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HOD's welcome Note

It is with the highest privilege and distinct honour that I welcome all students to the brand new Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media of the University of Calabar. I believe we should all consider ourselves fortunate to be pioneer members of this department because it has been long in the works. Let me, on behalf of the departmental board, express profound gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana I. Akpagu, for taking steps to ensure that the department is approved by the University Senate and for providing all the materials and personnel required for its eventual take off in the 2017/2018 academic session.

The Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media of the University of Calabar offers students a unique learning experience in an environment that boasts of state-of-the-art facilities. As lucidly stated in the objectives of the department, we are committed to producing competent, research-oriented and professionally endowed young men and women capable of pursuing scholarship in academic careers beyond the undergraduate level. It is our objective also to prepare students for professional careers as journalists, communicators, Broadcasters, Public Relations and Advertising Practitioners, information managers, as well as online media publishers, etc.

The programme you have just enrolled in is very comprehensive and intensive. You are, therefore, expected to be prepared for serious academic work. As a professional course, there is a practical component that is intended to provide hands-on skills to enable you to transit seamlessly to the media and communication industry. To this end, every student MUST of necessity, own a laptop without which it would be practically impossible to participate meaningfully in the programme. The laptop will help students perform tasks such as payment of school charges, registration of courses, assignments, tests and projects via the Internet or Intranet.

Besides, since lectures will be delivered through PowerPoint presentation laptops will enable students to download such lectures from the e-learning portal or their personal emails to their laptops for effective participation in class.

In order to inculcate in students a sense of seriousness and professionalism, the departmental board has recommended a dress code for all students. As indicated in the code of conduct, students are expected to dress corporately either in traditional or foreign attires. No casual dressing such as jeans and T-shirts shall be allowed. Ours is a serious profession and we intend to produce graduates that can stand out anywhere in the world of work. The University of Calabar awards degrees in character and learning. Character is everything. The moral decadence that has beset Nigeria today is a function of the failure of the education system to produce men and women of character. We have laid undue emphasis on academic excellence to the total neglect of sound character development.

It is on this note that students are strictly warned that irresponsible, criminal and corrupt behaviour shall not be tolerated. Any student found to be involved in bribery for marks, for instance, shall be promptly sanctioned according to laid down university regulation regarding such misdemeanor. Nevertheless, let me assure you that the department will similarly not tolerate any victimization of students by staff. In the event of a case involving a student and staff, appropriate steps will be taken to guarantee fair hearing for all parties and whatever decision reached will reflect universal principles of fairness, justice and equity.

As has been approved by the departmental board, the minimum benchmark for progression to the next class is a cumulative grade point average of 1.5. This calls for serious commitment to studies on the part of every student who wishes to make it to the final year.

I therefore urge you all to settle down as quickly as possible and immerse yourselves in your studies which is basically the reason you are here. While it is important to engage in extra-curricular activities so as to ensure balanced and well rounded education, I enjoin you not to be unnecessarily distracted by these activities to the detriment of your primary objective.

Finally, let me on behalf of the department heartily congratulate you on your success at the various tests you wrote that enabled you to gain admission into this programme. On our part, we will do our utmost to provide a level playing field and a conducive atmosphere for you to excel. Your wellbeing is our primary concern because you are the pride of the department. Do not hesitate to approach me or any other member of staff for assistance whenever the need arises.

Once again, a very warm welcome to you all. May God bless you and may God bless the Department of Mass Communication & Digital Media and the University of Calabar.

Dr. Joseph E. Ekpang II
Acting HOD