New Building, New Name

  • The Cathy and David Swofford Television Studio The Cathy and David Swofford Television Studio
  • The Cathy and David Swofford Television Studio The Cathy and David Swofford Television Studio
  • The Helen Devitt Jones Lecture Hall The Helen Devitt Jones Lecture Hall
  • KTXT-FM Studios KTXT-FM Studios
  • Student Media Reception Desk Student Media Reception Desk
  • Tiered classroom in the basement Tiered classroom in the basement

by Emily Pellegrini, photos by Trace Thomas

In the Fall of 2012, the College of Mass Communications will move into the refurbished Business Administration Building, with a new name to match the new building. The college now will be called the College of Media & Communication.

“College of Mass of Communications is a little outdated,” Founding Dean Jerry Hudson said, but he believes the new name will, “reflect more accurately the media aspect of the college.”

Kevin Stoker, Ph.D., associate dean of faculty in the college, led the committee for the college’s name change. Stoker said that mass communications no longer describes what the college does anymore. “Media is the most profound thing that we do,” he said. Stoker believes that the new name provides a focus for the college.

The process for the name change was by no means quick. As leader of the name change committee, Stoker said that the college came up with about three different names. In order for College of Media & Communication to be approved, the decision first was passed by faculty, and then by the Academic Council. The regents addressed and approved the new name at their next meeting in May, said Hudson. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was the last to approve the name. The process finished in July, and the new name will take effect Sept. 1.

Ian Scott is president of the Dean’s Student Council, a group started in 2009 by Hudson that meets monthly to provide feedback to the dean about what the students in the college think. Scott commented about the new name, saying, “I think it’s great,” he said. Scott also said that because media and mass communication are changing so rapidly, the new name is a reflection of these changes.

Throughout the entire name change process, the big question seemed to be, “What do we, as the College of Mass Communications, do?”

Hudson talked about the trend toward converging media in recent years, as well as the start of new media, such as social media.

“Media is still what we do,” Hudson said.

Many people confuse mass communications with speech or journalism, but the college offers more than just speech and journalism classes. This confusion further emphasized the need for a new and more current name.

Stoker also said that one of the college’s main focuses is on media, but more than just digital media. The college focuses on all forms of media. Stoker said that while media dominates what the college does, most of the college’s degrees still deal with some form of communication, one reason why both are represented in the new name.

Stoker said that he was “impressed with how willing everyone was to change names and improve the college.”

Scott believes the new name will be beneficial, saying that the change will “garnish more attention for the college,” and show the progression and direction of the college.

Hudson said the college is “looking forward to the new name.” He understands that the new name will take some time to get used to. The name change may be a little expensive, “But with the acronym the same, some money can be saved,” he said laughing.

Hudson also said that in anticipation for the move, the name may already be “College of Media & Communication” in the college’s computer system and that students should look for the new name during registration.

“People will probably refer to us for a few years as mass communications,” Hudson said, “but it will catch on.” mc

Emily Pellegrini is a junior journalism major from Moores Hill, Ind.
Trace Thomas is a senior public relations major from Levelland, Texas.

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