August 12, 2011
Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology
Preparing for an annual convention differs somewhat for an administrator than for a professor.
Attendance is mandatory for an administrator as she or he must represent the program, whereas professors might decide to skip the event because they do not have a presentation.
Faculty who do attend may spend hours mastering their presentations, ensuring data are accurate and their posters, well-designed. You can view them in the business office of the hotel, making last-minute changes to PowerPoints and handouts.
Conventions also have a social side. For some, the occasion means a chance to network with editors at the book tables, catch up with the lives of friends and former colleagues, or just see the sights of a new city.
Administrators do much of the above, of course. But they also have to tend to departmental and school business, such as overseeing preparations for an open reception in one of the hotel rooms. They may be gathering names of potential external reviewers, meeting with benefactors living in the host city, and generally handling arrangements for any number of travel- and/or personnel-related matters.
For instance, we received late word from the Dean that we may be getting another faculty line. The decision is pending and won’t be known until after Sept. 1. Of course, with our convention starting this week, we cannot wait that long. We want to recruit as many top-quality applicants as possible. So we hurriedly assembled a flier, named an ad hoc committee and managed to get our information into the AEJMC jobs book.
That was a relief!
Also I’ll be meeting with another administrator about possible collaboration between our two schools. Collaboration may be the best way to ensure quality programming in the wake of the recession and decreasing budgets. However, in the interest of transparency, I notified my faculty today about my scheduled meeting and ensured colleagues that any collaboration must be approved by faculty via shared governance.
Throughout the conference I will be checking email, managing School business in Ames for incoming students.
Finally, I look forward to a joint reception on Friday at 8:35 p.m. in Room 322 with colleagues from Ohio University (where I worked for 18 years), Louisiana State University and the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy. We all agreed last year to save some funds by hosting a joint reception.
If you’re at AEJMC in St. Louis, stop by and say hello!