Saving Kinchlow, one voice at a time

Dear Editorial Board,

Does the student body’s voice count? Gina Kinchlow, a professor in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, now has her current position open to other candidates. Not only do several students and alumni fully disagree with this process, but also our opinions were not considered. Students and alumni from the SJGC public relations sequence are concerned about Kinchlow’s future employment status.

Several e-mails and phone calls from students and alumni were made disputing the opening of the position to other candidates. Were our voices heard? No.

Kinchlow has been a visiting professor within SJGC since 2001. During her seven-year tenure, she has fully committed herself to the betterment of her students in the public relations sequence, both inside and outside of the classroom. Since Kinchlow’s position is not permanent she now has to go through another hiring process to remain a professor.

We disagree that in order for a visiting professor to become a permanent professor his or her position must be opened up for others to apply. We are not sure who came up with this horrible plan but it is definitely ridiculous. When a professor such as Kinchlow has been with our program for several years, we feel this process should be eliminated. The students should be interviewed on whether or not they believe the professor should remain.

As students, we have developed a personal relationship with Kinchlow. We know through the testimonies of past graduates that she adequately prepares her students for a career in public relations that exceeds any other training.

There are only three professors in the public relations department and we have the largest department within SJGC. Kinchlow teaches almost every course in our sequence and took the initiative to restructure and advise PRodigy, FAMU’s first full-service, student-run public relations firm. On top of her busy schedule, she is one of the few professors who dedicate personal time to students’ needs.

Based on her resume provided for my perusal by the office of the dean, Wanda Reyes-Velaquez, the opposing candidate, is currently a professor at Sam Houston University. Although she may bring academic accolades, she lacks corporate experience, which is vital to any public relations program.

On the other hand, Kinchlow has more than 25 years of business and public relations experience. She understands the dynamics of public relations and how the field is integrating with marketing and advertising.

We feel our professor is being treated as if she is a stranger to the program when she has been here for years and has exceeded the expectations and roles of a typical visiting professor. Because of her hard work and caring nature, we fully support Kinchlow and will not allow such an accomplished individual to be dismissed. The public relations student body will continue to speak up and speak out until our voices are heard. We do not want a replacement – we want Kinchlow. When you have the best why consider the rest?


Lauren Morris and Ashley Felder