Strategic communication department holds town hall to address concerns

Strategic communication students will not experience any changes in graduation requirements despite changes in course offerings for the spring semester.

Strategic communications program director Mark Rademacher held a town hall meeting to answer questions students asked about potential requirement changes on Thursday in Gallahue Hall.

Strategic communications encompasses public relations and advertising programs. The class cuts that the strategic communications program experienced caused some students to wonder what that meant for them and their degree.

“For those of you in the program, nothing has changed,” Rademacher said. “The requirements are the same. Your degree is still the same.

“The requirements you came into the program under are the requirements you need to graduate.”

One class that was cut, a section of Special Topics in Public Relations, was a course that taught students how to build and create their portfolios.

The students present at the meeting expressed concern over the loss of the course.

“From my intern experience, having a portfolio is extremely important and that class was one of the few offered at Butler to help me learn how to create a creative design portfolio, so I wouldn’t have felt comfortable without that course,” senior strategic communications major Jonathan Spear said. “We keep talking about trying to boost this college and this program, but to me, I don’t think we have the courses to back it up.”

Rademacher explained that the decision to cut the course was something unavoidable because of staffing and other resources.

“We’re hoping to bring it back,” Rademacher said. “I wish we could have avoided it, but as a non-required class, it was one that wasn’t able to be offered this spring.”

It would have been impossible to keep all of the courses with the resources available to the program, professor Ed Kanis said.

“We’ve tried to implement a lot of things with essentially the same resources,” Kanis said. “It’s like living in the same house and deciding you want a bigger house, but you don’t have the money for a bigger house. It just doesn’t work.”

As far as removing the major from the journalism program, Rademacher assured students that they have no reason to worry.

“Strategic communications will still be strongly based around the methods and background of journalism,” Rademacher said. “We’ve just moved out from underneath the journalism school umbrella.”

Communication has been crucial to the development of the College of Communication, Rademacher said, and the staff is committed to continue the exchange of ideas as the college continues to grow.

“This isn’t one person’s vision,” Rademacher said. “It’s a collaborative effort. I’m just here to make sure we go ahead in the direction that we had agreed upon. This is our first attempt to start a dialog and to develop a program that benefits everyone.”

Spear said he wasn’t convinced.

“We asked for this college and we’ve been told ‘it’s coming, it’s here,’” Spear said. “We just don’t know what exactly is coming.”

Rademacher told students that they should not feel held back by the courses and internships the college offers.

“Don’t feel limited by what we have done,” Rademacher said. “Go make leaps. Show them what Butler students are and what they can do. Push us to push you.”

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