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Journalism and Communication Department Hires New Head


Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013


The Utah Statesman logo, masthead

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

 

Journalism and Communication Department Hires New Head

 

By Ashlyn Tucker, staff writer, in The Utah Statesman, Thursday, March 21, 2013

 

Ted Pease, head of the department of journalism and communication, will retire at the end of the spring 2013 semester and assume a part-time professor role.

 

Thomas Terry, an associate professor and former chair of the department of mass communication at Idaho State University will be filling Pease’s position beginning this fall.

 

Pease joined the department as department head in 1994 and has held the position since with a gap from 2005 to 2008.

 

“Now that I have been around longer than some of my students have been alive, it’s time for me to do something else,” he said.

 

When asked what he liked about his job, Pease said there are both pros and cons to being a manager.

 

“All the crap lands here, but being an administrator is really a creative activity,” he said. “You can make stuff happen and get things done.”

 

Pease said his position has taught him to work on the time schedule of academia and take a long view on tasks to be done.

 

“There is a certain cycle of how things get done in academia that is on its own timeframe and has no relationship to normal, natural reality,” he said. “I have had to marshal my impatience.”

 

Throughout his time as department head, Pease said he has seen the department grow from 150 students to about 300 students. Some years under his leadership, the numbers reached into the upper 400s.

 

Pease is very proud of the students and alumni of the journalism department and said the department definitely gets noticed for all that they do. The program is known throughout Utah as the place to go to get a communications degree.

 

“We don’t have as much money as BYU,” Pease said. “We are not as big as the U and we are out here in the boonies, but we still make the best professional communicators in the state of Utah.”

 

Pease said he plans to do plenty of fishing with all his newfound new time beginning this summer.

 

“The thing about this job is that there is always a lot to do, so having the opportunity to step back, I don’t know what I’m going to do besides fishing,” he said. “Maybe I will write a book or go back to the news business and do some more writing and reporting.”

 

Pease said the department is excited to have Terry as their new department head. Pease believes Terry is a good fit for the department because he comes from the profession and understands the imperative of a professional program.

 

“I am very comfortable handing the position over to him,” Pease said.

 

Terry is equally excited for his arrival in Logan. He said the department’s vast expertise and focus on student learning is what attracted him to Utah State.

 

“It will be a great opportunity for me to continue to expand upon the success of Ted and the faculty,” he said. “Plus, they have awesome ice cream.”

 

Terry believes he is well-qualified for the department head position because of his diversified background. He has tried his hand in everything, including starting the first online newspaper in Illinois in the mid ’90s, hosting a monthly NPR affiliate radio show and being featured as an expert on a PBS documentary on major media outlets during the civil rights movement.

 

“I have a wide range of experience in virtually every aspect of the media,” he said. “That gives me an insight into the value of every part of the media.”

 

Terry said he loves journalism because of how exciting it is and how important it is to the country.

 

“Journalism is the only profession mentioned in the Constitution,” he said. “The media provides freedom of press.”

 

He said he also appreciates the opportunity he has to make a difference in people’s lives as a professional communicator.

 

“We are not very powerful at telling people what to think but about telling people what to think about,” he said.

 

ashlyn.tucker@aggiemail.usu.edu



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