If the Blue Raider Nation has something to say to the Tennessee Board of Regents, Dr. Tricia Farwell is the person to see.
Farwell, an associate professor of journalism and president of the Faculty Senate, was nominated by President Sidney A. McPhee and Provost Brad Bartel this summer. Gov. Bill Haslam appointed her in July to a one-year term as faculty regent.
“I think this is a great experience for any faculty member if they have the opportunity,” said Farwell, whose teaching focus is advertising and public relations.
“You get a really big-picture view of what’s going on in the TBR system, which is eye-opening and really a great learning experience.”
Farwell represents all faculty across the TBR’s 46 institutions, which include four-year and two-year universities and colleges of applied technology. She will vote on critical issues that affect all institutions, including teaching materials.
“We want to make sure that we do the best for our students and also for the faculty that we have the best choice of textbooks,” Farwell said.
As the Faculty Senate celebrates its 50th year at MTSU, Farwell’s priorities remain student-centered, including the ever-rising cost of textbooks.
“Any way that we can help our students, I think, is wonderful,” said Farwell.
“Personally, I know I love to have a hard copy of my book. So I make sure that my students have the ability to either rent the book, get an online book or have the hard copy.”
In order to have the time and energy to attend to TBR business, the MTSU School of Journalism has given Farwell a slightly reduced course load. While maintaining her position as the school’s internship coordinator, she is teaching only two courses this semester so that she can perform her TBR and Faculty Senate duties.
At the TBR level, this includes work on the Academic Policies and Programs, Student Life, and Workforce Development Committees.
As a rookie on the board, however, Farwell also understands the importance of listening.
“I’m trying to keep as open-minded as possible so that I can interact and present an informed but unbiased opinion as we go forward,” she said.
Farwell holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a master’s degree in media management from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as a master’s degree in English and a doctorate in English, all at Arizona State University.
— Gina K. Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)