The Buell Communications Center on the CSU-Pueblo campus is also a new home for the mass communications department offices. Though the department has taught classes in the building for several years now, Jen Mullen, the department Chairwoman of mass communications, said the plan was made long ago.
“The idea to move the department to the Buell Communications Center came shortly after the center was built, which was over twenty years ago. We realized that the department had so much involvement with (KTCS-TV),” she said.
“Each (chairperson) who has come before me has tried to talk to the university to get into the center. I just happened to be the right (chairperson) at the right time to represent our faculty in order to make the move.” Mullen said.
Mullen said she likes the fact that the center is also a working television station, which works perfectly with the department’s curriculum. She also said she likes the fact it is a visitor’s center because potential students who come to the university see the mass communications department first.
The department move came at the right time, Mullen said.
“The university is growing so much and more students means more faculty, more teachers, (and) more staff. We’re running out of space,” she said. “So it came down to the timing of us saying to the university administration we think we belong there.”
The department told the administration other offices could be moved in to the arts/music building if the department moved their faculty offices and the Today office out of the building, Mullen said.
The administration agreed with then soon after and gave then the space, she said.
Mullen said the center has a unique aspect since the move.
“There’s three different entities that are all really individual on their own. Mass communications is an academic department in the university, she said. “KTCS-TV is a non-profit public television station and the visitor’s center is a part of the administration of the university.”
“So we all have our overlap in what we do with each other. But were all very different. We have different budgets, we have different directors and we have different goals,” Mullen said. “The truth of the matter is the administration determines what to do with this building.”
The department would eventually like to have a second floor, Mullen said, for offices with classrooms on the first floor. Even though the building has a potential to have a second floor, this probably won’t happen for a decade or more, she said.
Mullen said she does realize this move is a burden on the faculty and students.
“The one downside is we still are teaching in the art/music building. That may be quite a few semesters before we can move where we teach. We’re no longer easily acceptable to our students right after class,” she said.
“They have to come all the way, literally, to the other end of the campus to see the faculty. In time, we’ll be able to do classrooms closer to our end of the campus,” Mullen said.
It’s also going to take time to find classrooms closer to the center because classrooms in other buildings are booked by their respective disciplines, she said.
The move should not be such a big change for students, Mullen said.
“They’re taking the classes that we teach in the computer lab. So fortunately, they are already familiar with the building,” she said. “They’ve been coming and going for years. It’s just that we haven’t been here at the same time.”
Mullen said she thought the school is starting to have more of a university feel.
“It’s very different. Students are coming from so many more places. They really want to be here,” she said. “The new dorms are beautiful, (along with) all the signage, the landscaping, (and) the activities.”
“I think it’s just wonderful what happening to a CSU-Pueblo and I’m really glad that students are responding positively to it,” Mullen said. “It is kind of neat that we just kind of going along with all of the new changes.”