hires who lack basic skills. There is no way to confront this directly; one can only hope that seeing your students, facilities, and faculty will over time erode that attitude.
About the only time local media leaders who are not our alumni take the initiative to contact departments is when they think we have done something wrong. During our time as department chairs, we received several calls from local station managers asking why our graduates did not know this or that particular piece of information. When this happens to you, use these as teachable moments. Invite the caller to the office, hear their complaints, and then use the opportunity to educate them about what you really do, as opposed to what they think you should be doing. Our guests always left impressed with what we were trying to accomplish, and asked how they could help the department. Although the initial contact may not be particularly pleasant, the outcome of such encounters can be quite positive.
Dealing with your outside constituencies -- other departments on campus, partners in industry, and your alumni -- represents one of the most important, yet least emphasized, things that a department administrator must attend to. Most department administrators understand how easy it is to get caught up in the bureaucratic minutia of the job, only lifting your head from the sea of paper and required signatures to prepare the next budget, supervise the next hire, build the next course schedule, or more likely, put out the latest fire that should never have been started in the first place. Given all that, it is still important to make time for these external constituencies. Spending some quality time on the issues we have addressed in this chapter can lead to a more respected, increasingly productive, and higher quality program.
Blanchard R. O., & Christ W. G. ( 1993). Media education and the liberal arts: A blueprint for the new professionalism. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Christ W. G. (Ed.). ( 1994). Assessing communications education: A handbook for media, speech, and theatre educators. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Christ W. G. (Ed.). ( 1997). Media education assessment handbook. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Christ W. G., & Blanchard R. O. ( 1994). "Mission statements, outcomes, and the new liberal arts". In W. G. Christ (Ed.), Assessing communication education: A handbook for media, speech, and theatre educators (pp. 31-55). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.