LETTER TO THE EDITOR | CCOM should be a professional college

I am a 1966 graduate of Butler University and a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I’m proud to have served on the Board of Visitors to the Jordan College of Fine Arts for a decade.

In a recent article by Brooke Deady in The Butler Collegian (“CCOM introduces new major,” March 30), associate dean Ann Savage was quoted as saying, “The College of Communications is not a professional college.”

As a professional broadcaster for nearly 45 years, I have taken issue with this philosophy from the moment I heard of the convergence proposal forming CCOM. Mass communications is a profession—an important one.

When the media arts department flourished in the Jordan College of Fine Arts, adjunct faculty with impressive credentials inspired, nurtured and mentored students for decades.

I had the unbelievable experience of studying the art of sports reporting at the feet of iconic sports legend, Tom Carnegie. He would not be welcome in this environment.

I had concerns about the convergence process when I first learned of it. At Butler President Bobby Fong’s suggestion, I requested more information and was treated an entire day with faculty of the proposed new college.

I was encouraged by comments of people I’ve known and have respected at Butler. They were convinced that creativity, originality and respectability would continue to thrive in the field of media arts but, media arts doesn’t even require a course in performance.

This college is heavy on academic degrees and has become short on professional credentials.

Not a professional college? That wouldn’t fly in the colleges of pharmacy, business, education and fine arts.

While I can wholeheartedly recommend my alma mater to students seeking a liberal arts education with a foundation for a rewarding career, I cannot in good faith recommend the College of Communications to any student who has the dreams and aspirations I had when I enrolled at Butler.

Barry G. Hohlfelder
1966 Alumnus, Butler University

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