Timeline compiled by David Badger, Christian Haseleu and
with assistance from the College Timeline Committee, Sarah Tollie and Lisa McCann
1970 - MTSU President Melvin G. Scarlett commissions Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Graham, a former Nashville Tennessean reporter and University of Illinois professor of journalism, to design a mass communication program for MTSU.
1971 - President Melvin Scarlett appoints Dr. Edward Kimbrell the first chair of the Department of Mass Communication and hires Dr. Glenn Himebaugh to join Kimbrell in the fall as a full-time faculty member. The department incorporates pre-existing university courses and offers sequences in news-editorial journalism, advertising and public relations, graphics and photography, and broadcasting. Student publications, including the campus newspaper, yearbook and literary magazine, and campus radio station WMOT (which signed on the air in 1969), are also placed under the direction of the chair.
1972 - Tennessee State Board of Regents formally approves the new Department of Mass Communication. Billboard Magazine Southern Editor Bill Williams and other music business professionals support Dr. Scarlett's belief that MTSU should develop an educational program for the recording industry. Dr. Scarlett appoints a committee consisting of Mass Communication Department Chair Ed Kimbrell, Dr. John Duke from the Music Department, Dr. Furman Cunningham from the Business Department and Dr. E.L. Gentry from the Education Department and solicits input from the industry to develop a curriculum for a recording industry degree program.
1973 - Recording Industry Management (RIM) program within the Department of Mass Communication approved by Tennessee State Board of Regents.
1974 - Department awards first Bachelor of Science degree in Recording Industry Management.
1977 - Department hosts InterMediary, a statewide journalism conference, with guest speakers David Halberstam, Tom Wicker, Fred Graham and William Rusher.
1977 - Geoffrey Hull, J.D., becomes first
full-time faculty member of Recording Industry Management
1978 - Christian Haseleu recruited as RIM's second full-time faculty member, develops the audio/technology curriculum and is instrumental in securing the program's first recording studio facilities.