Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University trustees approve new Media School

  • Oct. 18, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved the formation of a new school that will provide a nexus for IU’s acclaimed programs of education and research in journalism, telecommunications, communications and culture, and film.

The new IU Media School, which will officially come into existence on July 1, 2014, will be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. It will serve as the university’s pre-eminent site for teaching, research and service about the understanding and production of media. In doing so, it will unite the faculties of the School of Journalism, the Department of Communication and Culture, and the Department of Telecommunications.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie made the recommendation to establish the new school at the IU trustees’ board meeting today in Bloomington.

“The innovative new IU Media School will ensure that IU is at the forefront of teaching, research and service about the understanding and production of media as it continues its dramatic evolution and transformation,” McRobbie said. “The culmination of many years of productive discussions, it will build upon and honor the traditions of excellence IU has attained in the fields that will serve as the school’s academic foundation. At the same time, it will position the university for a future in which IU is the nation’s leading gateway for students seeking to master the professional skills needed to actively engage in multiple platforms of media, both traditional and emerging, and to fully understand how media affect and inform our attitudes, beliefs and values.”  

Lauren Robel, IU executive vice president and provost of the IU Bloomington campus, said the new school will capitalize on the university’s strengths while adding the flexibility to offer students a wide range of resources relevant to today’s media industries.

“This new school will have a transformative effect on the study and practice of media at Indiana University, providing our students with access to the very best teaching and learning resources in all aspects of modern-era communications, including news reporting, digital and interactive media, public relations and film studies,” Robel said. “I am extremely grateful to the many faculty, staff, students and alumni who participated in a lengthy collaborative process that will result in IU preserving and building upon the rich and storied legacy of the IU School of Journalism, facilitating exciting new collaborations, and preparing students to realize their full potential in today’s digital media age.”

A fully renovated Franklin Hall, which will be outfitted with state-of-the-art classrooms and new digital production facilities, will be the primary home for the new school and provide essential space and resources for the combined programs.

“We are very excited to be housing the Media School in Franklin Hall, which will be a fabulous facility in the heart of campus that, combined with the large-scale production facilities in our Radio-TV Building, will give our students unprecedented access to the technological tools they need to fully engage in today’s ever-evolving media landscape,” Robel said.

As part of the launch of the school, faculty from the School of Journalism will move from their current home, Ernie Pyle Hall, to Franklin Hall. A new committee has been formed to ensure that the legacy of famed World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle and other distinguished IU journalism alumni will be prominently featured in the configuration of the new school. The Ernie Pyle Legacy Committee is led by associate professor of journalism Owen V. Johnson and includes journalism faculty, staff and alumni and other campus representatives who are working together to recommend an appropriate way to honor Pyle and other IU journalism alumni.

"In 1923, Ernie Pyle wrote that an education in journalism was essential for a quality journalist,” said Johnson, a specialist on Pyle. “The new Media School provides the opportunity to build on the shoulders of Pyle and other Pulitzer Prize winners who learned their journalism -- both professional and academic -- from outstanding faculty at IU to create high-quality training opportunities for journalists in the 21st century. This history of excellence comes together with a history of accomplishment in our new partner departments to create opportunities for IU to be a national leader in the years to come.

“I'm honored to be leading a committee that will ensure that, as a part of the new school, Pyle's legacy will be promoted among students, alumni and the greater Indiana community."

As with IU’s newly launched School of Global and International Studies, the Media School will have core and affiliated faculty. Core faculty will come from the Department of Communication and Culture and the Department of Telecommunications, both of which are in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Journalism, which has been an independent school on the Bloomington campus since 1986.

The core faculty will comprise 75 members from the three units. Additionally, more than 200 other faculty members have been identified on the Bloomington campus whose teaching and research might be facilitated by the new school.

Lesa Hatley Major, interim dean of the School of Journalism, will serve as associate dean of the new school. She has been serving in her current role at the School of Journalism since July.

The search for a dean for the school, who will report to the executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will commence soon. During the three academic years following the school’s official launch in July, existing undergraduate degrees in each of these three units will be transformed into school-wide degrees, including new Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in integrated media.

These degrees will likely focus on several different tracks of study, including advertising and strategic communications, cinema and film studies, communications studies, health communication, international/global media and communication, journalism, media industry and management, media studies and visual communications. Existing graduate degrees in the three units will also be reviewed and evaluated in order to develop and provide an integrated set of school-level degree offerings.

“The new Media School is a most welcome addition to the College of Arts and Sciences and an exciting development for Indiana University as a whole,” said Larry Singell, executive dean of the College. “By breaking down barriers, bringing our unparalleled resources together and building upon our proud traditions in journalism, education and the liberal arts, this forward-looking school will ensure IU graduates leave the university with the broad-based knowledge and skills they need to both create and critique every type of media.”

The new school will seek to connect faculty and students with resources and expertise in other campus units, such as the School of Informatics and Computing, the largest such school in the nation; the Jacobs School of Music; the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance; IU Cinema; and IU Archives. The school will create a new certificate in digital media, offered jointly with the School of Informatics and Computing, in 2014-15.

It also will open opportunities to bring together decades-long investments at the university in the creation and production of all forms of media. These include print, broadcast, radio, film and digital art forms such as gaming, as well as new forms of media and multiplatform storytelling.

Additionally, the school will establish enhanced student services, including academic advisors, internship coordinators and career and placement counselors, who can help students realize their career aspirations.

Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications

  • Office 812-856-1172
  • mdland@iu.edu