It’s a new week and new month and I’m starting it all in “The Bayou State.”
Later this afternoon, I’ll be joining 16 other journalism and mass communication administrators, professors and communication professionals in Baton Rouge for the 2014 Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy.
It’s kind of a summer camp for college administrators in journalism.
For the next three or four days we’ll be talking about what it means to lead journalism programs like mine in an environment of rapid change both in media industries and in higher education.
“We started the academy to help the nation’s journalism and mass communication schools fill an increasing number of leadership positions,” said Mike Philipps, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “It is gratifying – and encouraging – to see so many alumni at the helm of these institutions where they are distinguishing themselves and improving the profession.”
I’m looking forward to re-connecting with several who I’ve gotten to know in national organizations like the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Broadcast Education Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists and making new friends at mass media programs around the nation.
Among those speaking this week is the newly-appointed dean of the College of Communication at Penn State Marie Hardin.
At the same time, I’ll be rubbing shoulders with giants in the journalism field like Ken Paulson, who led USA Today and now is communication dean at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. There’s also former editor of Montgomery Advertiser Wanda Lloyd, who in another life led the Diversity Institute at Freedom Forum.
Today Lloyd is leading the Mass Communication program at Savannah State University.
As new college administrators, Paulson and Lloyd are joining me as academy participants.
Nearly 100 participants have graduated from the academy and hold various administrative positions at institutions around the country including the University of Florida, the University of Maryland, Elon University, The Pennsylvania State University, Hampton University and Northwestern.
“Nothing is more important to mass communication education than developing future leaders. That is the sole purpose of the academy, and its results already are apparent in dean, director and chair offices around the country,” said Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School at Louisiana State University.
In a previous life, Ceppos was an editor at the San Jose Mercury News and an executive at what was Knight Ridder Newspapers.
Tonight he’s hosting all of the academy participants for dinner at his home.
It should be a memorable week!