College of Arts and Media Dean Finalist Presents Intentions

Sarah Davis, Staff Reporter

The College of Arts and Media is gearing up to welcome a new dean to the Marshall family.

Dr. Chris McCollough, a dean finalist for the College of Arts and Media, communicated his plan-of-action to faculty, students and community members on Tuesday, Feb. 14. 

Marshall has been seeking an individual to serve as the dean for the College of Arts and Media. Of the candidates, three have been named finalists. In addition to McCollough, Dr. Scott Irelan and Dr. Maria Gindhart will present throughout the rest of the week.

The position of interim dean is currently held by Dr. Wendell Dobbs, a flute and theory professor in the School of Music. 

McCollough is the current department head of communication for Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He previously served as an assistant professor of communication at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. 

McCollough started his presentation with an explanation of why he believes he is a good fit for Marshall, saying, “At the end of the day, it feels like something that I was naturally heading towards in my development, my professional experience, my upbringing.”

A main focus of the presentation was the current trends of students in the arts. McCollough stated that students are not only creative storytellers, but also hands-on learners and outcome-oriented. 

“Regardless of media, regardless of whether it’s a stage, whether they’re in a performance hall, whether they’re working with me in a PR campaign, or they’re in a broadcast studio, they’re creative storytellers” McCollough said.

Part of McCollough’s vision for the College of Arts and Media is to offer design classes to journalism and mass communication majors, add business literacy as an aspect of curriculum and revisit the framework of Marshall’s video production program. 

He also discussed the addition of an “arts and entertainment” concentration for journalism and mass communication majors, as well as creating programs for arts marketing and management.

Another aspect of the presentation focused on the profile and reputation of the college, specifically beyond the Tri-State area. McCollough proposed an hypothetical event that could incorporate all of the schools to showcase the talents of students. 

His main goal is to bring the differing programs together. 

In conclusion, McCollough emphasized working together to accomplish these goals, comparing this process to “fingers in a glove.”

“We work together, we build a plan that makes sense,” McCollough said. 

Finalist Irelan will present on Wednesday, Feb. 15, followed by finalist Gindhart on Thursday, Feb. 16. Faculty, students and community members are encouraged to attend.

Marshall intends on selecting the new College of Arts and Media Dean in the near future.