Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I'm not returning Jack O'Dwyer's phone call

Jack O'Dwyer called this morning while I was in class to ask my opinion about the current debate about the worthiness (or wastefulness) of an education in public relations. I've decided not to return that call.

I'm proud of my work. I think my students are great and I'd recommend them -- at least the vast majority of them -- to anyone. Last year's graduates got PR jobs at Coca-Cola Enterprises, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fleishman Hillard, and many other organizations large and small. Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm happy to brag about them (remember Leigh, and Kaitlyn and Lauren?) and knows that our program produced last year's PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition winners, selected by professionals, not other educators, and one of our faculty members was part of a team to win a Silver Anvil. Like anything else, our program could be improved, but I think it's pretty darn good, and we've got the external validation to prove it.

It's not my job to defend PR education. I can't speak for other schools or educators, although I'm sure they're doing the best they can in whatever circumstances they find themselves. So rather than returning Jack's call, I'm going to my 2:00 class -- 3 hours on PR writing.

Update: ...but I did return his e-mail, reiterating my point that I have neither the authority nor the knowledge to speak on behalf of all PR educators, but I'd be happy to tell him about our program.

Update: my response to Jack's article about me.

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"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given" --Bertrand Russell

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