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College of Information and Communications

January eNews

From the Dean . . .


Happy New Year to all.  We are back after a needed couple weeks of decompression and rejuvenation.  Now we just need to work off the Christmas cookies.

Last fall was about as busy as it gets on campus.  I've talked a lot here about the new journalism building and the Cocky's Reading Express  10th anniversary.  Great accomplishments, but last year's news.

Our School of Journalism and Mass Communications starts the New Year with a new director, Dr. Andrea Tanner.  Andrea is hardly new to us.  She's been on the faculty since 2000 and stepped in last summer to serve as interim director.  We conducted a national search and brought several candidates to campus, but I believe the best choice was right here.

In the days just ahead, we'll have candidates for director of our School of Library and Information Science on campus. Dr. Sam Hastings plans to step down this coming summer after 10 years leading the school.  No, I hadn't planned to do double director searches.  It just worked out that way.

January and February will be frenetic in South Carolina.  And in Iowa and New Hampshire.  It's the quadrennial political circus come to town.  True, it seems like the presidential candidates have been in our midst for ages.  They have.  Politics is a never -ending campaign.  The South Carolina primaries are on February 20 (Republicans) and 27 (Democrats).  South Carolina residents can vote in either, but not both.

That will be a quiz question in the Media & Politics course I'm teaching during spring semester.  It's part of our capstone Senior Semester where students will be out covering the presidential candidates campaigning here.  It's a great experience in Realpolitik for the students.  Senior Semester produces our daily Carolina News for broadcast and streaming, as well as online and print stories distributed throughout the state by the South Carolina Press Association. 

I'm rather looking forward to hearing about the students' first encounters with a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump.  We'll tell those stories, too.

For many of our students, 2016 will be their first chance to vote in a presidential election.  My hope is that the class experience makes them wiser voters when that time comes.

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Charles Bierbauer

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