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    Making Changes in the Department of Mass Communications

    This fall semester will surely shock some students who study Mass Communications at Dillard University, due to the departure of two professors.


    One such professor is Mark Raymond, who said in a recent interview that he will not renew his contract after the conclusion of this semester. The other professor is Dr Jinx Broussard, who is ending a 30-year association with Dillard to accept a position at Louisiana State University.


     ”It’s not because of any contempt that I have for Dillard,” Raymond stated when asked if his reasons are linked to discontent which he may have for the administration. “Life in New Orleans post-Katrina has not been easy for me or my family,” he continued.


    Professor Raymond has been with the Dillard family since 2002 and said that if it had not been for Hurricane Katrina he most likely would not have come to this decision.


    “You can see the tell-tale signs of the hurricane’s effect on other universities in New Orleans,” he said. “Tulane has cut out the engineering program. Loyola is cutting out its Broadcast Journalism Department. Change is taking place, and I must make the right decision for me and my family,” he stated.


    Not all decisions to leave are Hurricane Katrina related; some reasons are of a personal nature. Professor Broussard is retiring and is becoming an associate professor of Mass Communications at LSU. “I committed to LSU last year, and my husband is now working in Baton Rouge so it makes even more sense to take the opportunity,” said Broussard.  At LSU, she will also conduct research on African-American foreign correspondents for a book she plans to write.


    Broussard has had an affiliation with Dillard since 1972 when she became the Director of University Relations, although she left to become Director of Public Information for the city of New Orleans in 1986. She taught part time until she became a full time faculty member in 1997.


    Dean Danille Taylor of the Humanities Division said she has an optimistic approach to what is taking place at Dillard and at neighboring universities. “Change is inevitable,” she said. “People move for various reasons. However, it is the responsibility of the university to make sure that the best professors are available to continue the program. That’s what Dillard is trying to ensure.”


    Dean Taylor stated that she recognizes why faculty may choose to move on with their lives. “People have lost their homes. They still suffer from psychological, emotional and economic uncertainty. These are the complicated dimensions of life,” she said.


    Professor Raymond has an advertising and sports production company, which he has not been able to commit to fully because of his involvement as a professor with Dillard University.


    “I have to be here full time because the course is hands-on and intense. Being here for the students makes me sacrifice my professional exploits,” he said, stating that there is a combination of reasons which explains why he has made his decision.


    As for the future of the Mass Communications Department, Dean Taylor stated, “Every university experiences this. We will continue to schedule classes for next semester.”

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    Making Changes in the Department of Mass Communications