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Spring Break Business

March 11, 2016

Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology


Administrators work through weekends, holidays and also Spring Break. Granted, you can still take time off from paperwork and actually use the spare time for research which, in part, I plan on doing.

But there is a list of tasks that we typically must complete before we can enjoy any down-time.

March is a mad, mad month, especially if you’re on the semester system. There are annual reviews to process, budget planning to do for the next fiscal year, promotion and tenure wrap-ups, and, in our case at the Greenlee School, the Chicago meeting of the Accrediting Committee of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

We are in a good place with no non-compliances; but the Accrediting Committee is the prosecutorial arm of the process, and we do anticipate some questions being raised as referenced in our site-team report. My job is to prepare for those questions with sound-bite replies … and hope that I am not asked anything.

I have been to many Accrediting Committee and Accrediting Council meetings and have seen some chairs, directors and deans use the occasion to argue or (aghast!) make announcements about their programs.

Good administrators should be seen at those meetings and not heard (unless asked).

For part of my Spring Break I will be doing research on journalism ethics and big data, hoping to get another paper submission filed before the April 1 deadline of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference portal. I’m giving myself 50-50 odds.

However, before I can leave the office this week I have to do two things for the faculty—one a congratulation and the other, a reminder.

Congrats first. I just sent out this message: “Please know how much we appreciate all the work you have done thus far in the semester. We hope you will be taking some time off to enjoy Spring Break and be refreshed when you return for the final weeks of the semester. You are an incredible faculty and staff. We are enjoying a fabulous year thanks to your efforts. We know them. We appreciate them. We flourish because of them.”

I also have to remind them about our end-of-the-month faculty meeting, March 25. I will need their material in advance. We usually post the faculty meeting agenda one week before the actual meeting, but because of Spring Break, we can only do this about three days ahead of time. I reminded the faculty and staff about that deadline and sent information about what we anticipate on the agenda: A visit by our Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, a ballot for our Alumni Award. and Curriculum Committee catalog copy.

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