University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point Division of Communication appointed Dr.
Rhonda Sprague as the new chairwoman of the department after Dr. Jim Haney
decided to not seek a third term; Dr. Sprague started in the position on August
Haney explained that
the procedures for the Division of Communication indicate that the head of the
department should not serve two consecutive terms. Haney served two three-year
terms as division head, including 13 months as the interim Dean of the College
of Fine Arts and Communication.
“I told my
colleagues in early March that I wanted to return to full-time teaching in the
fall and did not plan to seek another term as division head,” Haney said. “This
change will give me a chance to teach more classes, something I truly enjoy,
and more time to engage in research. I believe the occasional administrative
change is healthy for both organizations and administrators.”
Haney is returning
as a full-time professor of communication and will teach a variety of public
relations classes, as well as serve as the division’s internship director,
which oversees students in both the arts management and communication majors.
When the current division head does not
seek an additional term in his/her position, the selection process requires
that the faculty interview candidates during a candidate forum. Once every
candidate is interviewed, the faculty nominates someone to the dean of the
college, who then reviews the nominations and appoints the new division head.
Dr. Rhonda Sprague was appointed the position.
“Dr. Sprague will do a wonderful job as the
new leader of the division. She knows our curriculum well and truly cares about
student success. I am confident she will be an outstanding advocate for our
program,” Haney said.
“It’s an honor to have been elected to this
position by my colleagues. Being the head of such a diverse and dynamic
department is going to be both challenging and rewarding,” Sprague said.
As division head, Dr. Sprague will be
teaching two fewer courses than what a full-time professor would normally teach.
However, she will continue to serve as the faculty advisor and as part of her
teaching responsibilities, she will continue to serve as the undergraduate
advisor, while teaching Communication 100, introducing the program to new
“I would like us to keep the momentum we’ve
been building for the past several years. We’ve seen an increase in majors in
both Communication and Arts Management. We’ve also made some significant
academic changes to both programs,” Sprague said.
While the change in curriculum is the
largest change within the last few years, the department itself will not see
any dramatic changes for the upcoming school year. The division is excited
about its new 3500-square foot television studio, as well as welcoming three
new faculty members.
“When we have a vacancy to fill, we don’t
automatically just fill it with someone with the same characteristics. Instead,
members of the faculty discuss what our curriculum might be missing and
determine what type of colleague we need based upon that assessment,” Sprague
Sylvia Mikucki- Enyart, Ph.D. from the
University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, Chris Shofner, MFA from the
University of Cincinnati, and Andrew Stoner, M.A. from Ball State University,
and ABD at Colorado State University will be joining the Division of
Communication faculty teaching a variety of classes in the Interpersonal
Organizational, Media Studies, and Public Relations emphases.
“We will continue to provide excellent academic
opportunities for our students and are excited to continue working with our
student organizations to strengthen our co-curricular activities in the
upcoming year,” Sprague said.