New Changes in the Journalism Department
Journalism department hires two new full-time faculty members.
December 3, 2003 6:08 PM
SF State's journalism department faces changes for the coming semesters. After hiring two of the current lecturers to teach full time beginning in the spring, it appears that the journalism department's faculty will be composed mostly of full-time tenure-track faculty. Because of these hires , many of the part-time lecturers who have long been teaching in the department will likely not be returning.
Faculty members are confident that full-time faculty will ultimately strengthen a department's future. With teachers who will be with the department year after year, faculty members feel that they will provide the department with consistency and a chance to grow overall.
Many journalism students, however, are concerned about what this may mean for the department and for their education.
"It's good for consistency," journalism student Milan Gagnon said, "but it seems that faculty will be spread really thin next semester."
The journalism department began posting job advertisements last December in various professional publications, Web sites and job lists for a full-time tenure-track faculty member.
During the screening and review process, the hiring committee found that two of the finalists were both very qualified. According to hiring committee chair Austin Long-Scott, the committee had trouble choosing between the two candidates and Dean of Humanities Paul Sherwin opted to hire both of the finalists if they could find the resources to allow it.
Sherwin said that they did not want to choose one candidate over the other and possibly begin another search in the future, so they decided to hire them both. "We saw an opportunity to strengthen the department," Sherwin said.
The university had established a New Wave Initiative, where, according to Sherwin, roughly 75 full-time faculty members were being sought by the university over a three-year period. These hires would be funded by the university. According to Edna Lee, administrative analyst for the journalism department, SF State had long been criticized for hiring a lot of part-time lecturers. This initiative is a commitment by the university to hire more full-time tenure-track faculty to bring strength to various departments.
With only one job advertised, funded, and approved by the university, the hiring committee worked with the College of Humanities and the university to scramble together the funds to employ a second faculty member. Journalism faculty and Dean Sherwin remained ambiguous about how much had to be compensated for and where the funds came from, citing that budget issues are very complex and that discussions between the hiring committee are confidential.
With entering full-time assistant professors starting at a salary ranging from $45,000 to $51,000, plus benefits, and lecturers earning a range of $4,000-6,000 per class, the decision to hire two full-time faculty is an expensive one. But faculty members are confident that filling the department with full-time faculty and minimizing part-time lecturers will give the department more stability and consistency in the future. "Lecturers come and go," Sherwin said. "Full-time faculty are here year after year."
Lee said most departments likely only hired one new faculty. "It shows that the university must value the journalism department," Lee said, "to allow for two positions."
However the funds were obtained, the journalism department hired two full-time tenure-track faculty members to begin this Spring 2004 semester. Yumi Wilson and Rachele Kanigel, who have both lectured in the journalism department before, were the two candidates selected to join SF State's full-time faculty.
Wilson reported for the Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle, covering a variety of topics, including San Francisco City Hall, state government and the Los Angeles riots of the early 1990s. She is currently the deputy readers representative at the SF Chronicle, where she acts as a liaison between readers and the editorial staff.
Kanigel, currently an assistant professor of journalism and media analysis at CSU Monterey Bay, has written over a thousand articles in newspapers, magazines, and online. She has written on a wide range of topics, including health and science, criminal justice, government and business.
The two new hires will minimize the need to employ part-time lecturers in the future. This semester, eight lecturers taught in the journalism department. According to next semester's schedule, only four lecturers are scheduled to teach classes, each teaching just one course. The rest of the part-time faculty will likely not return.
"It is nearly impossible to imagine that I'll be returning next semester or ever," lecturer Don Menn said. "[Department Chair] John Burks and Dean Sherwin have both indicated that the two new hires will eliminate the need for outside lecturers as far into the future as they can see."
"It's a shame that we pay all these fees, and we don't get to decide what kind of education we receive."
Dean Sherwin explains that this situation is not unique to the journalism department and has occurred in many other departments at the university. "You want full-time faculty," he said. "They carry the department year in and year out."
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University