Wednesday, June 14, 2006


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina E. Fann, 615-898-5385

Educator Joins MTSU for Year of Teaching, Research, Discussions on African-American Media

(MURFREESBORO)—A veteran communications educator whose career stretches from public television intern to academic administrator will join Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Mass Communication for the fall 2006 semester as the latest Geier Visiting Professor.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and the Tennessee Board of Regents recently approved Dr. Philip Jeter, a professor of journalism and associate vice president for academic affairs at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., since 2004, for the post.
”I’m excited about working in one of the largest mass communication education programs in the country,” Jeter said. “I look forward to working with Dean Anantha Babbili, Associate Dean John Omachonu and Director Carol Pardun, whom I’ve known for years through committee work with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.” “I’m especially interested in getting to know a new group of students, and the opportunity the Geier appointment will give me to catch up on some research projects that I have not been able to for years.”
Jeter, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from Cornell University, participated in a round of interviews in April for the yearlong appointment. The university annually seeks nominations and applications of outstanding African-American scholars for the one-year Geier Visiting Professor Program, as well as applications for African-American doctoral candidates who have passed their comprehensive exams for the Geier Dissertation Fellowship Program.
“I have known Dr. Phil Jeter since 1993 when I became the General Manager of WAMF-FM radio at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee—a position held by Phil for more than 10 years prior to my arrival,” said Omachonu. “In handing over the baton to me, Phil Jeter gave me an advice that turned out to be very invaluable: he urged me to always clearly explain my position to the station staff and to be fair and consistent with my policies. And with that advice, I had a successful time at the station.
“Phil is a consummate professional who believes in student success. He has a genuine passion for teaching and asks tough questions that others shy away from. He relates well to others and quickly gains the confidence of both students and faculty.
“For our journalism program and the College of Mass Communication, the one-year appointment of Phil Jeter for this coveted position means more depth and intellectual rigor as well as continued application of multidisciplinary perspectives in a way that complements our efforts to ensure diversity of thoughts and opinion throughout the college.”
Before his tenure at JCSU, Jeter taught journalism for 21 years at Florida A&M and also directed the graduate program in journalism and ran the university radio station there. Jeter has a bachelor's in French from Johnson C. Smith, a master's in communication arts from Cornell and a doctorate in communication arts from Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the AEJMC, American Journalism Historians Association, Broadcast Education Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Television Programming Executives, Radio-Television News Directors Association and the Society for Cinema Studies.



“His credentials in teaching and research are extensive, and his public service is impressive,” Babbili said of Jeter. “I am thankful to Dr. Omachonu and Dr. Pardun for working with me to nurture this candidate’s interest in the Geier program offered by MTSU and the TBR. The Office of Vice Provost Dr. Jack Thomas was extremely helpful in bringing Dr. Jeter to MTSU.”
Jeter is the author of “Seen and Heard,” a biweekly column in the Tallahassee, Fla., Capital Outlook newspaper, as well as the author of book chapters in International Afro Mass Media: A Reference Guide, The Responsible Reporter, History of the Mass Media in the United States, American National Biography, Handbook of Mass Media in the United States: The Industry & Its Audiences, Mass Communication in the Information Age and Pluralizing Journalism Education. He’s contributed articles to The Florida Communication Journal, Clio, Feedback, Journalism Educator, American Journalism, Journalism Quarterly, College Media Review and Journal of College Radio publications, as well.
The Geier Visiting Professorships are part of MTSU’s commitment to implement the intent of the Geier Consent Decree by enlisting the talents of outstanding African-American scholars in all disciplines to instruct students. The Geier Consent Decree is the result of a 1968 desegregation lawsuit in which Tennessee was found to have a dual system of higher education separately serving black and white students. Signed in 2001, the consent decree prescribes a five-year plan to integrate the state’s colleges and universities as well as increase overall enrollment.
Dr. Cedric Dent, a Grammy Award-winning musician and member of the a capella group Take 6, served as MTSU’s Geier Visiting Professor of Music during the 2004-05 academic year in a joint appointment with the McLean School of Music and the College of Mass Communication’s Department of Recording Industry. He is now a full-time professor of music theory in the School of Music.
New Orleans sculptor Kimberly Dummons, whose work is included in permanent collections at Xavier University and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art at the University of New Orleans, served as the Geier Visiting Professor in Art during the 2004-05 academic year, where she taught courses in 3-D design and art orientation. She is now a full-time professor of art at MTSU.
One of the largest programs in the nation, the MTSU College of Mass Communication offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas—ranging from journalism to digital media and media management to recording industry management—and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For a color JPEG of Dr. Jeter to accompany this story, please contact Gina E. Fann in the Office of News and Public Affairs via e-mail at or by calling 615-898-5385.

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