Message from Bruce Pinkleton
Interim Dean of the Murrow College
More than 60 years ago, Edward R. Murrow had the courage to speak for the value of civil discourse and our nation’s principles during a time when doing so could result in personal harm.
In 1954, Murrow reminded viewers of timeless and fundamental principles that still ring true: “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.”
Over the last several years, social media have significantly changed how we communicate and consume news and other forms of information. We see and experience this every day as we track news events in real time, follow headlines increasingly dominated by the Twitter feeds of prominent individuals or simply exchange photos with loved ones a continent away.
Even though methods of communication continue to transform our industries, Murrow’s approach, perspectives and standards are as relevant today as the day he first spoke them. Murrow is the standard bearer for courage, ethics and innovation in journalism. His dedication to truthful, accurate storytelling and his desire to educate the world about the events of his time continue to live on in the spirit of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
It is with this understanding that College faculty members seek to expand Murrow’s legacy through their work. These efforts ultimately contribute to the national and international recognition of Washington State University and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication as leaders in journalism and communication education and research. The efforts of Murrow faculty are reflected in world-class undergraduate and graduate educational programs, the establishment of collaborative educational and research partnerships, and excellence in research, ultimately honoring Murrow’s legacy.
In terms of student success, the Murrow College is committed to a skills-based, hands-on undergraduate curriculum preparing students for professional success. This is consistent with WSU’s pursuit of a transformative educational experience for its students and is reflected in applied coursework, internship opportunities, student mentoring by professionals, a continued emphasis on international learning opportunities and an increase in the student services programs available to students.
The proposal for a Murrow Center for Student Success has the potential to be a tremendous benefit to undergraduate students in their career preparation, for example, and is likely to be especially beneficial as a retention and preparation tool for first-generation college students. This center already has received more than $100,000 in donations.
In addition, the Murrow College is developing three academic departments and faculty members are producing a sports communication minor and a variety of other academic programs. As educational opportunities grow, students continue to receive hands-on learning opportunities. Students already are receiving field-production experience in sports and public affairs, for example. These opportunities will increase with a recent donation allowing the purchase of a new digital broadcasting unit. This unit will provide an opportunity for students from multiple classes to gain hands-on experience livestreaming sports, news, cultural programming and other events.
Murrow students also are participating in the Boeing Scholars and Harold Frank Entrepreneurship programs. These collaborative, team-based learning opportunities partner Murrow students with students in the Carson College of Business and the Voiland College of Engineering to gain applied learning experiences solving real-world problems.
We have developed new Integrated Strategic Communication programs in Vancouver and online, to join our burgeoning program in Everett. Already, nearly one-third of students on the Everett campus are Murrow students. In addition, Murrow’s Vancouver program started in spring 2017 with 23 students and is likely to grow to more than 40 students by fall 2017. Our desire is to provide students in these programs with unique and competitive educational opportunities helping them develop skills appealing to technology-based employers. These programs will satisfy the increased need for communication professionals in the technology-rich, Seattle and Portland-Vancouver areas, for example.
Given the establishment of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, we are leveraging faculty expertise in health communication to build strategic partnerships for research and grant activities with health-sciences faculty members. In fact, we recently received funding for an endowment to support such research. In addition, Murrow College faculty members continue to produce outstanding research in areas such as political communication, science and risk communication, and media psychology. This semester, the Murrow College established a virtual reality lab in Jackson Hall. Ultimately, these efforts will build and strengthen graduate programs in Pullman and on the global campus.
While there are a number of challenges and we have more work to do, Murrow College faculty members are dedicated to educating innovative, ethical, and socially responsible communication professionals and scholars. This education will help students develop a commitment to lifelong learning. They will possess the technical, analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to assume positions of leadership as methods of communication and digital communication technology continue to transform our lives and industries. Ultimately, Murrow’s approach, perspectives and standards continue to inform our purpose and methods. At the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, they maintain as much relevance today as the day he first spoke them.
Bruce Pinkleton, Ph.D.
Edward R. Murrow College of Communication