Wenhwa Ts’ao, Eric Scholl named interim co-chairs of CTVA department

By Olivia Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

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Professor Wenhwa Ts’ao and Associate Professor Eric Scholl, both of the Cinema and Television Arts Department, have been appointed interim co-chairs of CTVA. 

The email announcement comes nearly two months after the Chronicle reported that current chair of the CTVA Department, Thelma Vickroy, will step down from the role in August when her contract ends. 

“Both Wenhwa and Eric have served in a variety of capacities in the department, as tenured faculty and as administrative leaders, and both maintain active engagements with the college and the professional community that have strengthened our undergraduate and graduate programs,” Dean of the School of Media Arts Eric Freedman said in an email to faculty on April 27. 

Freedman, who is also leaving the college for a provost role at Truman State University at the end of the spring semester, said the duo have “complementary skill sets” that will continue to realize “greater synergies” across both film and television. 

“They have the foresight to move the department forward and expand our investments in a broad range of emerging industrial workflows; and they share a passion for collaboration,” Freedman added. 

CTVA faculty had pushed for a larger role in choosing their new chair but disagreed with Freedman in just how much say the Faculty Manual allowed them to have.

Interim chairs serve for two-year terms, and permanent chairs serve in the role for three-year terms.

On March 15, Ts’ao told the Chronicle that she had stepped forward to be considered for chair.

There were plans for an open forum with CTVA faculty and Ts’ao on March 17, but it was canceled. 

Their appointment fills one of the college’s many open leadership positions. 

Peg Murphy, associate professor and associate chair of the Communication Department was selected this month to be chair of the department, and Tom Dowd, associate dean to the School of Media Arts, was appointed this week to be interim dean after Freedman leaves.