Interim director Ron DeMarse named School of Media director

Photo provided by Western Kentucky University.

Photo provided by Western Kentucky University.

Debra Murray, Content Editor

Ron DeMarse, interim director of the School of Media, was announced as the department’s new director on Monday afternoon by the Dean’s Office of Potter College of Arts and Letters.

If approved by the WKU Board of Regents, DeMarse will start in the position on July 1, 2022.

DeMarse has served as interim since taking over the position from former interim director Robert Dietle in 2020. Dietle filled the role after the SoM’s last director, Loup Langton, resigned in October of 2016.

“I’m excited to shed the ‘interim’ title and have a little more security in the position. That said, it’s a massive responsibility,” DeMarse said in an email. “This is a nationally prominent School – a nationally important School – and a critically important time in our history. I’m excited to see where we can go, but I also need to be aware of the gravity of the situation and not screw it up.”

DeMarse was an assistant professor at Valdosta State University from 2003-2007. He was an assistant professor at WKU until 2013 when he became an associate professor and coordinator of the broadcasting and film programs.

“The foundation of the School is as solid as it has ever been,” DeMarse said. “Our curriculum is sound, and our students and our faculty are outstanding. Both of those groups have been extremely supportive these past two years, and I’ll be forever grateful for that.”

Every major within the Journalism department has seen an increase in enrollment. The highest enrollment increase is in film production which has seen a 75% increase from 2021 to 2022 school year.

Provided by Ron DeMarse, WKU School of Media director.

“Our enrollment is rebounding, but we have a long way to go to get back to the numbers we had 15 years ago,” DeMarse said.

DeMarse said going forward he plans to focus on helping future Hilltoppers want to join the School of  Media. DeMarse also plans to reconnect with alumni because “they’re also the key to getting us back on top.”

“Two of the hurdles we’ll need to overcome are budget cuts and severe staffing cuts,” DeMarse said. “But I realize we’re not alone in those struggles, and we have a dean who seems committed to helping restore our School to its former size and glory.”

Content Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy.