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2000s

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


2000 - Dr. Robert Spires appointed chair of the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. Digital Media Communication sequence is developed in this department and coordinated by Dr. Robert Kalwinsky.

2000 - Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Wendell L. Rawls Jr. appointed Seigenthaler Chairholder for academic year.

2001 - Department of Radio-TV/Photography changes its name to Electronic Media Communication. Dr. Jan Quarles joins Electronic Media Communication faculty.

2001 - Sarah Thompson appointed Recording Industry academic adviser.

2001 - Dr. Larry Burriss appointed interim dean of the College of Mass Communication.

2001 - Ami Carter appointed Journalism and Electronic Media Communication academic adviser.

2001 - Middle Tennessee Poll renamed MTSU Poll.

2002 - Department of Radio-TV/Photography renamed Department of Electronic Media Communication.

2002 - Dr. Anantha Babbili named new dean of the College of Mass Communication.

2002 - Sidelines, the student newspaper, moves from the James Union Building to the Bragg Mass Communication Building under the direction of new adviser Wendell Rawls.

2002 - Former Vice President Al Gore participates in yearlong lecture series on "Media and Democracy"; under the auspices of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence.

2003 - Steven Barnes named first development director for the College of Mass Communication.

2003 - Dr. Ken Blake named director of Graduate Studies.

2003 - Department of Electronic Media Communication forms partnership with China's Hunan Normal University's College of Journalism and Communication.

2004 - Dr. John Omachonu named associate dean of the College of Mass Communication.

2004 - Department of Recording Industry celebrates its 30th anniversary. Studios D and E are completed and opened.

2004 - Paula Callahan steps in as Recording Industry academic adviser after Sarah Thompson passes away after extended illness.

2004 - Hattie Traylor appointed Journalism and Electronic Media Communication academic adviser.

2004 - Dr. Ken Blake appointed director of the Office of Communication Research.

2004 - Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor and Nieman Foundation Curator Bill Kovach appointed Seigenthaler Chairholder for fall semester.

2004 - MTSU ceases publication of the student yearbook, Midlander, after 78 years.

2004 - Singer/songwriter/author Rodney Crowell performs and tells stories as the invited guest of the Tom T. Hall Writers Series.

2005 - College of Mass Communication, comprising Journalism, Electronic Media Communication, the Dean's Office and the Graduate Program, reaccredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

2005 - Dr. Edward Kimbrell awarded MTSU Foundation's 2005 Career Achievement Award for his contributions to excellence in teaching, innovative curriculum, development and the profession of journalism.

2005 - Dean Anantha Babbili appoints a Board of Visitors, renamed in 2010 the Board of Professional Advisers, for the College of Mass Communication.

2005 - Students enroll for the first time in the Master of Fine Arts degree program in Recording Arts and Technology.

2005 - Students establish Society of Electronic Music under the direction of Recording Industry professor Joseph Akins.

2005 - Dr. Carol Pardun appointed new director of the School of Journalism.

2005 - Dr. Ed Kimbrell appointed interim director of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence.

2006 - Dr. Tom Cooper appointed ethicist in residence for the College.

2006 - Beverly Keel, professor of recording industry and columnist for The Tennessean, named new director of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence.

2006 - Dr. Phillip Jeter, professor of journalism and associate vice president for academic affairs at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., named Geier Visiting Professor of Journalism by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

2006 - Former Vice President Al Gore visits MTSU to teach and lecture as part of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence Lecture Series.

2006 - Former Washington Post investigative reporter Carl Bernstein, who worked with fellow Post reporter Bob Woodward to expose President Richard Nixon's role in the Watergate scandal and co-author the classic investigative book All the President's Men, lectures on campus in April as part of a Seigenthaler symposium on journalism credibility.

2006 - David Halberstam, a former Tennessean reporter who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize as a New York Times war correspondent in Vietnam, compares American media coverage of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq during a major address to MTSU students and faculty just a few months before he is killed in a car accident in California. Also speaking at the Seigenthaler Chair-sponsored symposium, "Covering the Front Lines: The Evolution of War Journalism and Lasting Effects of War Coverage on Journalism,"; are Michael Weisskopf, George Wilson, George Esper, Robert Reid, Michael Sweeney, Anthony Feinstein and Leon Alligood.

2006 - Department of Electronic Media Communication partners with Davidson County Emergency Management Disaster Simulation, but exercise is cut short due to a real tornado disaster.

2006 - Rock guitarist/pianist/singer/songwriter John Hiatt performs and reminisces as the guest of the Tom T. Hall Writers Series.

2007 - Ethicist-in-Residence Tom Cooper presides over the university's first U.S. Media Ethics Summit.

2007 - Dr. Dennis Oneal appointed chair of Department of Electronic Media Communication.

2007 - Electronic Media Communications Sony studio upgraded.

2007 - Seigenthaler Chair co-hosts university address by Terry Gross, co-executive producer and host of NPR's radio show "Fresh Air.";

2007 - Tennessean Chairman Emeritus John Seigenthaler presented with a Hollywood-style director's chair with his name on it—only the third actual "Seigenthaler chair"; in existence—by College representatives Sonny Rawls, David Badger and Beverly Keel at his 80th birthday celebration at the Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University.

2007 - Dr. Clare Bratten named director of the Mass Communication graduate program.

2007 - Dr. Carol Pardun, director of the School of Journalism, elected vice president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

2008 - Dr. Roy Moore named new dean of the College of Mass Communication.

2008 - Chris Clark (Christopher Botsaris), veteran lead anchor for 41 years of WTVF Nashville News Channel 5, named resident chairholder of the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence and teaches courses in Electronic Media Communication.

2008 - Recording Industry Department begins new concentration in songwriting.

2008 - Sarah Jackson appointed Recording Industry academic adviser.

2008 - John Seigenthaler and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales debate reliability, credibility and erroneous information on Wikipedia's Seigenthaler biographical entry.

2008 - The John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies sponsors USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham for the lecture, "Race, the Media, and Presidential Politics: The Truth about the Fact," at MTSU on Feb. 7.

2008 - The John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies co-sponsors CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield and her lecture, "Underreported and Overexposed: People of Color in the Media," on April 15 in the Keathley University Center.

2008 - The John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies hosts nationally recognized journalist Walter Mears as a guest speaker at the event, "History in the Making: Press Coverage of the Presidential Campaign," on Oct. 8 in the Keathley University Center.

2009 - Dr. John Omachonu nominated for and selected a Fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program.

2009 - Baldwin Photographic Gallery in the McWherter Learning Resources Center is named for and dedicated to Harold Baldwin, founder and curator of the MTSU Photographic Gallery.

2009 - Seigenthaler Chair celebrates Constitution Day with "Free Speech on University Campuses: The State of Play,"; featuring guest speakers Bruce Barry and Gene Policinski, and First Amendment Center's "Freedom Sings"; multimedia performance.

2009 - Dr. Dwight Brooks named new director of the School of Journalism.

2009 - Country singer/songwriter and instrumentalist Vince Gill performs as the invited guest of the Tom T. Hall Writers Series.

2009 - A fierce spring tornado strikes Murfreesboro on April 10, killing one person, causing millions of dollars in damage and stranding faculty and students in the Mass Communication Building for several hours. Afterward, MTSU students help the community to clean up, and Journalism School reporters and graphic designers create an award-winning newspaper insert for the Daily News Journal on the anniversary of the tornado.

2009 - Seigenthaler Chair co-sponsors campus appearance and address by Mark Danner, celebrated investigative reporter, MacArthur Fellow, professor at the University of California-Berkeley and Bard College, and recent author of Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror.