Dr. Freitag is a full professor in part-time, phased retirement with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. For 18 years as a full-time professor with UNC Charlotte, from 1998-2016, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations. He also established the university's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Under Dr. Freitag’s guidance, the public relations program earned CEPR certification through the Public Relations Society of America. In 2006, he was named the winner of the first Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professorship in Teaching. He also served as university faculty president, AY2009/10. From February through July 2012, Dr. Freitag conducted research in Poznań, Poland, for six months under a Fulbright research grant, and he served again in Poznań during AY 2015/16 in a Fulbright Distinguished Chair fellowship. For his last two full-time years, Dr. Freitag served as assistant dean in the Graduate School. During spring 2019, he was a Visiting Professor with the Poznan University of Economics and Business in Poznań, Poland.
in 1971, Dr. Freitag earned an associate in applied science degree in television production and direction from the Milwaukee Area Technical College. He earned a bachelor of science degree in radio, television, and film from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1973, a master of arts degree in business administration and public administration from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri in 1977, and a Ph.D. in mass communication specializing in public relations, from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in 1999.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Dr. Freitag retired in 1995 as a lieutenant colonel after 22 1/2 years of service. His service included nearly 10 years in Europe and two years in Hawaii. He began his career as a navigator aboard C-130 Hercules aircraft before entering the public affairs career field. He served in advertising and publicity for Air Force recruiting, on the operations staff of the American Forces Network - Europe, as director of public affairs for a U.S. airbase in England, with Air Force legislative liaison in Washington, D.C., as director of media relations for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization at the Pentagon, as director of media relations and press aide to the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO's military arm headquartered in Belgium, and as assistant director of public affairs for the Air Force's Pacific command. He has traveled to 65 countries.
His military duties included direct public affairs involvement in the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees in 1975, the return of the U.S. hostages from Iran in 1981, the raid on Libyan terrorist facilities in 1986, and the invasion of Panama in 1989. During three critical years with NATO, Dr. Freitag was closely involved with Alliance media activities surrounding the reunification of Germany, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the opening of NATO to Eastern Europe, the attempted Russian coup, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, and NATO's involvement in the first Gulf War. Professional military courses completed include Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officers' School, the NATO Officers' Course, the Senior Public Affairs Officers' Course, the Broadcast Managers' course, the Public Information Officers' Course, and the Air Force Communications Short Course.
Dr. Freitag is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of the Society’s prestigious College of Fellows. In 2016, he received the Charlotte PRSA chapter Infinity Award for exceptional career achievement. He is a member of the SHAPE Officers Association (NATO), the American Legion, the Air Force Association, the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association, the Armed Forces Broadcasters Association, and the Military Officers Association. Freitag also serves on the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit Interactivity Foundation.
Lead author on a textbook for teaching international public relations entitled, Global Public Relations: Spanning Borders, Spanning Cultures, published by Routledge of London in 2009, his work has also been published in Public Relations Journal, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Relations Education, Communication Research Reports, Public Relations Quarterly, several European academic journals, PR Tactics, Newspaper Research Journal, Airman, and Asia-Pacific Defense Forum. In addition, he has published five academic book chapters. Dr. Freitag's research interests include international public relations, corporate social responsibility, and internal/employee communication.