Saturday, December 08, 2007

Semester ends, Fifth anniversary approaches

Well, it's been a memorable fall semester for those of us in the Department of Journalism at the University of Alabama-- memorable in that we have moved forward under the direction of a new department chair.

The television world is quite different from academe in that change happens so much faster. In five years, one is likely to have at least two managers as people move about from station to station.

Here at Alabama, we've had an acting/interim department chair or coordinator for three full academic years (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007). Finally this past summer, Dr. Jennifer Greer joined us from the University of Nevada-Reno. Since coming on board, we've successfully revised our undergraduate curriculum and begun searches to fill one current and one anticipated faculty opening.

We even have new faculty Web pages on the University of Alabama Web site. I love my new photo.

It's worthwhile reflecting on what might otherwise appear to be internal business.. But it's not really internal if it involves one of the best journalism programs in the Southeast. Good news travels fast. So, I'm just helping it travel faster.

I've learned how important leadership is to the success of even an academic department. We had a leader for several years who retired and without an immediate replacement, we didn't move forward, per se.

Nonetheless, the fall semester ended December 7 with a wonderful holiday luncheon at which time we recognized the outstanding students who assisted us in the department this semester.

You can see more photos on my Flickr site.

With the end of each fall semester, I'm reminded of my move to Alabama, which occurred just after the Fall Semester 2002 ended for me at the University of Georgia.

I've now officially been in Tuscaloosa five years-- as long as I was in Athens-- the only other place outside of my hometown of Richmond, Va. where I've lived that long.

In 2008, that tenure in Athens falls to 3rd place in locations George Daniels has lived the longest--and Tuscaloosa moves up to 2nd. I suppose it IS the stability that I was seeking as I transitioned from the world of television news to the world of higher education.

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