Communication professor appointed as new DMS chair

Thomas Feeley replaces former chair Marc Böhlen as media studies chair

Robin Schulze, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, approached Thomas Feeley in “late September or early October,” to inform him that Marc Böhlen would no longer be DMS chair and asked him to fill the position, Feeley said. Feeley is a communication professor since 2011 who chaired the communication department for six years until 2015.

Feeley told The Spectrum in an email that he is not worried about the transition between departments.

“DMS isn’t too far away from communication, so to speak, as a major and many students take courses in both departments,” Feeley said. “I wasn’t looking to switch. I am quite happy in communication, but have a great appreciation for media studies as a major.”

Feeley said he does not know why Böhlen is no longer DMS chair, but believes “typically personnel decisions are private for good reason so I am not aware of the decision making on either side.”

The Spectrum reached out to Dean Schulze and Böhlen on the new appointment, but both declined comment.

The Department of Media Studies has received complaints from students in the past, who claim that the department does not adequately prepare students for jobs in media, which The Spectrum reported on in 2016. Feeley said he hasn’t personally heard of the complaints.

“I am unaware of the complaints, but I am sure I will quickly be aware of them if they exist. I just started last week so I have to get my feet under me,” Feeley said. “I have relied on staff and faculty to address concerns in the interim so I can work on various staffing and budget needs.”

David Tunis-Garcia is the managing editor and can be reached at