Longtime professor takes on new position

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell

The College of Communication and Information at UK has announced that Dr. Mike Farrell, one of the professors in the School of Journalism and Media, will serve as its Interim Director for the 2017-18 academic year.

Farrell, who has been a part of UK’s staff for almost seventeen years, plans to use his time in the position to help the school evolve through new offerings and staff while keeping the heart of its programs alive and well.

“I’m excited about the possibilities,” Farrell said. “I think the school is in a good place because of our strategic plan and the plans from the university to improve our facilities. We have a strong veteran faculty, who have a good variation of talents and interests.”

Before he came to UK’s campus, Farrell spent almost twenty years in various roles at the Kentucky Post, an afternoon newspaper that had a storied history alongside its sister publication, the Cincinnati Post, but was slowly losing its circulation and readership.

Over the course of his time at the Post, Farrell would serve as a reporter, a city editor and a managing editor, and he also taught classes at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights.

In 1996, Farrell left the Post and started his master’s degree program at UK, where he would later go on to get a doctorate. By 2001, he became a part of the permanent staff of the School of Journalism and Media, teaching students the ins and outs of media law, ethics and the history of the journalism industry.

This year, at the request of the College of Communication and Information’s dean and the director of the J-School, Farrell took on the position of the school’s Interim Director. Among other responsibilities, he will serve as a coordinator for the school’s class schedules and budget until the staff finds a permanent candidate.

Some of Farrell’s ongoing projects will include reinstating the video wall in the Grehan Journalism Building lobby, as well as encouraging alumni to continue to be a part of the school community, collaborating with the Dean on moving the school’s strategic plan forward, and being a part of the decision process for the school’s newest hirings.

“It’s a conglomeration of work that’s not all that attractive, but it’s essential to make sure that someone is there, teaching you what he or she is doing,” Farrell said.

Farrell will also be working with the J-School on introducing a sports journalism major for students to pursue “in the not-too-distant future.”

Even with his new duties, Farrell remains dedicated to his role as a professor.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the classroom,” Farrell said. “It’s what I love doing, I love working with students.”

This semester, Farrell will be in charge of his usual journalistic law class, and will also stand in as instructor for Dr. Deborah Chung’s ethics class during her sabbatical. In the spring, Farrell plans to collaborate with the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Jennifer Smith on a sports reporting class.