CComm searches for new faculty

The College of Communication is on the hunt for three new faculty members.  Candidates are vying for positions in creative studies, journalism and strategic communication.

Interim Dean of the CComm, William Neher, said the college is placing a high priority on the candidate’s ability to teach undergraduates.

He said that is not always the case.

“Sometimes you are looking for someone who can teach graduate school or has a research emphasis, but our first concern now is someone who can go into that freshman writing class and do very well with those students,” he said.

Neher said that a teaching emphasis is something unique to Butler.

“We emphasis undergraduate teaching more than a larger institution might,” he said.
Sophomore Becca Smith said she hopes the new professors also bring professional experience.

“I would hope that they were active in today’s field and up-to-date with all the things that have been changing within communications,” she said.  “So many things have changed that anyone that has not worked in the field within the last few years would lose important insight.”

The newly-hired professors would teach mostly introductory courses.

Smith said because the professors will be teaching introductory classes, they should stress certain aspects of the field.

“Introductory classes should also show how exciting our field is and all the great things that can be done with a communications degree,” she said.

The search process began over a year ago, when the university administration approved it.

In the fall, a search committee of relevant faculty was assembled. The committee prepared a job description for each position.  The positions were advertised nationally.

Neher said each application that comes in is carefully reviewed by the search committee.

“The committee holds meetings to sort through the piles of applications that stack up and pick out the ones that look the best and meet the criteria and standards for the job description,” he said.

The committee picks the top three candidates for each position, and each candidate is invited for a two-day campus visit.

“They do a teaching demo with a real class,” Neher said. “They also have time to make a lecture to faculty and interested staff based on their research.”

Candidates for the strategic communications position visited campus last week.  Their names were not released because the search is ongoing.

The college is holding interviews to fill the positions back-to-back-to-back.