Potter College News
WKU School of Journalism and Broadcasting has a new name, the School of Media
- Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting has a new name, the School of Media. The name change was officially approved at the WKU Board of Regents meeting on Friday August 2.
The school’s faculty had voted unanimously to change the name in April of this year to better reflect the direction of the school, which houses Broadcasting, Film, Journalism and Photojournalism.
Over the past year, faculty members have attended national recruiting events in Chicago and along the East Coast.
“It became apparent that potential students interested in other fields of professional communication mistakenly assumed that we only offered programs in journalism and broadcasting,” said Dr. Larry Snyder, dean of Potter College Arts & Letters.
Each of the four programs under the School of Media will now be able to recruit with the school name and their individual program name. Recruitment and retention of top students will continue to be a priority of the school as it moves forward.
“Some of our students will choose to pursue journalism as a career, and we have a long and distinguished record of providing those students with all the tools necessary to do that successfully,” said Snyder.
The School of Media’s origin started in 1927 when Frances Richards taught the first journalism class through the English Department. It was created for students on the College Heights Herald staff who were interested in a newspaper career.
The Department of Mass Communications, which included journalism, was organized in in 1970. The Department of Journalism was established on January 1, 1977. (The Board of Regents had approved it during its October 1976 meeting.) The department was accredited in 1979.
In 1999 the journalism program merged with the broadcasting department to form the School of Journalism and Broadcasting. It was designated a Program of Distinction by the state of Kentucky in 2000.
The School moved to its current home Mass Media and Technology Hall (now Jody Richards Hall) in 2003. The Film program was added in 2010 and has become the fastest-growing of the four majors at 110 students.
“The School of Media represents more than just a change of nomenclature,” said Snyder. “It signals a renewed commitment to work as a school – rather than a mere collection of programs housed in a shared administrative unit.”
The new name will allow the faculty to focus on future student success and at the same time honor the legacy of the past.
Contact: School of Media (270) 745-4144