For the upcoming fall 2018 semester, the JAMS 505: Research for Advertising and Public Relations course will soon be faded into the background. Students in the advertising/public relations concentration in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies will now have a new course requirement to follow.
JAMS 407: Persuasive Media Strategies and Tactics is a three-credit course that will result in changing the Advertising and Public Relations requirements. The new course shines light on the change in media landscapes while providing information on how to be creative and strategic when targeting an audience. Students will learn about the necessary background in media planning and buying in media work.
The new course JAMS 407 will now substitute JAMS 505 in order to complete the major requirements in that concentration. Although students are still allowed the opportunity to take the JAMS 505 course next year, they will have it offered as an elective. Students already proceeding in major requirements are not obligated to switch out to take the new course. Anybody who has not declared and has not taken 505 will be notified they are excluded as well through advising.
Professor David Allen suggested that the new course will be considered a great idea for incoming students.
“In an ideal world, students wouldn’t take both if it’s not necessary,” said Allen. “If we are able to offer the course 505 for the next year or two, the students will not face the issue of confusion. Students will gradually fade into the new requirements. I think it’s a very smart idea.”
While many in attendance saw the new course requirements as a great idea, there were slight worries regarding the confusion with advising.
“I just foresee advising problems,” said Academic Department Associate Anna Kupiecki. “Given how complicated our curriculum is already as compared to other department requirements and advising issues that we face. I feel like it will be pretty difficult for such a switch.”
On the afternoon of Dec. 8, the Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies faculty of UW-Milwaukee met for their monthly meeting on the fifth floor of Bolton Hall. They also drafted their own departmental merit guidelines for Academic Staff after years of only having the departmental merit guidelines for Faculty.
Several faculty members said that they agree with the new proposal but suggested a few changes regarding wording. Consistent language being used was the main issue that was addressed and fixed within the meeting.
Those present were able to decide on who is in charge of faculty and academic staff merit. Now, faculty merit will be handled by the Executive Committee and Academic Staff merit will be handled by the chair.
Set aside from drafting a new proposal, they discussed the upcoming change in the faculty’s pay plan. Statements were switched around and put in new categories.
The upcoming pay plan was next up for discussion.
The merit program is being implemented not only at UW-Milwaukee but throughout all 26 University of Wisconsin System campuses. Chancellors decided to pass out raises in a way that are not typically the uniform style like in the past. The UW System now has a pay plan that makes funds available for people at the university to create pay raises, leaving only full-time permanent employees in the JAMS department included in this plan.
The pay raise is made up of all of the full-time employees’ wages added up and then four percent of that is up for grabs for payment raises. Four percent of all salary expenditures for the institution are included. Associate Professor and Chair, Michael Z. Newman, explained how the new way for pay increases includes the level of merit.
“At the same time the pay plan is being funded the UW System will be adjusting pay rates at various different positions. Like lecturer for instance, where there is a scale of what lecturers get paid. So that scale might increase. So that may be the way that a pay increase would come to those who are not budgeted employees,” said Newman. “Or it’s also possible that the college might determine that people who are not at the top of the scale for their position will be moved to the top of the scale if possible.”
However, not everyone agrees that the way the merit raises are being conducted will be a successful decision for the department. Senior Lecturer Jessica McBride was concerned that the department’s fixed-term instructors, who often have a heavy course load and are full-time employees, don’t qualify for the merit increases.
“It’s out of our hands. I personally find it to be really wrong that we have fixed termers that in some cases teach more classes than any of us sitting in this room, and they don’t even count for merit,” said McBride. “It creates a situation with poor morale in the department or possibility of it.”
(Note: After this story ran, the College of Letters and Science advised the JAMS Department that it had erroneously told departments to exclude fixed termers, and they will now be included. “We messed up, and my thanks to those of you who brought this to my attention,” Interim Dean Dave Clark wrote in an email to departments. “Per campus instructions, the Pay Plan was supposed to include all academic staff who were at 50 percent or more on October 1, whether or not they are budgeted in the red book. We followed our past practice of omitting those non-budgeted employees when we prepared your spreadsheets, so now we must fix the problem.”)
The JAMS department now looks at a three-year period of research and other requirements for their field outside of classwork (2014-2016) to decide ranking that is only for faculty. Voluntarily, teachers are allowed to submit a one to two-page highlights document in bullet point or narrative highlighting the work over the three calendar years.