Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Curricular Excitement, Grady-style

We're involved in a long -- as in really long -- set of discussions on how to restructure Grady College at UGA. A careful, deliberate process.

The new provost just slammed down the accelerator.
(important -- see added comments below)

All along we kinda sorta expected the Department of Journalism would combine with the Digital and Broadcast Journalism sequence of the Department of Telecommunications. We both do journalism, after all, even if there are huge differences in how we approach it.

Long and short of it, broadcast and journalism will combine, and instead of having a couple of years to work out exactly how this will work, the provost wants it done by the end of Spring semester. That does not mean in Fall we're combined. That only means we have until the end of Spring to work out the curriculum and then the administrators will spend their summer ironing out more mundane but important details like faculty loads, etc. And it's not done then. It has to go "up the hill" through the bureaucratic maze that is UGA and the Board of Regents. It'd go into effect Fall 2015.

So the lede is this: the provost doesn't want us to talk about whether it's a good idea, she wants us to do it, and now, not later.

I agree it's time. But here in a plantation model university about the only thing faculty control is curriculum, so the provost and Grady administrators have to ease this along, finesse it, because all it takes is a handful of pissed-off faculty to gum up the works. I don't see that happening, but ham-handedness is a keenly developed UGA skillset.

That overall discussion of restructuring Grady? That will continue, but we're apparently carving out the journalism curriculum thing to speed it along.

CORRECTION (or amplification): We're not told to merge, just told to complete our curriculum review by the end of the semester.  To me this is more or less the same thing, as most of us knew where this was going and support a merger. I don't see any likely scenario in which our curriculum review leads to anywhere but combining journalism with broadcast news, but I could be wrong. It's possible, I suppose, we could all sit down to meet and end up in a melee. If that happens, I'm going for Hazinski first, just for the hell of it (muahahahah). Also, the speedy discussion is tied, in some small part, to a decision needing to be made about the TV station.

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