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Paul Parsons named president of ASJMC

Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications, formally became president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC) at a national conference in Denver, Colo., on Aug. 6.

Paul Parsons

Parsons was nationally elected as vice president in 2008, served as president-elect in 2009-10, and automatically became ASJMC president for 2010-11.

ASJMC is comprised of more than 200 deans, directors and department chairs across the United States. The organization was founded in 1917 to encourage high standards and effective practices in the administration of communication programs, to promote public understanding of the role of journalism in a democratic society, and to support the national accreditation process.

In his presidential address, Parsons noted that ASJMC’s strategic plan for 2006-11 will conclude on his watch, and he outlined three goals to fully accomplish the association’s strategic plan by August 2011.

The first goal is a collaborative series of “Idea Summits” between the schools who comprise ASJMC and the individual faculty members who comprise the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). The first summit will be in Chicago in October, and ASJMC will host the second summit at its conference in Dallas in February 2011.

“Our programs have never faced so much change,” Parsons said. “The media environment around us is undergoing profound revolution, and this challenges us to think deeply about the concepts and skills that we need to be teaching our students today. This has implication for curriculum, instruction, faculty development, research, graduate programs, everything.”

The second goal is to enhance the association’s national prominence by providing administrators with more content and tools to be effective leaders in times of stagnant or diminishing resources. This will mean more useful content on the association’s website and strong programming at national conferences.

The third goal is to build international visibility. On behalf of ASJMC, Parsons led the administrator sessions at the World Journalism Education Congress in South Africa in July 2010. The sessions created the first-ever compilation of leading challenges facing journalism programs around the world. But Parsons said ASJMC’s profile around the world is low, and ASJMC has much to offer those in leadership positions globally.

“These do not represent wildly dramatic ideas,” Parsons said. “Leadership often is not dramatic change, but steady forward progress, and that’s what I hope my goals reflect.”

His year as ASJMC president will conclude at the national conference in St. Louis in August 2011.

Parsons came to Elon as founding dean of the School of Communications in 2001. The school has grown from an initial 12 faculty and staff members that year to the current 52 full-time faculty and staff members, and the school gained national accreditation in 2006. Elon is one of only 18 private colleges and universities in the nation to have an accredited communications school.

Dan Anderson,
8/9/2010 1:11 PM