that will house a 300-seat theater, sound stage, scoring stage, motion capture stage, Foley stage, color correction, mixing, recording and editing rooms, computer labs, three classrooms and faculty and staff offices.