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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media


Despite the rumors floating around campus about the uncertain future of the College of Public and Community Service, Interim Dean of the College, Professor Carroy “Cuf” Ferguson is optimistic that improved communication and an expansion of the program will set the school on the right path. Ferguson became acting dean of CPCS on July 6 following the controversial resignation of Dean Adenrele Awotona after allegations of a lack of communication between the former dean, his faculty and staff, and his students.

According to Ferguson, CPCS is currently going through the process of restructuring. He and his colleagues have developed what he calls a three to five year strategic plan for “revitalizing, renewing, and growing the college.”

Contrary to gossip suggesting that there were no new students enrolled in CPCS this fall, there were indeed a few students admitted into various programs this semester.

“[They] did a limited, targeted admission: re-admits, Labor & Gerontology Certificate students, students in the Gerontology program, and Science in Human Services Masters students,” Ferguson said.

Although the college plans to begin full enrollment as early as the spring semester, a brief visit to the CPCS website seems very discouraging to potential new students. The link to apply brings you to a dead link without any explanation or tentative date for the application process to start up again, and another link to learn more about the college is followed by the words “coming soon.”

Ferguson said he thinks the biggest challenge ahead of CPCS will be to connect and communicate with potential students in order to overcome the school’s sullied reputation that originated from a failure to communicate.

The first of many steps in the overall strategic plan to revitalize the school, the involvement of the community is already working to restore the college’s reputation. At a recent community meeting, participants were broken up into groups in order to brainstorm three different themes in regards to the college: what should stay, what needs to see changes, and what should be added to the structure and functionality of the college in order to make it better.

Additionally, Ferguson said he’s started what he describes as a series of “ongoing journal entries,” in which he openly discusses and reflects upon the progress of the college. His entries, which he has titled, “Off the ‘Cuf’ Remarks Journal,” are being shared with not only the faculty and staff in CPCS, but also with its most important resource: the students.

While increased communication alone is not about to solve all of the problems facing CPCS, it is the first, and one of the most important steps toward rebuilding not only the college itself, but also the interest and confidence of the UMass community in the college.