Prior to his appointment as associate dean, Ed Adams served as chair of the BYU Department of Communications from 2003 to 2008, during which time he oversaw the department’s move to the Brimhall Building. During his tenure as chair, 13 of the 24 faculty in the Department of Communications were hired. He worked to re-integrate the Daily Universe back into the curriculum and to have the Daily News Show back on KBYU. In 2005 the AdLab was created and in 2008, the Rulon Bradley Agency was moved from being student agency to a fully integrated public relations agency. Through the establishment of a new research center and support equipment, and good faculty hires, research productivity doubled during these years. Teaching ratings also improved. With the assistance of associate chair Brad Rawlins, assessment and learning outcomes were established in the department.
Before serving as chair, he served as associate chair in the department between 2000 and 2003. During his time as associate chair the department undertook an ambitious curriculum revision. The revision streamlined course offerings and helped to accommodate teaching reductions for administrative service or scholarly work. His eight years of administrative leadership in the department was the longest continuous service since Oliver Smith had served as a department administrator between 1951 and 1960.
Prior to his arrival at BYU he taught at universities in Texas and Ohio. His industry experience includes managing a magazine publishing company in Phoenix, Arizona.
Adams received a PhD in Mass Communications from Ohio University (1993), an MA in communications from BYU (1991), a BS in business administration from the University of Phoenix (1986) and an AAS from Ricks College (1982). He was named the most-outstanding journalism professor under the age of 40 by AEJMC (1998), and he was named to the first edition of Who's Who in the Media and Communications (1999).
He has published more than 50 articles as peer-reviewed articles, reviews, book chapters, and biographical encyclopedia entries. He has also presented more than 50 papers at conferences. His scholarly work focuses primarily on the business and economic history of the media. His articles have appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Journalism History, American Journalism, and Journal of the West.
In May 2011 Adams spoke at a campus devotional at BYU.
In 2012 Adams and fellow professor Ed Carter found journals and books that explained the Supreme Court mystery of "the switch in time that saved nine". The documents were by Merlo Pusey, a reporter from the 1940s whose main focus was the Supreme Court and its various Justices.
- BYU Magazine - Supreme Court Mystery Unlocked (Winter 2013)
- The Deseret News - 'Confidential' interview with Justice Roberts discovered in BYU Special Collections (8 Sept 2012)
- The Universe - BYU professors uncover one of the Supreme Court's biggest mysteries (4 Sept 2012)
- The Daily Universe - Students advised to establish righteous traditions (10 May 2011)
- Ed Adams. (2011, May 10). A New Tradition. Speech presented at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
- Curriculum Vitae