Dr. Douglas Ferdon Appointed Journalism Chair

Dec. 4, 1997

WACO - Following a yearlong national search, Dr. Douglas Ferdon Jr., acting chair of Baylor University's journalism department since October 1996, has been appointed to a three-year term as department chair, President Robert B. Sloan Jr. announced today.

"We are very pleased that Dr. Doug Ferdon has agreed to serve as the next chairperson of the department of journalism," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Wallace L. Daniel Jr. "Dr. Ferdon brings a great deal of practical experience as a journalist to this experience, as well as outstanding leadership skills. His vision for advancing the department academically and his commitment to our students, to enabling them to become the best they can be, are decisive elements. We believe that the department of journalism has the potential to achieve national prominence, and under Dr. Ferdon's leadership, it should reach this goal."

Ferdon has been a member of the journalism faculty since 1982, when he joined the department as a lecturer. He was named assistant professor in 1989 and associate professor in 1995. Ferdon also served as graduate student adviser at Baylor and was director of student publications from 1982-87. He previously taught at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla., and at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

"I have been fortunate to teach at Baylor for 16 years and I am pleased to have now the opportunity to chair the journalism department," Ferdon said. "I hope I can fulfill my own expectations for the job. I want to serve the students well and work with the journalism faculty to create harmony and foster learning.

"The administration, specifically President (Robert B.) Sloan, Provost (Donald D.) Schmeltekopf and College of Arts and Sciences Dean (Wallace L.) Daniel have been tremendously supportive of the journalism program since I became acting chair, and I am confident we can maintain that relationship. We have added classes and a new minor sequence and have continued to enjoy the administration's support in these areas," Ferdon said.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, Ferdon earned his master of arts in journalism and mass communications from the University of Florida and his doctor of

philosophy from the University of North Texas.

Prior to entering academe, Ferdon was a sportswriter in Florida and worked in public relations at Central Arizona Community College. He also served as an editor for the U.S. Army.

Ferdon has contributed to numerous academic journals and has written chapters for journalism textbooks, including Mass Communication in the Information Age and The Responsible Reporter. He also is a frequent presenter at journalism conferences and has served as a book reviewer for the Journal of Church and State.

He is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the American Journalism Historians Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and is a former member of the Southwestern Journalism Congress. Ferdon was president of the Southwestern Journalism Congress from 1984-85 and was on the editorial board for the American Journalism Historians Association in 1987.

Ferdon's wife, Sylvia, is head coach of the women's golf team at Baylor.

Dr. Michael F. Korpi, professor of communication studies and director of telecommunication at Baylor, and Charles Overby, a Baylor regent and president and CEO of The Freedom Forum in Arlington, Va., served as co-chairs of the search committee. Other individuals serving on the search committee include Dave Campbell, retired sports editor for the Waco Tribune Herald and founder of Texas Football magazine; Toby Druin, editor of the Baptist Standard; Henry Holcomb, staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer; Jack Loftis, executive vice president and editor of the Houston Chronicle; and Hal Wingo, Baylor regent and retired assistant managing editor and international editor for People magazine.

Several Baylor faculty members also served on the search committee, including Jerrie W. Callan, lecturer in English; Dr. Kyle Cole, assistant professor of journalism; Dr. Lee Polk, professor and chair of communication studies; Dr. Sara Stone, professor of journalism; and Dr. John Tisdale, assistant professor of journalism.

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