Students express their expectations regarding new SOC dean


In an open forum hosted by the School of Communications (SOC) on Dec. 1, nearly 40 students voiced their expectations of the new SOC dean who will be replacing current SOC dean, Debra Carpenter.
The majority present hoped the new SOC dean, who has yet to be selected, mirrors Carpenter’s attributes.
Carpenter held her position for sixteen years, and will be stepping down this summer to pursue teaching at Webster in the spring of 2013.


“If we could clone her (Carpenter), that would be great,” said Andrea Pepper, junior audio production major.
Students said the new dean should be willing to assimilate into the small school community and be involved with not only SOC but other departments.
Pepper said she would like the new dean to be willing to delegate budgets and funds to students to allow them to travel to conferences and work on special projects.
“(Carpenter) flew me to London for a conference,” Pepper said. “When you have a dean, you have a concern that they care more about the system instead of people, but that’s not the case with Debbie.

That’s what I want to see in the new dean.”
Students voiced their concern about the new dean implementing an open door policy.

“(Carpenter) was just really open with us,” said Brittany Larimore, sophomore film production major. “She’s not someone who just locks herself away in an office.”
Mariana Mejia, senior audio production major, said she would like the new dean to be knowledgeable of new equipment for all majors.
“I want the new dean to ask themselves, ‘How can I make all of this equipment available for my students?’ ” Mejia said.
Students said the new dean should build more synergy within the SOC. They also said they want the new dean to utilize the New Academic Building.

Susan Napoleon, coordinator and assistant to Carpenter, said she will sorely miss Carpenter.
“We’ve worked together six years. We read each other’s minds and intentions,” Napoleon said. “The only consolation is she’s not disappearing completely.”

Napoleon, who will be assisting the new dean, said the new dean should take account of how Webster functions as a campus.
Gary Ford, director of Webster’s graduate program and one of three members of the SOC search committee present at the forum, said the input gained from the forum was extremely helpful.
“Right now, we’re trying to gain a constituency of different groups on campus,” Ford said. “We need to have requirements for the job description.”
Ford said the job description will be formed by the end of the fall 2011 semester.

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