Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Journalism Department rebrands to AMP, but for how long?

If UWO merges departments, AMP could be an easy merge
Katie Pulvermacher
Cindy Schultz, the academic department associate for AMP, smiles watching students pass her office in Sage Hall. She has been a UWO Classified Staff for over 31 years

The UW Oshkosh Department of Journalism rebranded to the Department of Advertising, Multimedia Journalism, Public Relations (AMP) in mid-April after 30 or so years of the idea of a name change. 

With the university changes in budgeting, talks of faculty cuts and furloughing, there’s a chance AMP might merge with other departments and leave the AMP name behind.

“We need to promote our brand now because we don’t know when the mergers will be implemented,” AMP Department Chair Timothy Gleason said. “We know that if (the university is) doing mergers, it’s the most logical thing for us and RTF to get merged.” 

Gleason said hypothetically, AMP, Radio/TV/Film (RTF), Marketing, Information Systems and/or other related majors could be merged because of similarities between departments.

“Right now, RTF tries to get attention, we try to get attention, but we’re two great programs and if we work together, we can bring in more students to this university because we’ll be part of one unit rather than two units,” Gleason said.

AMP Professor Vincent Filak agrees that these are logical merges if they need to be made.

“I don’t think there’s a more logical pairing than (AMP and RTF),” Filak said. “We don’t know (what will happen), and that’s the most terrifying thing. Uncertainty is very difficult to deal with because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do or you don’t know what’s expected of you.” 

As it’s unknown whether or not mergers will take place within future years, it’s important to advertise AMP now to attract more students.

“We have an advisory board and they were on board with this change because they recognize that in some way, this (department name change) is like sales,” Gleason said. 

He said a lot of people aren’t aware of the popularity of Public Relations and if it were just the journalism department, the department wouldn’t have enough numbers to stay.  

“We want to keep promoting these other programs (such as Public Relations and Advertising), because it helps with enrollment,” Gleason said. “It’s really about the goal (of attracting students).”

Gleason said a lot of people didn’t realize Advertising was an area of study because of the old department name. 

“When Advertising became a major, we wanted to make sure that it really got attention, but it was also on unequal footing,” Gleason said. “By going with AMP, that puts Advertising out there and student numbers wise, it’s a huge opportunity for this university to get people to come here.”

Filak said the name switch spreads more awareness about the department.

“It was a perceptual issue that came with the name that didn’t represent the broadness of who we were,” Filak said. “We were looking for different ways to capture that and try to be more inclusive and more representative.”

This isn’t the first time the previous Department of Journalism had considered a name change.

“A department name change has been discussed more times than one over the last 30 years,” AMP Academic Department Associate Cindy Schultz said. 

Filak said no matter whether or not the university decides to merge departments, the name change is what is right for AMP.

“At the end of the day, the name might go away, but what we do won’t,” Filak said. “If it sticks, that’s great, and if it changes, that’s fine too as long as we’re able to better serve students.”

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