Letter from the Director: Dan McDonald

Dan McDonaldAs the world changes, universities try to keep up with, and anticipate, change. We have to, because we are educating and training our students to be in the workplace for 40 or more years. As director of the School of Communication, I see change in many different areas, all at the same time. My job is as much about helping the school coordinate and adapt to change as it is anything else.  

We strive to maintain the highest quality liberal arts education coupled with training for industries that are in flux. This year, we added two new faculty members and hired four more to begin this fall. We’re adding new courses and changing some of our older courses to fit the latest industry trends and match the training these faculty have had and our students will need.

We are very grateful to alumni who are providing their insights into the creation of our new social media lab. Scheduled for completion in autumn, the laboratory will reflect what is happening in the communication industries. Students will learn about social listening, gleaning insights from social media through a more studied and analytic approach.

Our student-driven initiatives continue to change with the times, and The Lantern is no different. The publication continues to win many awards (including, among many others, the 6th straight year as best collegiate newspaper in Ohio) and expanding its reach. This year we’ve also added a course with Lantern TV. Our alums continue to be active in sponsoring editorships and special awards for the students.  We (and the students) appreciate that very much, and know we can’t do these things without you.

We will have an external review in 2016-17.  We are focusing on the curriculum, analyzing trends in enrollments, job placements for undergraduate and graduate students and change in the industries and in academics. This is a time when our alumni can help the school by offering their ideas and opinions about the future of the fields in which they work or have worked. The insight alums can offer are invaluable as we plan and move forward.  

Lastly, I want to say what a pleasure it has been for me to connect or reconnect personally with our alumni. Please feel free to contact me any time, through the school or via email (mcdonald.221@osu.edu). We want to know what you are doing and we’d love to get you more involved with the school.