TO THE MEMBERS OF BEA DISTRICT 4
From Rebecca Ann Lind, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago
It is my pleasure to seek election as your District 4 representative to the Broadcast Education Association’s Board of Directors. BEA has always been one of my most significant academic associations. Serving the organization in this way would, I believe, be mutually beneficial and fulfilling.
What would I bring to the Board? If asked to select a descriptive term reflecting my perspective and experiences, I’d say “boundary-spanner.” Indeed, our culture’s proclivity to dichotomize has limited us in untold ways. Professionally, I have worked in both the scholarly arena and the media industry (print, radio, and video), so I understand the value, importance, and contributions that are made by both traditional academics and media professionals. I have taught production courses as well as theory and methods courses. Unfortunately, too many in Academe want to categorize faculty as engaging in either “production” or “scholarly” activities, and then quickly discount the efforts of those who are not in the same category as themselves. This has significant ramifications not only for ourselves and our colleagues but also for our students and, indeed, our discipline as a whole. I would bring to the Board a viewpoint that understands, welcomes, supports, and encourages both research and creative work.
Related to this, my publications and my professional experiences have spanned the boundaries of elements within our media system. In my research, I have studied media content, media audiences, and media producers. In the industry, I have been talent and management. My main program of research focuses on race and gender; this work is an acknowledgment of the need to foster a diverse and inclusive culture. Thus, I would bring to the Board an open-mindedness and ability to welcome many (and other) voices, coupled with a familiarity with the broad range of work done by our organization’s members. I can contribute in meaningful ways to discussions on both publication and production.
My administrative experiences have similarly been characterized by boundary spanning and building bridges. With appointments ranging from Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Conflict of Interest Officer, Assistant Dean, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Faculty Grievance Officer, I have worked with varied sets of constituencies to facilitate effective resolution of a variety of challenges. Thus, I would bring to the board an ability to engage in creative and productive problem-solving.
If elected, as the District 4 representative, I would try to span the boundary between serving the members of District 4 and serving the organization as a whole. BEA is, of course, an organization comprised of its members. The Board plays an important role in identifying goals (challenges) and steering the organization on a course to meet those goals (resolve those challenges). Yet the District representative must be sensitive and responsive to the needs of the individuals in the District. If elected, I would reach out to the members, to see what the individuals and institutions in each state are most interested in. What would you like your representative to do for you? For example, would you like an event catering to participants in your own state? Would you like a means to share resources? A way to facilitate identification of individuals to serve as external reviewers for promotion and tenure cases? Or for departmental reviews? A way to help identify potential collaborators on research or creative activities? Or internship opportunities for students? Once I learned what your desires are, I’d do my best to help you achieve them.
I would welcome taking on the challenges associated with serving on the BEA board, and believe that my scholarly, professional, and administrative experiences would help me make a positive contribution to both the members of District 4 and the organization as a whole.
Thank you for reading this, and if you think I’d be a good fit for this role, I’d appreciate your support.