Brighter Future Possible for Cal Poly Journalism Department

During September 2010 I posted a commentary online that was reposted elsewhere.

What I wrote was a strong expression of the anger that I felt about troubles within the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Journalism Department.

I could not understand how a once vibrant Cal Poly Journalism Department that shaped my professional career in the 1970s could look like a train wreck in the 2000s. I am not the only alum who came to believe that the widely publicized bickering among faculty members was the root cause of the descent of the Cal Poly Journalism Department. Ironic how the department that teaches public relations could let faculty bickering spiral out of control into a major public relations disaster.

That was why I posted my recommendation online in 2010 that Cal Poly alumni should withhold financial support for the Journalism Department. As someone who has earned a doctoral degree and has worked full-time with numerous faculty members at several academic institutions, I know that faculty bickering is a 100% preventable condition.

But, I accept that the past belongs in the past. Today I am convinced that a professional focus upon rebuilding the reputation of the Journalism Department and earning accreditation is the only way to go.

As 2011 begins, I am encouraged that Linda Halisky, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Harvey Levenson, interim chair of the Journalism Department, have been working to craft many tangible changes designed to improve the management, operations and reputation of the Cal Poly Journalism Department.

From all I have seen, I sincerely feel that the work begun by Halisky and Levenson deserves a closer look by all who care about Cal Poly. I believe now is especially a time of need for Cal Poly Journalism alumni to support–both financially and professionally–the reform efforts of Halisky and Levenson.

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