Interim director of Journalism & Broadcasting is named

Rebekah Alvey

Editor’s note: This story was updated June 27. 

Robert Dietle, head of the History department, has been named interim director of Journalism and Broadcasting. Eric Reed, history professor, has been appointed to department head for History.

Both positions will go into effect Friday, June 30. Dietle will serve as interim for a year.

Loup Langton, the current director of Journalism and Broadcasting, announced he would be stepping down from the position Oct. 2016. A search committee headed by Andrew McMichael, assistant dean of the Potter College, was created; however, Lawrence Snyder, dean of the Potter College, decided to close the search.

In a previous Herald article, Snyder said he closed the search because there was a lack of faculty consensus for either candidate.

Dietle said he was already stepping down as department head after 10 years in the position when he was approached about the interim position. Dietle has been at WKU for 26 years and will continue teaching full time.

While Dietle does not have a background in Journalism or Broadcasting, he said he can seek help from Jeanie Adams-Smith, photojournalism professor, who will be the interim assistant director of the Journalism & Broadcasting department. Dietle said his primary job would be making sure deadlines are met and to keep paperwork going.

Adams-Smith has worked at WKU for 16 years and served on the search committee for outgoing director of Journalism & Broadcasting, Loup Langton. Adams-Smith said the goal for the next year is to have a successful search and keep moving the department forward.

Adams-Smith said she hopes the next director will be forward thinking and focused on uniting faculty within the department as well as student recruitment and retention.

Dietle said he is interested to see how another department functions and is excited about the special events and speakers the department brings.

Snyder said he would resume the search and appoint a new search committee in the fall. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].