Faculty voice:

Prabu David: A Time for Reflection

Jan. 20, 2016

Prabu David currently serves as the dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. He began his position at MSU Jan. 1, 2015 and came from Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University where he was a professor of communication and associate dean for academics.

At a recent staff meeting, our staff teased me for my penchant for the number five when I listed five items on my agenda. I seem to have become fixated with the number five. They have a point. It should come as no surprise, then, that we started off this year with five goals. Here’s a quick update.

Adding 25 new faculty. With retirements, faculty transitions and good stewardship of resources by the college leadership team, we were able to announce 15 open tenure-track lines. This is quite remarkable. Most universities have approximately 15 tenure-track lines, period. We are in a position to add 15 more to our roster. Various offers have been made and we are making good progress with these searches.

That’s not all. In keeping with our commitment to the arts, we will be adding 10 professors of practice, to teach skills, such as multiplatform journalism, advertising, game design, audio and video production.

I believe we already have the best collection of faculty in the discipline. Twenty-five new faculty will make us even better.

Currently, we are ranked sixth in the world by QS. Much like our Spartan football and basketball teams who will settle for nothing less than a national championship, we will strive to become the best in our field. And that is a very realistic goal.

Online M.A. program. In Fall 2016, we will launch an online M.A. program in strategic communication aimed at working professionals. With the reputation of our college, talented faculty and vast alumni base, we have an opportunity to offer career-enhancing training to communication professionals. I am happy to report that our faculty has created a rich curriculum that is ready for launch in the fall. Surprisingly, in the state of Michigan, options for an online M.A. in strategic communication are limited. Our online M.A. program will fill this gap.

Foundational Sandbox Curriculum. Our students excel in content creation and media design and win numerous awards based on training they receive in our current Sandbox curriculum. Our faculty has consolidated courses to create a more rigorous, cohesive and creative foundational curriculum in content creation, storytelling, illustration, animation and game design that will be ready for launch in Fall 2016. This curriculum will be available to all students in our college and eventually to all students at MSU.

Media Center. To enrich student experience, we are designing an innovative space for instruction in new media. One half of this space will house a live newsroom with integrated social media feeds and a studio with live streaming of audio and video. The other half is a creative space for instruction and creation of media arts, including motion capture and game design. Through the proximity of these spaces and specialized courses, we hope to spark creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as well synergies between multiplatform journalism and the media arts.

Capital Campaign. To accomplish the above goals, we need financial support. I am happy to report that our development team has been on a mission and with great support we have reached the 66% mark of our campaign goal of $18.5 million.

We can take pride in the progress toward these goals. But we can never forget that our primary asset is our faculty and staff. They turn students into successes.

Reprinted with permission from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Photo by Stacy Hoxsey