Council Approves Comm Majors


In the center of the photo, Professor Gwenyth Jackaway, associate chair of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham, sits with professor Jacqueline Reich, chair of Communication and Media Studies. (PHOTO BY TYLER MARTINS/THE OBSERVER)


Fordham at Lincoln Center’s College Council unanimously approved all four proposed communication majors during their last meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year on April 16. Other discussions included the Gabelli School of Business banner hanging on the west facing side of the Leon Lowenstein building and potential curricular revisions of the Classical Civilizations major.

Chair of Communication and Media Studies and film professor Jacqueline Reich proposed a separation of the current model by creating majors and minors in: journalism; a joint film and television major; digital technologies and media; and communication and culture.

“One of my charges was to look at and revise the undergraduate program and the graduate program as well,” Reich said to the Council. “In the last 20 years, there have been so many changes in our lives in the way that we communicate.”

According to Reich, the current Communication and Media Studies major, which has five concentrations, is the largest major at both Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) and Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH). Dean of Lincoln Center Robert Grimes, S.J., raised concerns that the proposed journalism major had too much application compared to theory. “Most journalism majors are applied and practical,” Reich responded. “It is our responsibility to give them the kind of journalism major that is the standard for the field,” she said.

When asked by English department representatives about staffing for the new majors Reich responded, “Presently, we offer over 100 courses on both campuses; 50 percent of courses are staffed by adjuncts.”
“We are working to reduce that [adjunct] number through Artist in Residence programs, a better way to use non-tenure track resources,” Reich said. The majors must now be approved by New York State Department of Education.

Another agenda item was the unified Gabelli School banner hanging on Lowenstein, which generated much Council discussion. The banner displayed on the building used primarily by undergraduates makes no mention of the other colleges at the LC campus and only promotes the Gabelli undergraduate and masters programs. Professor of History Hector Lindo-Fuentes said, “Let them know the full truth.” He suggested the banner list all the schools at the University.

Grimes said he knew the banner would be displayed only three days before it was installed. He also expressed that the banner could affect liberal arts admissions at FCLC. According to Grimes, the banner would hang, “as long as it looks good.”

The general consensus of the Council was that both non-Gabelli students and faculty are unhappy about the banner.

The following resolution passed with one abstention from Dean of Students at Lincoln Center Keith Eldredge, “FCLC College Council, as representatives of FCLC faculty and students, are dismayed by the appearance of the banner on the side of Lowenstein, which creates the impression that Lowenstein is solely the home of the Gabelli School of Business where it is actually home to, [FCLC, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Social Work and Graduate School of Education.] The Council requests that the University remove that banner at the earliest possible date or create a banner that gives equal billing to each of the schools in Lowenstein.”

In other business, the proposed change to the Classical Civilizations major was to cap the number of language requirements, adding a required department EP3 and/or EP4. This motion passed unanimously.

In other announcements,FCLC received a total of 10,602 applications and admitted 47 percent of them. As of April 16, 179 were deposits made.

The Council will reconvene in the fall of 2015.