Ragsdale named interim chair

48 years ago Comments Off on Ragsdale named interim chair

With the termination of Dr. Don Richardson, Dr. Brian Chapman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has assigned a new interim chair of the School of Public Communications. His new appointee is Dr. James Ragsdale, is the speech communications program coordinator at SHSU and has over 38 years of teaching experience, most of it coming from his long tenure with Louisiana State University.Ragsdale began teaching at SHSU in the fall of 1998, becoming the speech communications program coordinator in 2000.Ragsdale commented on how he got the position. “It seems kind of pale in comparison now, but on Sept. 10, Don Richardson said that he was going to retire from the chairmanship, effective the end of the summer. That was something I had not anticipated. He and I, being friends, had talked about how long we might continue to teach here, and I was sort of shocked,” Ragsdale said. “Nonetheless, I had always thought that being a chair here would be a very good thing to do. I would like to do that. I believe I have the ability to do that.”Last Tuesday, Ragsdale was notified he would be interim chair through the summer.Ragsdale said on the day Richardson announced his retirement, he visited Dean Chapman and said, “I want to be a candidate for this job, I don’t want to be on the search committee to pick the person.”According to Ragsdale, a few other people had expressed interest in the position before he was selected.”The dean sees my vita on an annual basis when he does the annual review, faculty evaluation. So he’s familiar with my vita, what I’ve done in my career and he knew my interest in the position,” Ragsdale said. “So the dean selected me as interim chair based on those things.”As program coordinator, Ragsdale said he spoke to Dean Chapman on a few occasions, which may have influenced the dean’s decision.”But I believe I was selected on the basis of what he knew about my credentials,” he said.As for the job of a chair, Ragsdale says there is a general understanding across the country as to what that is. “From one university to another, you get a little different focus. But the chair is responsible for first of all the management of the budget of the school, the management of the courses that are offered, the enrollment in those course, running the affairs and business of the school,” Ragsdale said. “There may be a written description somewhere, but generally speaking, I would say that he is the administrative officer of the school.”Ragsdale also contends that his position as chair should not make him seen as the “boss,” but as a colleague of the people whom he administers. “I don’t see any chair as a boss, but more as simply the leader of the group,” he said. “All I’m trying to say is that a chairman functions as a spokesperson more than as a person who hands down orders.”Ragsdale said he is very excited about his new position.”I am very very happy to be the interim chair,” Ragsdale said. “And I am a candidate for permanent chair. I hope very much that I will be permanent chair.”As Ragsdale settles into his new position, he must also deal with the fact that his promotion came at the cost of a friend.”I’ve always had a very good relationship with Dr. Richardson; he’s my tennis partner,” Ragsdale said. “I wasn’t near so happy with that part of it as I was about the fact that I had become the chair.”I’m not going to comment about a personnel issue, especially not one that I’m not fully privy to. I think that it would be fair to say that a lot of us, including Dean Chapman, wish that it had not take