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College of Information and Communications

February 2016

From the Dean . . .


When I teach writing courses, I tell students they have a lifetime allotment of three exclamation points. And here I’ve gone and used one-third of my quota.

Our School of Journalism and Mass Communications has achieved LEED GOLD certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. That means we are environmentally friendly and conscientious. It seems worth an exclamation point.

We worked with our architects, The Boudreaux Group of Columbia, to design a building that took into consideration environmental concerns from roof to below ground. All university building projects, whether new or renovations, are required to at least seek LEED certification. It stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There are four levels—certified, silver, gold and platinum—with increasing degrees of difficulty to obtain. A bit like Olympic medals.

There is a measure of suspense in the process. You don’t find out until the building is complete what points you have earned in such categories as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design. We received 4 of 6 possible points for innovation in design, which speaks well to how our architects envisioned transforming the old Health Sciences building into its revitalized form. Saving the building and maintaining its existing walls, floors and roof were worth 3 of a possible 3 points.

We set out to ensure we would reach silver status; gold was going to be a reach. It takes some calculation. We got 6 big points for being at a site that has public transportation access. That was easy. A point for outdoor air delivery monitoring. We weighed the cost/benefit of design elements. Impounding rainwater seemed too high a cost for a possible point.

Our roof garden is proving a great attraction. At ground level, we now have landscaping instead of a patch of dirt and six blades of grass. We received two points for water efficient landscaping. There are no points awarded for mood enhancement, but there ought to be. If my exclamation point quota were not constrained, I’d add one there.

Meanwhile, we’ve begun student broadcasts from the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio. I’m eager to see it when the surrounding gardens are in spring bloom. We’re green in a lot of ways. And gold.

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Charles Bierbauer

College News . . .

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Help SLIS with flooding research

Did you visit your local library during the October flooding? Did you surf your library’s website during the flooding? If so, please take a quick survey to help us with our research on users’ information seeking during the flooding.

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Former professor and advertising guru dies

Former professor Ralph Morgan, who inspired many advertising students to become media planners and buyers, passed away.

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SJMC faculty changes

  • Dr. Sei-Hill Kim has been appointed Associate Director for Graduate Studies and Research.
  • Dr. Brooke McKeever will assume the position of MMC Program Coordinator following Dr. Tom Klipstine’s May retirement.
  • Dr. Cathy Li has accepted an assistant professor position at San Jose State University.