Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Baby (curricular) Step

Our revised journalism curriculum took a baby step Monday with unanimous approval from the college curriculum committee. Next stop -- the full college faculty in December. Assuming Grady faculty approval, our next step will be the university's curriculum committee. It's UGA. There are layers upon layers upon layers of bureaucracy.

I expect more bumps and bruises from the Grady meeting than from the university meeting, which tends to look more at the procedural stuff. The Grady meeting, that'll be entertaining.

I've written at length about our new curriculum. It combines our broadcast and print majors into a program that looks more like what happens in the real world, and will include students all working for a time at Grady Newsource (though not all on the broadcast side, many on the web/mobile side). For those of you who know something of our program, JOUR3410 (once called 341) will become a "writing across platforms" course. More emphasis will be given to investigative reporting. All students will get experience working in video as well as writing. The curriculum will be difficult to cover, given so many skills classes, but odds are the size of our skills classes will also increase somewhat, from 16 to 20. More work for faculty but not a terrible or impossible burden. Plus if it doesn't work, we can always tweak it.

Do NOT expect a unanimous vote before the full Grady faculty. More likely we'll have a handful of negative votes, not coincidentally from the same folks who voted against the merger of programs in the first place (they wanted a full merger of Telecom and Journalism, but the "media arts" side of Tele has spun off into its own department).  

The curriculum will pass, despite a few naysayers who, frankly, have apparently never learned how to persuade people. Rule 1: don't stand up in a full faculty meeting and lecture your peers, even if you're convinced no one could possibly be your peer. Plus learn how to work the backhalls. Hell, learn to find the friggin backhalls. It's like some faculty failed Politics 101. Or couldn't even get admitted to the class.

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