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Dear students,

You may have heard that the University of Oregon and each of its schools and colleges are developing plans to balance the budget in tough economic times. Today, I would like to address the situation in the School of Journalism and Communication.

Maintaining the quality of education and experiences we offer to you, our students, is the core principle that guides all the decisions we have made and will make during this critical time. We are also committed to preserving the balance between academic research and professional practices to offer our undergraduate and graduate students a well-rounded education that will increase your likelihood of success at the UO and beyond.

Because of several factors—including significantly reduced state allocations over the last two decades, the need for increased student services due to substantial growth in enrollment, and additions to our faculty ranks—our school’s income has not been keeping up with our expenses for the past two years. To close this gap, I have developed a three-year financial plan to balance the budget by 2020 with the guidance of the Office of the Provost, the SOJC’s associate deans, and our executive director in Portland.

When I began my tenure as the SOJC’s dean on July 1, 2016, I was aware of some of the financial issues in the SOJC. But the size of the deficit and the need to balance the budget in three years became clear only over the course of the past several months. Now that I have a full understanding of the situation and the potential solutions, I am doing everything possible to achieve financial stability and move forward with a stronger SOJC.

I have also been visiting and talking to many alumni and supporters of the school in the last 10 months. They are enthusiastic for what lies ahead for the SOJC. I will continue to share with you my vision and the initiatives I would like to incorporate, and you will have several chances to provide feedback and ideas.

To start this ongoing conversation, I would like to introduce you to my new Dean’s Student Advisory Council, also known as The Panel @ Allen. The Panel will begin hosting and moderating a series of town halls to open channels of communication around issues that affect you, the students of the SOJC.

The first town hall is happening on Wednesday, May 17, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in Allen 141. This event will feature a panel of SOJC faculty, who will discuss and field questions about the future of media, the importance of experiential learning, and the school’s role in educating and preparing students for the real world. A reception with pizza and beverages will follow. I look forward to hearing your voices and answering your questions!

Please reach out to The Panel on Twitter @ThePanelAllen with feedback about future town halls, including an opportunity to address the school’s financial situation with me.

Thank you very much for reading this message. I am always thinking about our future.

Respectfully,

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Juan-Carlos Molleda, PhD
Edwin L. Artzt Dean, Professor