Media Studies plans for move to School of Business

Media Studies to transition to School of Business
The fate of the Department of Media Studies hangs in the balance.
The School of Business will absorb Media Studies by June 1, 2015 due to a $200,000 budget cut to the department.
The change was announced last week in a meeting for all Media Studies majors, minors, faculty and staff.
“There are several different reasons for this, but the number one stimulus of this occurring is budget,” Wayne Weber, Dean of the College of BILSA said. “None of these decisions were easy.”
The portion of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville budget supplied by the state has continued to decline over the last decade, according to Weber.
Weber’s focus is on the students, and although those graduating after Spring 2015 will be coming out of the School of Business, their emphases will not be compromised.
“We want to minimize the impact on students,” Weber said. “We aren’t interested in taking programs out from under students.”
Minimizing faculty and staff impact, avoiding layoffs, solving structural imbalance and allowing the colleges to support growing programs were among the goals of the transition, according to Weber.
Three faculty members retiring from the Media Studies Department will not be replaced, including Arthur Ranney’s Department chair position. Ranney is preparing not only for retirement this spring, but to see his department through to ensure a smooth transition.
“This means that our department is taking a big hit, but we understand why and we’re going to make every effort that we can to make sure that it works and our students get the best education they can,” Ranney said.
School of Business Director Susan Hansen is also focusing on the positive side of the transition.
“We’re excited about having them join us,” Hansen said. “There are a lot of good connections between the Media Studies coursework and major with majors in our area, and future connections we can develop as part of this alliance.”
“Social media and marketing have very strong connections, so the alliance of those two areas are very strong,” Hansen said.
Hansen is looking forward to working with current Media Studies instructors to learn more about their majors and expertise.
“We have strong majors, both our business administration and accounting majors, so I’m not seeing anything drastic happening for us,” Hansen said.
“At this point, it’s an administrative change, so I don’t know what will happen differently right up front, but I am working closely with Art Ranney to see how we can go about this transition, and identify and work out any issues that there may be,” Hansen said.
Ranney shares this sentiment.
“This represents, for me, a great opportunity to work with Susan and a great opportunity for the department to continue the process of defining itself and maintaining a very robust program,” Ranney said.
“I see it as a long-term positive for us, but it’s a transition period, and it’s not going to happen overnight,” Hansen said.
“I have every confidence that we will emerge from this budget-initiated crisis even better than before,” Ranney said.
The future of media studies student groups are also in limbo, pending future budget cuts.