Finalists announced for SJB director

Monica Kast

Two candidates for the director of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting have been announced and will begin visiting campus, according to WKU administrators.

Andrew McMicheal associate dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, said the candidates for the new director are Al Tompkins and Tim Pollard. McMichael is the search committee chair for the position.

McMichael confirmed the names of the candidates in an email and said Tompkins was on campus last week and Pollard will be on campus next week.

Tompkins currently works at the Poynter Institute as senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He previously wrote a “journalism story idea column” for Poynter called “Al’s Morning Meeting.” Prior to working at the Poynter Institute, Tompkins was the news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, according to the Poynter Institute’s website.

Pollard is currently the chair of the department of telecommunications at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, according to Ball State University’s website. Pollard has been the chair of the department since 2011 and worked at the university since 1998. Prior to working at Ball State University, Pollard worked for CNN as a video journalist, supervisor and manager.

McMichael said the search committee “has created a position advertisement, vetted a number of applications, conducted Skype interviews with a smaller pool, and then selected the two people … to come to campus.”

According to the WKU policy on selection of department heads, members of the search committee are selected by the dean. The search committee then makes a suggestion to the dean.

“Findings of the committee are transmitted in writing to the Dean for consideration,” university policy 1.5041 states. “The Dean will then, in consultation with the Provost, make an appointment.”

The current director of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting, Loup Langton, announced his plans to step down last October. At a faculty meeting on Oct. 23, Langton said he would step down as director on June 30, 2017 and would remain at WKU as a faculty member.

McMichael said he didn’t know when the new director would be announced.

“I don’t know when the new director will be announced, although these kinds of positions usually, but not always, begin on July 1,” McMichael said in the email.

Reporter Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-0655 or [email protected]

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to “the dean of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting…” The correct position title is director of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting. The Herald regrets this error.