Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dodged a Bullet?

At the risk of jinxing myself, it looks like the much-afeared communications merger won't be happening, at least not anytime soon. Our new department head, tapped from within the ranks of the department, and someone who has served as department head before, is now sitting in the captain's chair, and things are looking better.

One point that was made in the departmental meeting was that our team would not survive being transplanted. Not that we're a fragile group, but that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Having a group of intelligent people of diverse skills, who are professional, good at what they do, and like working with each other is pretty rare in the industry, and it would be foolish to throw that away. The products created from this synergy is exactly the sort of thing that will help advance our university's interests.

The emerging game lab is a good example. Only a handful of universities are even acknowledging gaming as a viable means of mass communication and artistic expression, but we're taking our first steps in that direction, and we're doing it from the beginning with a outreach-minded perspective, rather than an insular academic one. The fact that we have media muscle enough to spare to create a gaming lab is a testament to how strong, versatile, and forward-thinking our unit is (and by extension, the administration who supports us in our efforts).

In the end, I don't think any of our jobs were in danger. We have a great team of highly talented people. But we probably were in danger of having the wind sucked out of our sails by transplanting us or dividing us up into different groups under different leaders. It's good to see that the administration understands and values the sort of team that we've managed to build. It bodes well.

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