As Ithaca College faces a time of crisis in higher education, combating demographic shifts while trying to keep education affordable, the Roy H. Park School of Communications finds itself making a crucial decision about who will help shape the school’s future. Park needs someone who understands not only the challenges the college faces, but also how important it is to maintain and expand on the school’s educational legacy.
Interim dean of the Park School Diane Gayeski is a forward-looking communications thinker who has always been ahead of the curve. She understands where the field needs to go and how the school could best be a part of that transition. In 1985 she wrote “Interactive Media” well before its time, and almost a decade ago wrote about the use of mobile technology in “Learning Unplugged.” What people are excited about now are the things Gayeski predicted and studied years ago, showing that she recognizes trends in communications well before they happen.
The college is urged to choose Gayeski for her understanding that the technological wonders of today will not be what the Park School will be known for in the future. In order to stay ahead of communication trends and offer the most enticing possible education to prospective students, the school needs someone like Gayeski to help create a progressive curriculum that will encourage students to find the solutions to today’s problems in the communications field.
A 1974 graduate with a degree in Television and Radio, Gayeski is a member of the Park School family. She brings with her not only a strong grounding in what makes the school’s educational experience exceptional – innovative faculty, smaller class sizes, hands-on experience from day one – but also an impressive alumni network that will help further the interests of the school and its students.
While the other candidates did have strengths, they seemed overly impressed with passing technology – as if “social media” were the salvation of the communications field. As daily users of that technology, we know better.
Recent experience has shown that flashy ideas imposed on the faculty from above fail to take root and lack staying power. The school of communications needs a dean who can work with the faculty to draw on its strengths and reshape the school’s future while maintaining its core values. Gayeski is the most qualified candidate to fulfill that mission.