The growth of colleges of communication has provided a degree of
protection to the field, provided that departments within those structures maintain quality and reach out effectively and proactively to other
areas of the university. More vulnerable are communication programs
within liberal arts or arts and sciences colleges that have been undervalued, misunderstood, and underappreciated. In some cases, units are
under attack for superficial or stereotypical reasons that belie their
quality and centrality within the university. The field must mount a
defense of the discipline that transcends the peculiarities of a particular
campus and insulates units from unwarranted assaults.With information industries becoming increasingly important to the
world economy, communication programs are in an excellent position
to raise their status within the institution and to build firmer links to a
brighter future. For this to happen, a new generation of frontline leaders
will have to push their units closer to the mainstream of the university
and be willing to alter their own structures to converge with a changing
academic and professional marketplace.
APPENDIX: SUMMARY OF SUGGESTIONS
TO FACE REALIGNMENT AND DOWNSIZING
|1. ||Preventative measures|
|a. ||Develop a database that certifies academic and extracurricular quality.|
|b. ||Use interdisciplinary programs and initiatives to become
more central in the university.|
|c. ||Choose leaders capable of positioning units more favorably
within and outside the university.|
|d. ||Reach out to external constituencies.|
|2. ||Reactive measures|
|a. ||Assess proposals for downsizing or realignment objectively.|
|b. ||Present a realistic, positive alternative that is sensitive to
|c. ||Build and mobilize a wide-ranging coalition of support for an
|d. ||Devise a multilevel communication strategy that deals systematically with every decision-making person or group affecting
the future of the unit.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Leadership in Times of Change:A Handbook for Communication and Media Administrators.
Contributors: William G. Christ - Editor.
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ.
Publication year: 1999.
Page number: 257.
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