Director, School of Media

Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

Posted 8 months ago

Western Kentucky University ( invites applications and nominations for Director, School of Media. The Director will lead the newly renamed School and its four distinct programs: Broadcasting, Film, Journalism and Photojournalism. The new Director will support initiatives to enhance the School’s programs; engage faculty, staff and students from the School’s diverse disciplines; cultivate an active alumni network; and foster multidisciplinary collaboration.  


The mission of Western Kentucky University (WKU) is to prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. The University provides research, service and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty and other constituents. The University enriches the quality of life for those within its reach. 

Western Kentucky University was founded in 1906 and is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, an ethnically and racially diverse city of 61,500 people, about 110 miles south of Louisville and 65 miles north of Nashville. More than 50 different languages are spoken in and around Bowling Green and people from 35 nationalities call the area home. We seek to attract research- and teaching-active faculty, as well as staff members, from academically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The university’s population of approximately 20,000 students includes 35% first-generation university/college, 15% underrepresented minority and 6% international students. A regional comprehensive university, WKU is student-centered and focuses on applied research that expands knowledge; improves learning; and serves the region, state and nation. SACSCOC reaffirmed the University’s accreditation for 10 years in 2015. The next scheduled reaffirmation is 2025.


Working with the School’s 21 faculty, instructors and staff, the Director will provide the visionary leadership to maintain excellence and meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving media landscape. All candidates must demonstrate a vision for the future informed by a belief in the fundamentals of the School’s professions, an understanding of the importance of journalism in contemporary culture and a commitment to the power of storytelling across multiple platforms. Our ideal candidate has a record of success in industry collaboration, recruiting initiatives and fundraising.

Our programs are robust and active, staffed by a committed faculty with deep professional experience. Our faculty practices what it teaches. Our students boast a more than four-decade track record of achievement in state, regional and national competitions. Highlights include a national championship in the Hearst Intercollegiate Journalism Awards in 2017-2018 and finishing in the Top 8 nationally in the Hearst competition for 26 straight years. Photojournalism has won the Intercollegiate Photojournalism competition 25 out of the last 30 years and the Intercollegiate Multimedia category seven out of the last eight years. Our film students have won four NATAS Student Production Award in the past two years and placed several films in nationally recognized film festivals. The Broadcasting program has won dozens of regional and state awards in radio, television news and video production from the Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and has taken top honors in national competitions from the Broadcast Education Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Since its inception, the School’s alumni have received 19 Pulitzer Prize awards in reporting and photography, the most recent in 2018.

Our majors are:

Broadcasting: Broadcasting is a diverse degree with video and audio production and performance as its cornerstones. It develops students well-versed in the technical, editorial and professional functions of traditional broadcasting as well as its modern successors, including podcasting and web-streaming. The major produces two weekly television broadcasts – NewsChannel 12 and The Extra Point – as well as consistent radio programming on WWHR/Revolution 91.7.

Film: The major in Film provides undergraduates a strong foundation in both film production and film studies. This combination allows students to gain the practical skills to succeed on a film set in both below-the-line and above-the-line roles, experience the mechanics of film production in industry and independent settings, and develop critical and analytical thinking through the study of global film culture, history and aesthetics. The program hosts a multi-day film festival that premieres student work in front of hundreds of filmmakers, faculty and community members. The state-of-the-art facilities, industry-standard equipment and focus on narrative filmmaking set the School of Media apart from other film programs in the region, and WKU is the only public post-secondary institution in Kentucky with a film major.

Journalism: Journalism is a multimedia degree with writing and editing for print and digital at its core. It provides a transferable skillset applicable to any career in professional communications. The major produces its own award-winning online magazine, RE(a)D, that showcases the best student work produced by majors.

Photojournalism: The Photojournalism program strives to inspire students to document the lives of people living within their diverse communities through issue-oriented storytelling. Through the use of reporting, still photography, video, audio and writing, students master the combination of the technical and aesthetic skills critical to communicating these stories to a broader society. Students graduating from the Photojournalism program are well-prepared to meet the challenges of a highly competitive field and obtain jobs at top-tier online and traditional publications.

At our core, we all see ourselves as storytellers. We offer an innovative curriculum. We are nimble and forward-thinking, honoring the merge — and inherent strengths — of words, visualization and technology.

An ideal candidate will have strong professional media experience, including leadership posts in a digitally focused environment, a national profile in their area of expertise and an attitude that is relentlessly positive. The candidate should be focused on the value of journalism as a watchdog for our society and the value of the First Amendment in all creative pursuits.

We seek applicants who are energetic, forward-thinking, hands-on, collaborative and focused on growing our brand to reach a broader and more diverse student body and a heightened national profile. We seek a director with creative ideas for growth along with an innate drive to honor the values of journalism and the creative art of filmmaking.


  • A clear, collaborative vision for promoting the School of Media on a national and international platform;
  • An ability to facilitate an environment in which faculty and staff can best thrive as teachers, scholars and professionals;
  • A dedication to supporting and enhancing student-focused creative projects and applied research;
  • A commitment to fundraising and cultivating relationships with donors, industry and alumni, in partnership with WKU Philanthropy;
  • A commitment to increasing diversity within the School and in its represented professions;
  • Strong professional and/or higher education experience;
  • Significant management experience, including working with large budgets;
  • An advanced degree in a related field;
  • A record of scholarship or creative work appropriate for tenure;
  • Prior university or professional teaching/instruction.


The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, resume/CV and the names and contact information of five or more references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting Western Kentucky University.  Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. 

It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm by January 6, 2020.  For additional information, please contact:

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Rich McNeal, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900

Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 x109 or x112 |

Applications will be considered in confidence, but the name and curriculum vitae of finalists will be released prior to on-campus meetings with key constituency groups as part of the final interview process.

University policy and state law require a thorough background investigation of finalists.

Western Kentucky University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO) at (270) 745- 5121, a minimum of five working days in advance.

Job Features

Job CategoryAcademic