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College of Information and Communications

March 2017

From the Dean. . . 

Spring Break

It was 80 degrees on the USC Horseshoe the other day.  With scattered sunbathers and Frisbees. 

We call the balmy days of late February and early March our recruiting season.  Families from Ohio and Pennsylvania traipse south, shedding layers as they approach the warmth of Columbia and our campus.  They include high school seniors on the cusp of making the biggest decision of their 18-year-old lives.  Or juniors hopping from campus to campus trying to decide where they will apply later this year. 

I meet with these families whenever I can.  If there’s a tour passing through our building, I’m not shy about hijacking it.  Have you seen our broadcast studio?  Our digital photo lab?

Check the view from the roof terrace.  Don’t miss Davis College.

I have a litany for prospective students.  The key word is “fit.”  What’s a good fit for you? Not mom or dad, though they may have a financial interest.  Big school or small school?  In-state or out-of-state?  Public or private?  Urban or cow pasture?  (Subtle.)  ACC basketball or SEC football?  That should be the easy one.  Ok, better when we have winning seasons.

This works for faculty recruits, too.  It’s especially effective when they are coming from Syracuse or Michigan.  When do azaleas bloom north of the Mason-Dixon line?  Our directors, Andrea Tanner and David Lankes, are having strong faculty recruiting seasons.  We’ll tell you more about them when they show up for fall semester in the balmy days of August.

Spring break is this week, as we send out our March eNews message.  It’s more than just a harbinger of spring.  It’s a signal that the semester is speeding by.  Faculty adjust their courses to squeeze in all they’d hoped to complete in the semester.  Freshmen start to recognize that they just might survive their first year of college.  At least, we hope they are seeing signs of success.  Seniors eye the nearing of the graduation date they’ve circled on their calendars.  Some may be a bit panicky.  Some may be on autopilot.  Some are already nostalgic for the best four years of their lives they are about to leave behind.  Some can hardly wait to dash into their next adventure.

The college is, of course, open for business over spring break.  So, if you are spring breaking yourselves, drop by and see SLIS, SJMC and USC in full bloom.  You probably won’t have to duck Frisbees, as I did the other day.

One of my senior broadcast journalism students told me she’s going on a cruise.  Nice.  I’ll be working on the college’s annual planning document, our Blueprint for Academic Excellence.  It’s due right after spring break.  But I hope to do it from an undisclosed location where I can also keep an eye on the budding arrival of spring.

Hope your world is in blossom, too.


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