Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grady Changes

As you know from my earlier posts, Grady College is about to undergo some changes. These involve (possibly) the space presently occupied by WUGA-TV and, perhaps more visibly, the merging of the newsgathering function of the Department of Telecommunications with the Department of Journalism.

The most likely scenario, then, is three departments:
  1. Advertising/Public Relations (persuasion stuff)
  2. Journalism (combines Journalism with Digital and Broadcast Journalism) (news stuff)
  3. Media Arts (entertainment-oriented stuff)

A college-wide faculty meeting is set for April 18 (Good Friday, appropriately enough) to hash this out and take a vote. The dean just sent an email saying as much (see below).The names I used above are merely placeholders. Media Arts could be called something else. So could Journalism.

There is a small but vocal argument for two whopping big departments, essentially merging Tele and Journalism as a counter to Ad/PR. The arguments are sound, but not compelling.  Still, let's air them out.
  • Research faculty will be marginalized in the new "news" department. This is a concern, but I don't see it being likely, especially not given how voting is done on tenure and promotion.
  • Ad/PR is too big and needs a counterbalance. I find this one smacking of a conspiracy theory, tinfoil hat theme.
  • The Media Arts department will be small and not stable. Again, a good question, a substantial concern. As the dean said, it's my business to make sure that isn't the case. I believe him.
There's even a push to keep Ad/PR folks from voting on the restructuring of the College because they're not directly involved. Except, of course, they are. And it's a sad way to try and shave off votes for the three-department solution in hopes of a two-department solution. Kinda obvious. Kinda ham-handed. Or at least not particularly subtle or demonstrating of any political skill.

This is a College decision. Everyone will vote.

FYI, Dean Davis' Email:

The Programs Visioning Committee has given me its first formal motion, and I would like to add it to next Friday’s agenda. The motion, of course, stems from the group’s hard work and our college-wide visioning session last month, in which we all saw consensus form around two competing models for college reorganization. I would like us to discuss and then vote on one of two models that clearly garnered the most support:

Model 1 (three departments, one merging the news gathering functions of Journalism and Telecommunication, one tentatively titled Media Arts, comprised of our current media studies and research faculty and production faculty and AdPr)

Model 2: two large departments, one combining Journalism and Telecommunications and the other AdPr.

It will be a signal day for Grady College.

No comments: