Home / News / Campus News / Future of public relations program unclear

Future of public relations program unclear

Despite rampant speculation, no decision has been made on the future of the public relations program, according to the interim dean of the College of the Arts.

During the first week of the spring semester, communication majors with an emphasis in public relations received some unexpected news about upcoming changes in the PR program.

Public relations students were told that the program would be closing due to a low number of enrolled students.

A week later, students received news that the program will be reopened for them to continue their studies and finish their degree. There was no information provided on when the program would actually close, students said.

There has been no formal announcement from VSU administration. The program is still currently listed on the university’s website along with the college’s other programs.

Interim Dean Michael Thomas Schmidt said no official changes have been made to the status of the program, though changes are under considerations.

“I know that the Department of Communication Arts faculty are working on curriculum revisions within the B.F.A. in Communication,” he said. “However, as interim dean, I have not yet approved or advanced any curriculum revisions related to the B.F.A. in Comm at this time. They are still a ‘work in progress.’”

The confusion has caused concern and worry for some of the students, and without a confirmed reason, it has also caused frustration.

“It made me worried,” said Mia Vuolo, a student in the program. “I was worried it was going to affect me graduating on time.”

Thomas Grimes, another student focusing in public relations, said he didn’t comprehend the sudden changes.

“I didn’t really understand why it was shutting down,” he said. “It felt a bit last minute and unnecessary to do in the middle of the school year, but it’s even more confusing now that they reopened it. It’s very unclear for the students.”

Last week, The Spectator attempted to contact two faculty members in the communication arts department, interim head Dr. Nicole Cox and Dr. Brian Sowa. Neither responded.

The Office of Academic Affairs announced that the three majors and one minor were discontinued as of the fall of 2022. The terminated majors were the bachelor of applied studies in human capital performance, the bachelor of science in athletic training, and master of art in teaching in agricultural education. The minor in supply chain management was also discontinued.

Even though current students in public relations have been told they will be able to finish their degree, it is unclear if future students will be able to join the program.

“I can assure you that any changes that are implemented will be accompanied by a realistic timeline and will certainly aim to meet the needs of our current students as well as future students that enter the program, and we will work closely with our faculty/advising team to support students through any revisions/transitions,” Dr. Schmidt said.

Written by Jasmine Hightower, Reporter. Photo courtesy of VSU.

Check Also

VSUPD Crime Blotter: Rumors and Suspicious Activity

Yik Yak users create sexual rumors on VSU campus  On April 3, 2024, at approximately ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *