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 Director's Notes
Mark Armstrong, Interim Director


Marc Armstrong, Interim Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, in his office.
PHOTO BY MYRIAM FALLON
These are interesting times in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I have been Interim Director for six months and I have learned a great deal about the discipline, as well as the people who do creative work in the School in their role as teachers, scholars, students and professionals. The main conclusion that I draw from my brief, but immersive, experience is that the School is truly a great place to be. We have a wonderful building and a faculty committed to providing a quality educational experience to our outstanding students.

With change comes uncertainty, however. This fall, the faculty have begun the process of reviewing the School and preparing a strategic plan that will guide developments over the next several years. This exercise is conducted periodically by all units in our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In fact, our self study is probably a bit overdue. Nevertheless, we are deeply involved in the process, meeting regularly, drafting sections for review and constructively debating the merits of pursuing different avenues for growth and change. As we move forward toward the completion of the study, it is also becoming apparent that uncertainty is being reduced. The more work we put into the process, the more comfortable we become with the results.

Ultimately, the study that we prepare will be sent to a review team that will be charged with evaluating the soundness of our plans. I am confident that they will provide a strong endorsement, and then the School will begin to change, once again, as we respond to broad currents in society and to changes in the technology that is used to support news gathering, editing and dissemination. Faculty and students must confront these changes and discover ways to employ new ideas that will enable our students to communicate information in a rapidly changing and shrinking world. These are interesting times, indeed and I will provide more details about our plans in a future edition of Iowa Journalist.

Daily Iowan TV and Coverage of the 21-Only Ordinance

For the first time, Daily Iowan Television went live over the UITV network to bring election results from the local ballot issue that would determine whether individuals less than 21 years old would be allowed into Iowa City bars after 10 pm. The issue was closely contested and it appeared that 19 and 20 year olds would be banned. This was not to be the case, however, as a procedural error in the system caused some results to be misreported. The error was spotted and corrected to reveal that the large student turnout had saved the day, so to speak. DITV was on the story, in any event.

Faculty Update

I am pleased to report that several JMC faculty were recently promoted. John Javier-Kimmich was promoted from Associate Professor to Professor, while Assistant Professors Frank Durham and Sujatha Sosale were each promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. Associate Professor Don McLeese received tenure. Congratulations to each of these distinguished faculty members!  




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