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1980s

Timeline compiled by David Badger, Christian Haseleu and Gail Sneed
with assistance from the College Timeline Committee, Sarah Tollie and Lisa McCann


1980 - MTSU's Haynes House converted into a recording studio by students working with Christian Haseleu.

1981 - MTSU's three student publications— Sidelines, Midlander and Collage—and coordinator of student publications moved from oversight by Dean of the School of Basic and Applied Sciences Edwin Voorhies and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Corlew to Dean of Student Affairs Robert LaLance by vote of the University Student Publications Committee.

1981 - Dr. Alexander Nagy appointed interim chair of Department of Mass Communication.

1982 - Dr. Alexander Nagy appointed chair of Department of Mass Communication.

1985 - Recording Industry Management program becomes first in the country to release a student CD.

1985 - MTSU's Center for Popular Music, an archive and research center for the study of American popular music, established as one of 16 centers of excellence at universities in the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Paul Wells named first director of the center.

1986 - Center for Recording Arts and Sciences established with a $2 million grant to work with the Recording Industry Management program. The center builds an on-campus digital audio recording studio in the James Union Building with Christian Haseleu as director.

1986 - John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, named for the longtime editor, president and publisher of the Nashville Tennessean, created under Tennessee Chairs of Excellence program with an initial endowment of approximately $1.3 million, which has grown to more than $3 million. Chair is designed to provide programs about First Amendment free-press/free-speech rights and funding for distinguished professionals, academics, seminars and research.

1987 - Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence hosts first activity, Symposium on the Fairness Doctrine, with guest panelists Wendell Rawls, Fred Graham, Jim Squires, Jerome Barron and Rep. Jim Bates.

1988 - Department of Mass Communication elevated to status of School of Mass Communication. Dr. Alex Nagy becomes director of the School. Recording Industry Management program merges with Center for Recording Arts and Sciences and becomes Department of Recording Industry Management; Geoff Hull is appointed chair of the new department. Radio-TV and Photography programs become Department of Radio-TV/Photography, with emphases in Broadcast Journalism, Broadcast Production, Broadcast Management and Photography. Dr. Dennis Oneal appointed interim chair of the department.

1988 - Dr. Alex Nagy assumes position of acting dean of the School of Mass Communication and becomes dean one year later.

1988 - MTSU President Sam Ingram funds Office of Communication Research and appoints Dr. Robert Wyatt, professor of journalism and book editor of the Nashville Tennessean, as the first director.

1988 - School of Mass Communication's second Seigenthaler Chairholder, former CBS radio commentator John Henry Faulk—blacklisted during the McCarthy Era but exonerated in court with the help of lawyer Louis Nizer—moderates Seigenthaler Chair symposium on the Red Scare. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel offers personal commentary on remarks by panelists Athan Theoharis, Ellen Schrecker and Don Carleton.

1988 - Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications approves full accreditation for the School of Mass Communication (Department of Journalism, Department of Radio-Television/Photography and Dean's Office).

1988 - "Political Cartooning and the First Amendment,"; a seminar and exhibit of historic and contemporary cartoons, hosted by the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence. Guest speakers include Sandy Campbell ( The Tennessean), Lucy Caswell (Ohio State University), George Fisher ( Arkansas Gazette), Draper Hill ( Detroit News), David Horsey ( Seattle Post-Intelligencer), Etta Hulme ( Fort Worth Star-Telegram), Jim Larrick ( Columbus Dispatch), Milt Priggee (Spokane Spokesman-Review), Sam Rawls (United Features) and Bob Taylor ( Dallas Times Herald).

1988 - Student cable television station started in the Department of Radio-Television/Photography.

1989 - School of Mass Communication elevated to the status of College of Mass Communication.

1989 - Dr. Edward Kimbrell appointed first dean of the College of Mass Communication. Dr. Elliott Pood appointed chair of the Department of Radio-Television/Photography. Dr. Larry Burriss appointed chair of the Department of Journalism.