Communications department changes name

Dr. Jay Moorman, Communications Department Head

Dr. Jay Moorman, Communications Department Head

Jerry Manter

Some would call it a face-lift.

For the communications department, however, it’s all business. Next fall the Missouri Southern communications department will officially be named the department of communication and foreign languages. The name change is being issued to accommodate department growth.

“I’ve been told that we’re the largest department on campus,” said Dr. Jay Moorman, communications department head. “It’s a management challenge to organize everything.”

Although the department has seen steady growth over the years, Moorman said one of the main reasons for the name change is to see foreign languages expand.

He believes that by having foreign languages in the department name, more recognition will come.

“Sometimes people don’t realize we offer foreign languages,” Moorman said. “We want to spread awareness.”

Dr. Maryann Weber, foreign languages director, will be leaving the position in fall 2004 to pursue a sabbatical. The person filling the position for the fall has

yet to be named. Moorman said the communications department needs a coordinator to help manage foreign language faculty.

“It’s a huge amount,” he said. “We’re talking about a whole other level of management.”

The communications department has been seeking a name change for the last year and a half. In the fall of 2003, different levels of Southern administration unanimously accepted the name change for fall 2004.

The proposal had to go through the dean for the school of arts and sciences, the vice president for academic affairs and eventually needed University President Julio León’s approval. Moorman said in the future he’d like to see the foreign languages become a separate department.

“That’s something that’s desired,” he said. “But we want to do it in a practical manner.”

If the department separation were to take place, most likely the departments would still share the same office space as it does now on the third floor of Webster Hall.

“I think we’ll always be together,” he said. “But I think they will be their own department in time.”

While a separation of the two areas of the communications department could be several years away, Moorman said for now, he’s just happy about the name change.

“It gives us a more descriptive name,” he said. “I’m pleased the administration wanted to recognize the contributions that the foreign languages have been making to the University.”