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State of the School 2013

September 16, 2013

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


Each year at this time, according to our Governance Document, the director of the Greenlee School writes a “State of the School” report. It sets the tone and the objectives for the rest of the academic year.

I had been working on that all week and just finished. You can read it at this site.

I have directed the School since 2003, so I am entering my 10th year in my position. It’s been a long journey, but the goal at Iowa State was simple: ensuring another generation of professionals and practitioners.

Because a decade of leadership is, in many ways, an occasion, I revisited my nine previous State of the School addresses. Reading through them, I came to treasure my faculty and staff even more because of their tireless work ethic and commitment to our profession and scholarship.

Our task here in Ames wasn’t easy. We had to succeed at ever greater levels during years of budget cuts, new budget models, new personnel, new administrations and, of course, the Great Recession.

In 2013, we are considered one of the premier journalism and mass communication programs in the country. However, if you read the address online, you’ll see that we took no shortcuts to achievement.

That harkened a line by our first African-American student and later, faculty member, George Washington Carver, who said, “There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation.”

Carver also foresaw knew how to achieve success. “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way,” he wrote, “you will command the attention of the world.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in that saying, and it applies to communication education as well as to those who administer ASJMC programs. If you are a chair, director or dean, and you do the common things well—calling faculty meetings, advocating for more salary and lines, practicing shared governance—you may not command the attention of the world, but you just may command the attention of your faculty. And when you do, you get to rejoice in their achievements.

That’s what I am doing today. I am rejoicing and feeling privileged to work with such splendid colleagues.

May you experience the same at your program.

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