WKU’s School of media conducts additional interview for new director over Zoom

Julianna Lowe

Additional candidate Kari Barber was presented to the School of Media as a potential new director on Monday afternoon. The meeting, which included the School of Media’s search committee, students and faculty, was held over Zoom due to social distancing rules. 

Kari Barber, the 5th candidate in the 2019-2020 search for a new School of Media director, is an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno in the Reynolds School of Journalism. She is also the Director of Graduate Studies of the Reynolds School of Journalism and serves on the University Graduate Council and University Cinema Arts Degree interdisciplinary planning group. 

“Good leadership is about listening and transparency,” Barber said during her presentation. 

Barber’s presentation also included her background, a sample teaching lesson and her values for leadership moving forward. She briefed the committee with her experience in broadcasting, overseas reporting, documentary filmmaking and more.

Barber received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at the University of Oklahoma in 2004. She went on to get her MFA in Film and Electronic Media at the American University in Washington, D.C. 

Barber’s presentation was followed with a chance for questions from the search committee and faculty and students in attendance. Barber was asked about her drive to be director of WKU’s School of Media by a student.

“I get why you love what you do,” Barber said, explaining that she was experienced in all fields of media. “I enjoy and respect and love the interesting overlaps that exist between these fields. I want to bring excitement about the future and experimental media.”

Barber was also asked about why she decided to move from Nevada from Bowling Green, and she answered that she was driven to be able to grow in leadership at WKU—something that is not available to her at the moment in Nevada. 

The meeting also discussed the recent budget tightening within WKU and especially the School of Media, to which Barber responded that she valued transparency and trust with budget allocation.

“We can and should be the University’s model for diversity and inclusion,” Barber said of the School of Media. “I want us to be the ones leading the way. We are beating a path that other departments should follow.”

Barber’s presentation was not originally included in the 2019-2020 candidates for the School of Media’s new director, but she became the fifth candidate due to the absence of a new hire thus far. No decision has been made.

Features reporter Julianna Lowe can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Julianna on social media at @juliannalowe.