Michael L. Turney, Ph.D., ABC
Professor Emeritus of Communication
& Independent Consultant
After five years during which I was promoted to associate professor, tenured, and appointed coordinator of the Communication Division of the Department of Fine Arts & Communication, I opted to follow Horace Greeley's timeless advice. I sold my house, bought a travel trailer, and hit the road west.
Ten years later, NKU again beckoned and I returned to chair the Communication Department. During my five years as chair, the department's faculty and enrollment both doubled, the journalism lab was converted from typewriters to computers, and the TV studio was expanded, rehabbed and updated. But, enough was enough, and I choose to step down and return to full-time teaching, the activity that had initially drawn me into academic life.
However, the allure of administration with a year-around salary lingered in the background and occasionally sucked me in. In June 1997, an email I received in the laundromat of a New Mexico campground, summoned me to a one-year appointment as chair of NKU's Department of Allied Health, Human Services and Social Work. The challenge was fascinating, but the hinted at wealth and power never materialized, and the dean who had recruited me with these hints left NKU to become a provost elsewhere.
In January 2004, administration again beckoned and I became NKU's Executive Assistant for Outreach and Graduate Studies with university-wide responsibilities. I facilitated several special projects, assisted in marketing and promotion efforts, and functioned as an in-house communication consultant for the university's outreach programs and institutes and centers.
In fall 2006, I was talked into accepting another temporary administrative assignment and became the faculty coordinator for NKU's decennial re-accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It was a massive task made more overwhelming by the complacency of the university's top administrators who assumed we would automatically be re-accredited. After an incredibly frustrating year with virtually no upper level support, grossly inadequate resources, no authority to implement needed changes, and believing things were destined to get worse, I opted for early retirement and left NKU on Halloween 2007.
I also do more-entertaining yet highly informative presentations and productions for general audiences. Three of my most recent were "World War II Was on the Air" about radio news coverage of the war, "Hot Air Rising," an orientation to hot air ballooning, and "Mine eyes have seen ...," a Ken Burns-style documentary about Catholic sisters who served as nurses during the Civil War.
"Regardless of where it was moved, I always felt that the Communication Department was my campus home."
"I frequently told students that their internships could be a bridge from the classroom into professional life."
"Will SACS renew NKU's accreditation? --
"Yes, I played The Ballad of Amos Kendall, my `original 19th century' ballad on the Cincinnati riverfront during the Tall Stacks Festival."
If you need a guest lecturer, conference presenter, or communication consultant, I'd love to hear from you.
Michael Turney's home page with links to work samples
9 Dec. 2015