Posted on January 9, 2006
A New Semester
Today our spring 2006 semester begins. On Friday, the dean of our college announced that she would leave our college effective July 1, 2006. So all of us go into this semester with some amount of uncertainty.
The College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida is well regarded in the state and among what are called our peer institutions — which means other large schools and colleges of mass communication. These institutions vary by large degrees, not only in their strengths and weaknesses but also in focus.
The winds of fashion in academia can blow from any direction at any time, and that can threaten a journalism program. The resolve of the dean can brace the college against those winds, or the dean might choose to turn and sail another course.
I want more of our students to have a chance to try out some innovative techniques in journalism. I want them to have better technology resources than they have now, and I want the separation between broadcast journalism students and so-called print journalism students to end.
While a new dean might make those things possible, a new dean might also make them impossible.
Our dean’s decision to leave was covered well in a Gainesville Sun story today, Jan. 9, written by Jack Stripling.
Side note: I don’t get the print edition of the Sun, because their delivery service is abysmal. Reading the story online, I have no clue what page it appeared on in the print edition. The Sun’s online headlines differ from those in the print edition (which is true of many online newspapers). Therefore, when this link no longer works because the Sun takes the story offline, the best way to locate it in the archives will be by date and the writer’s name.