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1990s

Timeline compiled by David Badger, Christian Haseleu and Gail Sneed
with assistance from the College Timeline Committee, Sarah Tollie and Lisa McCann


1990 - Tennessean Editor John Seigenthaler prepares to mark 200 th anniversary of the First Amendment by commissioning Dr. Robert Wyatt and pollster David Neft to conduct a nationwide poll of Americans' attitudes toward free expression. Results are published as the book Free Expression and the American Public by Dr. Wyatt and Dr. David Badger and distributed to the nation's newspaper editors at the 1991 American Society of Newspaper Editors convention. The report later wins the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Research about Journalism. Seigenthaler also commissions a guide for newspaper editors, Celebrate the First Amendment, authored by Dr. Badger.

1991 - College of Mass Communication moves into $15.5 million state-of-the-art teaching and production complex, later named the John Bragg Mass Communication Building in recognition of efforts by state Rep. John Bragg to bring the building to fruition.

1991 - Dr. Richard Barnet appointed chair of the Department of Recording Industry Management.

1991 -Mobile Production Lab truck acquired by Department of Radio-TV/Photography.

1991 - New York Times political columnist Tom Wicker delivers address on freedom of speech to College faculty, alumni and the Tennessee Press Association as a guest of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence.

1991 - James Squires, former editor in chief of the Chicago Tribune and one-time reporter for the Nashville Tennessean, begins residency as Seigenthaler Chairholder, lecturing and teaching during the academic year.

1992 - Tennessee Higher Education Commission approves a master's degree program for the College.

1992 - Department of Recording Industry Management changes its name to Department of Recording Industry. Curriculum offers one emphasis in Music Business, another in Production and Technology.

1992 - The Digital Animation and Imaging sequence—the first of its kind in the Tennessee Board of Regents and the region—is developed by Marc Barr for Radio-TV emphases.

1992 - Former Washington Post reporter and Time Magazine Saigon Deputy Bureau Chief Wallace Terry, whose bestseller Bloods was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, named Seigenthaler lecturer.

1992 - Dr. Larry Burriss, public affairs officer for the 118 th Airlift Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard, flies to Mali, West Africa, for two weeks with a State Department-sponsored team of civil engineers and doctors, and then to Somalia, to report on U.S. relief efforts.

1992 - Student radio station WNAR ("We Need A Radio";) authorized by Student Government Association and goes on the air on cable channel 38, MTSU's Housing and Residential Life Channel.

1993 - Geoffrey Hull appointed interim dean of the College of Mass Communication.

1993 - Dr. Deryl Leaming named dean of the College of Mass Communication. Dr. David Eason named director of the master's program. Advisory Board to the Department of Recording Industry formed with prominent figures from the music business.

1993 - Lauree Burnette appointed first College of Mass Communication academic adviser.

1993 - Conference titled "The Old News, the New News and the First Amendment,"; sponsored by the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence, features keynote speaker Dan Hallin of the University of California, Richard Campbell of the University of Michigan and James Squires, former editor of the Chicago Tribune.

1993 - College of Mass Communication (Journalism and Radio-TV/Photography) is reaccredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

1993 - Susan Wilson, the first woman faculty member in the Recording Industry Management Department, dies from cancer at the age of 42 at her home in Murfreesboro.

1993 - Nationally syndicated columnist Carl Rowan lectures on "A View from Washington,"; sponsored by the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence.

1994 - WNAR student radio station changes its call letters to WMTS.

1994 - Donald E. Hill, founder of the Department of Mass Communication's original graphics sequence, retires.

1994 - Dr. Jan Quarles, formerly of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, where she was Australia's first associate professor of public relations, and Towson State University in Maryland, is appointed new chair of the Department of Journalism.

1994 - Mass Communication Building named in honor of state Rep. John Bragg, a 1940 graduate of Middle Tennessee State Teachers College (now MTSU), president of the student body and editor of Sidelines, and longtime member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

1994 - Tom T. Hall Endowment and Writers Series, named for celebrated Tennessee country music singer/songwriter and book author Tom T. Hall, is established.

1995 - Dr. Elliott Pood steps down as chair of Department of Radio-Television/Photography and becomes director of enrollment management for College of Mass Communication. Dr. Mary Nichols named interim department chair.

1995 - College hosts salute to director/actor Buster Keaton on the 100th anniversary of his birth and sponsors a special screening of Keaton's classic film "Sherlock Jr.";

1995 - Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence hosts former newspaper reporter/publisher Hodding Carter III, a prominent Southern civil rights activist, assistant secretary of state and network political commentator/anchor.

1996 - Dr. Mary Nichols appointed chair of Department of Radio-TV/Photography.

1996 - Department of Journalism officially becomes the School of Journalism.

1996 - Seigenthaler Chair sponsors conference titled "Journalism Education, the First Amendment Imperative, and the Changing Media Marketplace";; speakers include James Carey, Jay Rosen, Leo Bogart, Ellen Wartella, Lee Becker and Edmund Lambeth.

1996 - School of Journalism hosts Newspaper Advisers' Workshop for Tennessee high school student-newspaper advisers.

1996 - College celebrates John Bragg Day, celebrating the Tennessee state representative for whom the Bragg Mass Communication Building is named.

1997 - Dr. Jan Quarles appointed associate dean of the College of Mass Communication.

1997 - Dr. Richard Campbell appointed new director of the School of Journalism.

1997 - Veteran political reporter John Mashek, who covered every presidential election from 1960 to 1996, begins appointment as Seigenthaler Chairholder.

1998 - Music writer/critic Greil Marcus invited as speaker for Tom T. Hall Writers in the Round.

1998 - Christian Haseleu succeeds Richard Barnet as chair of the Department of Recording Industry.

1998 - Geoff Hull appointed the College's assistant dean for graduate studies and oversees the College's master's degree program.

1998 - Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence sponsors seminar titled "Can They Really Say That? Popular Music and the First Amendment,"; featuring Reebee Garofalo and Nina Crowley.

1998 - Dr. E. Albert Moffett, broadcast industry veteran of 25 years who joined the Radio-TV/Photography faculty in 1991, retires.

1998 - The Office of Communication Research conducts its first Middle Tennessee Tracking Poll, utilizing MTSU undergraduate and graduate students to conduct telephone polls in the Midstate area to develop survey-research skills. Dr. Robert Wyatt, director of the Office of Communication Research, and Dr. Ken Blake are the poll's co-founders.

1998 - Cathy Hendon appointed college academic adviser.

1998 - Author James Tobin, biographer of Ernie Pyle and the Wright brothers, hosted by Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence.

1999 - Dr. Robert Spires named interim chair of Department of Radio-TV/Photography.

1999 - Ami Carter appointed assistant to the dean.

1999 - Former New York Times political columnist Tom Wicker returns to the College to lecture.

1999 - Tom T. Hall Writers Series hosts Kentucky novelist, short story writer, critic Bobbie Ann Mason.

1999 - College reaccredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.