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Change announced at UM School of Journalism

Posted at 9:48 AM, Sep 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-09 11:48:46-04

MISSOULA – The University of Montana announced Friday that Dean Larry Abramson of the School of Journalism will be taking a new position as special advisor to the provost on Monday.

New UM Provost Jon Harbor says his office needs more manpower to accomplish their objectives. Abramson was recruited for his skills to impact a much larger part of the university.

“We need to have some additional help. As I looked across the university and matched the people that we have available with my needs, Larry really stood out. One of the first things I am going to get him to work on is some of our global and international initiatives,” Harbor said.

Abramson has made contributions to the journalism school’s international work.

This move comes with talk about combining the journalism school and another program as President Seth Bodnar continues his work to make budget adjustments.

In the coming year, the provost says they will search for the next leader of the school of journalism. Broadcast faculty member Denise Dowling is stepping in as interim dean on Monday and has previously served in that position.

There is talk of moving the School of Journalism into another college to cut down on administrative expenses, she says. Dowling added in that case, the journalism school will be in the same building and will retain their independence, faculty and curriculum.

“So that we could go under their umbrella, have a lot of that administrative work, staff work, done by the central office of whatever college it is, and leave us free to continue to teach journalism the way we have for more than 100 years,” Dowling said.

Dowling says at one point, there was discussion about bringing the journalism school into the Communicative Sciences and Disorders program, and now there are conversations about possibly combining it with the Media Arts school.

Dowling, currently associate professor and director of student services in the journalism school, will take over as interim dean on Sept. 10.

-Augusta McDonnell reporting for MTN News