Schieffer School changes name to include strategic communication

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    As of today, TCU's Schieffer School of Journalism will now be called the Schieffer School of Journalism and Strategic Communication, after approval from Chancellor Victor Boschini.

    The name change comes after a series of conversations about how to better include the 378 students who are currently enrolled in the strategic communication program, David Whillock, the dean of the college of communication, said.

    “I think it really does better truly reflect our identity,” Whillock said. “It was a no-brainer, really.”

    The Schieffer School of Journalism was created in 2005 and included majors in journalism and what then was called public relations/advertising. The name of the public relations/advertising major was changed to strategic communication in the 2008-2009 academic calendar.

    The 2012-2013 undergraduate catalog for the College of Communication states that the mission of the Schieffer School of Journalism is to "educate journalism and strategic communication students to think and act as responsible professionals and ethical citizens in the global community." 

    Whillock said that conversations about the name change process began several years ago when some advertising and public relations faculty thought that they were not being represented under the name of the Schieffer School.

    Schieffer School of Journalism Director John Lumpkin said that the name change "more accurately reflects the contemporary attributes of the professions that have been called advertising or public relations."

    "[Strategic communication] is more than just making a cute ad for the Super Bowl," Lumpkin said. "There's a lot more work that goes into that. Our strategic communication program is becoming more competitive, and this reflects that."

    Whillock said that the name change would positively affect recruiting for faculty and students in the future. The Schieffer School currently has 378 registered strategic communication students and 247 registered journalism students. These numbers do not include students who still have to go through first-year Orientation next week or students who have not yet enrolled in the strategic communication program application.

    “So many of the students in the Schieffer School are strategic communication students, and it gives them pride to know that they're part of the name,” Whillock said.

    Junior strategic communication major Shelly Crossland said that she was in favor of the change.

    "I like it, I think it's nice to be included," Crossland said. "Sometimes people get confused when I say I'm a Schieffer School student but I'm enrolled in strategic communication. So it's nice to add that to the name."