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The Northerner

Comm. chair steps down, will take on new position

Claire Higgins, News editor

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Communication Department Chair Rachel Lyon has decided to step down from the administrative chair position. Effective August 2012, Lyon will take on the position of artist in residence for the 2012-2013 academic year.

According to Dean of the College of Informatics Kevin Kirby, the college has not had an artist in residence before, although the College of Arts and Sciences has had many. “Creative activity is a key part of what we do in informatics,” he said.

It is still undecided how Lyon’s artist residency will work, but Kirby will work with the provost and the communication department to shape the position specific to Lyon’s artistic capabilities and goals over the “next month or so.”

According to Trans Artist, a website that connects artists with residency programs internationally, artist in residence programs and other residency opportunities “allow artists to stay and work elsewhere ‘for art’s sake.’ They offer conditions that are conducive to creativity and they provide for working facilities, ready to be used by individual artists.”
After multiple emails requesting a phone call to discuss more details about the position, Lyon did not respond.

With Lyon’s resignation, the search for a new communication department chair is also on the way. Kirby said he will be seeking interim chair nominations from other department faculty. Any faculty member within the department can be appointed as interim chair.

Zach Hart, currently a public relations professor, was the interim chair for one year while the department searched for a chair, which ended up being Lyon.
An interim chair is always appointed, according to Hart, and has the same responsibilities as a permanent chair. Most interim chairs serve for one year, but they serve on a semester to semester basis. The NKU Department Chairs Handbook states that interim chairs cannot serve for more than 24 months.

In an April 11 faculty meeting, Kirby will discuss the transition and search process with the communication department faculty.

Lyon was named department chair in fall 2011. According to her biography on NKU’s website, Lyon has created over 65 documentaries including, “Mr. Dreyfuss Goes to Washington” for the History Channel, “Shadow Over Tibet” and Emmy Award winning “Men Who Molest” for PBS’s Frontline. Lyon’s films have also appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN, National Geographic, BBC and the Discovery Networks.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Comm. chair steps down, will take on new position