Doctor Maurice Odine Posing with computer monitor in the background

Welcome to the School of Communication, at Texas Southern University (TSU). I'm Dr. Maurice Odine, it's great to meet you!

Welcome to student-centered School of Communication, an academic unit which is committed to recruiting and graduating the best and brightest. Having served in different administrative positions during the past twenty-five years, it is instilled in me that administration is a tool for service and that an academic administrator must understand he/she represents two distinct interests. First, he/she represents the interest of the institution. Thus, the goals and objectives pursued by the incumbent must be designed to further the mission of the institution. It is equally important that the administrator be loyal to the institution and his/her supervisor(s). Second, the administrator’s job is to create and nurture an academic environment in which every faculty/staff member performs to his/her fullest potential. As an administrator, I am responsible for the unit’s productivity or lack of it, and for acquiring external funding for programmatic development where institutional funding is less than ideal. Above all, I place students at the center of learning.

I have learned over the years that faculty/staff, and sometimes students, are more inclined to support initiatives that incorporate their input. Hence, I invoke collegiality, collaboration, and accountability in carrying out my duties as Dean, being fully aware that employees and stakeholders have a genuine interest in the school’s success. It is my belief that a good administrator must also be transparent and visionary, and to entertain differences of opinion. Dissent should not be overlooked or talked down, despised, ridiculed, or criticized. On the contrary, it should be accepted as a means to hear and be sensitive to other viewpoints. Differing views must be expressed in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. Furthermore, I believe an administrator should appreciate and commend faculty and staff on their achievements and provide necessary support for future endeavors. Excellence in teaching, research, and service remain a constant reminder with a view to internationalizing curricula so as to enable faculty and graduates to serve in a global society.

The faculty should have full academic freedom in the classroom and within the academic community. For instance, matters relating to grades should first be addressed as follows: faculty, program coordinator/chair, and the Dean (if necessary). Conversely, faculty should exercise their academic freedom by maintaining high academic standards, challenging students to acquire knowledge, adhering to university rules and regulations and carrying out their duties in accordance with contractual obligations. I consider it a duty to be fair, objective, culturally sensitive, honest, hardworking, truthful, and to incorporate modern information technology into instruction and administrative processes.

It is a pleasure to be of service. In the meantime, I wish you the best in your endeavors.

Maurice Odine