By Darin Watkins, Murrow College of Communication

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University has welcomed 14 new faculty members this semester, allowing the college to meet the growing demand for communications degrees, digital media education and communications research.

The new hires include eight new tenure-track faculty from other leading communications schools and six professional faculty from top communication organizations. This latest expansion is part of The Murrow College’s Strategic Plan and its Digital Convergence Curriculum, launched in 2011.

“These hires further The Murrow College’s growing reputation as one of the leading journalism and communication colleges in the nation,” said Prabu David, associate dean for Academics at The Murrow College. “We continue to attract world-class faculty who bring innovative research to the classroom and share their industry experience with students through hands-on learning.”

The 14 new faculty positions are made possible by a significant enrollment increase in journalism and communication majors. The Murrow College has seen a 56 percent increase in enrollment over the past five years – from about 450 in fall 2009 to just under 700 students in the fall of 2014. The college has been able to keep pace with the increase in demand by nearly doubling its faculty ranks during that same timeframe – from 23 faculty in fall 2009 to 45 faculty in fall 2014.

“The Murrow College is recognized as a top destination for innovative communications research faculty,” said David. “Our most recent tenure-track faculty hires bring with them a wide variety of experience from other leading communications programs including Cornell, Columbia, North Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford, and Wisconsin.

The new research faculty hires further enhance The Murrow College’s established research strengths in media and health promotion, science communication, and communication technology and social influence.

“Our six professional faculty hires bring real-world experience and practical knowledge into the classroom,” said Pintak. “These new faculty are experienced professional communicators from global organizations such as Microsoft, NBC, CBS, New York Times, Associated Press, and Al Jazeera.”

Hiring experienced communications professionals means students have the opportunity to gain practical skills first-hand and gain an understanding of what it takes to succeed in the highly competitive communication industry. Increasingly, this means students must have up-to-date knowledge of the latest digital communications technology and experience using it to produce digital media.

“Our goal is to weave digital literacy into every level of the student experience,” said Pintak. “Digital technology lies at the heart of The Murrow College’s future.”

Contact:

Darin Watkins – The Murrow College, darin.watkins@wsu.edu, (509) 335-4456