Meet Your Associate Dean
ASSOCIATE DEAN S. IRENE MATZ
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the College of Communications. We are here to support you on your academic journey. As a tenured faculty, I have taught in the HCOM department and served in various capacities on campus for many years, and those experiences have given me the opportunity to work with others throughout the University. My knowledge of the campus helps me to identify your needs and to move you forward to graduation. I am on campus early each day and welcome you to visit me in the Dean’s Suite. There is nothing you will do in life that will be as permanent as earning your degree – no one can take that from you. If at some point in your academic career, you become “burned out”, disenchanted or discouraged, please visit me – I will re-motivate you to complete your academic goal.
The College of Communications is committed to advancing a democratic society by preparing students to function in a wide variety of communication professions. With a strong tradition in the liberal arts and social sciences, the academic programs of the College share a common theoretical base which identifies the elements of human communication and the principles governing their use in all communicative processes essential to contemporary society, namely, the spoken and written word and visual images. Specialized programs in advertising, communication theory and process, intercultural, interpersonal, organizational communication, communication studies, communicative disorders, entertainment studies, journalism, photocommunications, public relations, and radio television/film make up the basic curricula of the College. These programs of study lead to traditional academic degrees for undergraduates and graduates, to state credentials aid licenses, to professional certification, and to entry into graduate and professional degree programs.
Academic programs in the College of Communications prepare students to function as professionals in the fields of business,education, government, entertainment, and in media and health related careers. Ancillary educational experiences are available through the campus daily newspaper, audio and video production recording studios, television facility, forensics program, speech and hearing clinic, the Center for Children who Stutter, Tusk magazine and internships in professional settings.
Undergraduate students may call their department office for the name of their adviser, who will assist in developing a program of study. University policy requires students to see an adviser each of their first two semesters and every year thereafter. Three critical times for advising are before registering for the first semester, when selecting electives for the study plan, and two semesters before graduation for a graduation check.
Graduate students should make contact with their department graduate adviser to arrange for advising prior to entry into the master's degree programs.
The College of Communications was established in 1988, when the Department of Communications and the Department of Speech Communication came together to form the School of Communications. Dr. David Sachsman from Rutgers University was named the first dean of the school, and he assisted in building a strong governing infrastructure for the school. When he left in 1991, Dr. Elizabeth Mechling from California State University, Hayward, was hired to serve as dean. During Dr. Mechling's tenure, student enrollment increased and additional faculty were hired to accommodate student demand.
In 1995, Dr. Rick Pullen was named acting dean after serving as associate dean for four years, and in 1996, was named dean. Dr. Fred Zandpour was appointed as associate dean in 1997. The College was faced with a growing population as well as increased needs to secure equipment for laboratories to keep up with changing technology. The school became a college in 1999, and in December 2000, the College of Communications moved to College Park where there are additional facilities and labs. All tenured/tenured track faculty are housed in College Park, and the majority of upper division and graduate classes are taught in the building.
Dr. S. Irene Matz was appointed as associate dean in 2008; she chaired a Strategic Plan Committee that presented a plan to the College in 2011, and along with Dean Pullen created a student exchange relationship and Memorandum of Understanding with Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts in South Korea. Dean Pullen retired in 2011, after faithfully serving the College for decades. Dean Pullen developed two new Centers—the Center for Entertainment and Tourism Communications and the Center for International Communications Studies—that are presently active.
Dr. William G. Briggs, previously director of two San Jose State institutes, was appointed as dean on January 20, 2011. Dean Briggs brings a lifetime of commitment and expertise in international programs and global affairs.
The College of Communications continues to grow each year and now has approximately 70 full-time faculty positions. Because of this growth and for other pedagogical reasons, a third department, the department of Radio-Television-Film, was established in the fall of 2001. The College has approximately 3,800 students.