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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Motley Responds to Fourth ‘R’ Concerns

Motley Responds to Fourth ‘R’ Concerns

Debate rose up again at this week’s Faculty Council meeting over Interim Chancellor Keith Motley’s “R,” also known as “renewal.”

The fourth “R,” which Motley introduced in a September speech to the campus community and coupled with ex-Chancellor Jo Ann Gora’s three “Rs” (retention, research, and reputation), has drawn the concern of some faculty.

“I think it’s confusing,” said Gonzalo Bacigalupe, associate professor of counseling and school psychology, noting that he had spoken to a puzzled candidate for a position at the Graduate College of Education who had asked about the four “Rs.”

Motley, a potential candidate for the permanent position, said “renewal” was getting the city to understand UMass Boston is a university on the move, and renewing its spirit, attitude, and research. “I am going to be talking about renewal as long as I am chancellor,” he said. “My agenda is to be chancellor right now.”

At a meeting of the chancellor search committee November 23, members debated over whether to include “renewal” among the other “Rs” in a description of the university that was to be sent out to prospective candidates. With several professors dubbing it a “talking point” from Motley’s convocation speech and not as institutionalized as the Gora “Rs,” the “renewal” was moved towards the back of the document.

The search committee, which hopes to have a finalist by early spring to be approved by UMass President Jack Wilson and the UMass Board of Trustees in May, next meets on December 17.

Comm. Studies Director Joining President’s Office

Professor Mark Schlesinger is leaving the communication studies program after eight years at the helm, stepping down so he can split his time between teaching courses on campus and working at the UMass President’s Office downtown.

In a recent newsletter to students and alumni of the program, Schlesinger wrote the reasons were “chiefly personal,” with him wanting to spend more time with family. He will continue to direct the program for the remainder of the 2004 academic year.

“At UMB, I’ll continue most directorial duties and will teach the seminar,” he wrote of plans for this coming spring. “At the President’s Office, I’ll coordinate cross-campus efforts to improve instruction through the effective use of academic technology.”

Schlesinger wrote that both he and Ellen Hume, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who Schlesinger brought on several years ago, are working with American Studies chair Lois Rudnick and College of Liberal Arts Dean Donna Kuizenga “to assure stable and competent leadership for the program next year and beyond.”

Communication Studies, currently in the middle of a periodic self-study and evaluation, has gone through several radical changes since Schlesinger took over, moving from the arts department to American Studies, upgrading from a certificate program to a minor, and the hiring of Hume. The program now houses nearly 45 students, Schlesinger notes in the newsletter, doubling from three years ago.

The spring semester appears to hold more in store for students, with the program offering an independent study with radio producer Bruce Gellerman, who has worked with NPR and WBUR. The independent study will give students the chance to design and create a radio series on local community leaders, expected to be aired on WUMB over the summer.

“Students will explore the history of broadcast journalism, and will participate in all aspects of research and production for the series,” Schlesinger wrote.