“I don’t think we’ve met…” That’s going to be a phrase heard frequently in the halls of Murrow College this fall. Fourteen new faculty members have joined us, bringing to 45 the total full-time faculty – twice what it was five years ago.
But that’s not the only change underway. Associate Dean Prabu David has been selected as the next dean of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University.
As I have said at every opportunity, Prabu has been instrumental in the growth and transformation of the college. I can think of no one more deserving and better qualified for a deanship. I am extremely pleased for him but, of course, sad to be losing his wise counsel and administrative acumen. The one piece of good news is that he will be staying on through fall semester.
We will immediately launch a national search for a new associate dean. In the interim, Bruce Pinkleton, long-time leader of the Strategic Communication major, has agreed to step in as director for graduate studies and research. Jeffrey Peterson, just back from his sabbatical in Singapore, will take over as director for undergraduate affairs. I look forward to working closely with them in the coming year.
Meanwhile, I have asked the following members of the faculty to take on the role of sequence coordinators: Douglas Hindman as head of the Journalism & Media Production sequence, Stacey Hust to coordinate the Strategic Communication sequence, and Todd Norton at the helm of the Communication & Society sequence. At the same time, we are ramping up the coordinator responsibilities: their new duties will include scheduling course assignments, organizing regular meetings of the individual sequences and writing annual reviews.
I anticipate that we will revisit this structure in spring 2016, after the new associate dean has settled into her/his job.
After five years of fairly dramatic evolution and growth, I anticipate things settling down a bit this year as we focus on getting to know our new colleagues and stabilizing some of our newer initiatives. That includes Everett, where Brett Atwood is leading the new Integrated Studies Everett (ICE) major, which launches this fall, and the online MA in Strategic Communication, which has already grown to 60 students. Doug Hindman, who led creation of that MA is handing off responsibilities to Rebecca Cooney, who will now oversee the degree.
As we enter the final year of WSU’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, we at Murrow are also strengthening our development team with the arrival over the summer of Camille Perezelsky, our new Seattle-based assistant director of development, and Tim Osborn, who joins us as development coordinator here in Pullman after many years in the Athletics Department. Now that the final FY14 figures are in, I am pleased to report that since becoming a college in 2008 we have raised more than $36,500,000 and have our $43 million goal within sight.
Meanwhile, this year I intend to devote more of my time to working with Marvin Marcelo on the evolution of the broadcast enterprises, particularly television. To that end, in September we are shooting a pilot for a potential PacNW-based food show, using a director and producer who have a long track record producing food and other reality TV shows. Our own John Paxson, formerly of CBS News, is the executive producer. I hope this will be the first of a series of original productions, likely in partnership with other regional broadcasters.
And as all of you know, on Sept. 11 we will welcome back to campus Keith Jackson, arguably the best-known Murrow College alum after Murrow himself. Keith will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of his graduation. I hope you will all join me at the ceremony dedicating what is now Murrow West as Jackson Hall at 3 pm on Sept. 12.
It should be a very interesting year and I look forward to working with all of you to continue building on our success.