IU Provost To Recommend Journalism, Telecom Merger

During her state of the campus address, IU Provost Lauren Robel said she would recommend the merger of four schools.

franklin hall

Photo: Liz P (flickr)

If the journalism and telecommunications departments are merged, they would likely be housed in Franklin Hall.

Indiana University’s provost says she will recommend pushing forward with a controversial merger of several schools on the Bloomington campus.

For months, rumors swirled about putting IU’s schools of journalism, communication and culture, telecommunications and film studies under one roof.  That roof, Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel announced Tuesday, will be on top of Franklin Hall.  Robel says she heard from what felt like every faculty member of the four schools before making her choice.

“I’ve concluded that these programs have a bright future and will best serve students if they are combined into a single school, if the campus can invest the appropriate resources in facilities and faculty and if the departments can repurpose their exiting resource away from administrative overheard and toward their shared academic mission,” she says.

Telecommunications professor emeritus Herb Terry says the four schools are similar enough to be merged, but admits there will be growing pains as downsizing occurs.

“Ego’s a problem,” he says. “What I hope is that ego can be overcome by good will. There is a decision to move in this direction. She pointed out that we can’t spend huge resources on maintaining everyone’s current administrative structure with associate chairs and all of this sort of thing.”

Robel says she will make a formal recommendation to university administrators in April, but a timetable for when the merger or the move to the new space might be completed has not been announced.

See the full speech below.

State of the Campus 2013 by Indiana Public Media News

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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