Department of Communication, School of Media To Merge Into One Unit
- Jessica Luna
- Monday, October 31st, 2022
The Department of Communication and School of Media in the Potter College of Arts and Letters (PCAL) at WKU plan to merge into one unit, pending approval from WKU President, Dr. Timothy C. Caboni.
Both units have discussed a possible merger since the Spring 2021 semester. A committee of faculty members from both areas worked throughout Summer 2022 to outline logistical considerations and benefits of a potential merger. By a combined vote of 27-6, the faculty ultimately decided to unify their operations.
“Historically, all of these programs have been aligned,” says School of Media Director, Ron DeMarse. “All the majors in these units have overlapping skillsets. While the Department of Communication and School of Media have shared majors throughout the years, this is the first time they will all be together.”
The merger will commence by appointing an Assistant Director from the Department of Communication faculty. With the support and supervision of PCAL Dean, Dr. Terrance Brown, the selection process will start soon.
“I am proud of the process and structure we’ve adopted for this new venture,” says Dean Brown. “Both units have worked extremely hard and have ensured that student learning outcomes were at the forefront of each conversation.”
The merger is practical, allowing the sharing of resources between both units. Department of Communication and School of Media students sharing the space of Jody Richards Hall will help facilitate and forge new relationships and collaborations.
“Although I am sure there will be some growing pains, I believe, ultimately, the merged school will best serve the students and faculty of our many media and communication programs as well as the needs of the broader region.” says Interim Department Chair of Communication, Dr. Tony Harkins.
The college hopes to complete the merger by July 1, 2023.
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