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Today's word on journalism

Friday, May 12, 2006

THE FINAL WORD

PETERSBORO, Utah -- Gloom like a Bulwer-Lyttonesque pall hung heavily over the Cache Valley as word came that the WORD had gone.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire. . . ." No, wait. . . . That's actual Bulwer-Lyttonism. Scratch it.

We conclude, with joy and trumpets and a tankard or two, the 10th season of TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM. What began in 1995 as a professor's strategy to get his students to read email (guess that worked!) now has spread, birdflu-like, far beyond that unwilling audience to self-flagellating WORD volunteers on five-and-a-half continents. But the willing and unwilling alike--the halt and addled and addicted and deluded--will have to get a life and smell the roses, for a while anyway.

Today marks the end of the WORD for this academic season. Even ere the rosy dawn that didth bust o'er this glade, this vale, this happy home. . . . ooops. Avert already, Sir Bulwer, you mangy cur!!!!

See you in the fall. . . TP

Burnham named dean of USU grad school

April 26, 2006 | Byron Burnham has been appointed vice provost and dean of the graduate school at Utah State University. Burnham will assume his duties July 1.

Prior to his appointment as vice provost and dean, Burnham served as department head and professor for the department of instructional technology and research professor for the department of psychology in the College of Education and Human Services.

USU president Stan Albrecht said he is pleased with Burnham’s appointment to this vital position.

“His leadership is important as the Utah State University system continues to grow, not only in Logan, but throughout the state,” Albrecht said. “Graduate education has always had an important place on our Logan campus. In the future, it will become even more important and vital. Dr. Burnham is experienced and well-qualified to lead this future growth.”

The announcement was made by USU’s Executive Vice President and Provost Raymond T. Coward following a telephone conference call with President Stan Albrecht and USU’s board of trustees.

Burnham replaces Tom Kent, who left USU Aug. 1, 2004, to become dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University.

“I am grateful and excited about the opportunities before us,” Burnham said. “I welcome advice and perspectives from USU’s colleges and departments.”

The School of Graduate Studies is the central administrative body that promotes, supports and reviews graduate education at Utah State University, ensuring consistency and excellence in all graduate degree programs.

A search committee, headed by professor Jim Dorward, coordinated the efforts that culminated in Burnham’s appointment.

“Following the application and interview process, the search committee recommended candidates to the provost and the president,” Dorward said.

He characterized the pool of candiates as individuals of exceptional backgrounds and skills.

“Dr. Burnham had strengths in previous administrative positions at USU,” he said. “He also had a strong background in graduate student mentoring and in his position as department head of a department that exclusively grants master’s degrees and Ph.D’s.”

Coward acknowledged the committee for its efforts.

“President Albrecht and I thank the search committee for its dedication to finding the ideal candidates for this position,” Coward said. “The graduate dean plays an important role on campus, and we are very pleased that Byron Burnham has accepted this position. I look forward to working closely with him to build strong, vital and world-renowned graduate programs at USU.”

Burnham said the demand for graduate degrees is increasing, and while USU has excellent graduate programs in a number of areas, expansion in other areas is possible.

“The affordability of graduate education is an issue at the national level,” he said. “At USU costs are relative low, but we still need to help students see how they can support themselves while studying with some of the best faculty in the nation. As an institution we need to help them secure financial support.”

Burnham joined Utah State University in 1972, where he was program coordinator in the Conference and Institute Division and executive secretary of the Quality of Rural Life Programs until 1979. He spent several years at the University of British Columbia, before returning to USU in 1980 as director of the Management Institute and assistant director of the Conference and Institute Division. He has served as associate dean for Extension, Learning Resources Program, and as interim dean of Information and Learning Resources. He participated in the National Leadership Development Project, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the University of Wisconsin. The project focused on improving higher education across the United States. As part of the project, Burnham undertook a two year study of leadership in higher education.

Burnham earned bachelor’s and master’s degress from USU and his doctorate from the University of British Columbia in adult education.

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