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Clampitt named to Blair Chair

James Taylor, News Writer
February 6, 2013
Filed under News

Phillip Clampitt, UWGB information, computing science and communication professor, was installed as the Blair Chair during UW-Green Bay’s mid-year convocation Jan. 23.

UWGB Chancellor Thomas Harden and Provost Julia Wallace presented a medallion to Clampitt to commemorate the occasion. This marks the second time in the 13-year history  of the John P. Blair Endowed Chair of Communication that it was awarded.

Clampitt succeeds retired UWGB professor Tim Meyer as Blair Chair. Meyer held the role from 2005 through 2011. Teaching ability and scholarship are important attributes of the person occupying the chair but in order to be appointed, a faculty member must demonstrate outstanding performance in other areas as well.

“His excellence in teaching and outstanding scholarship are key components enhanced by his superb community outreach activities,” Meyer said. “Clampitt will do a terrific job as the new John P. Blair Endowed Chair in Communication.”

Chancellor Harden had similar sentiments regarding Clampitt’s tenure as Blair Chair.

“My expectation is he’ll continue his record of excellence,” Harden said.

During Meyer’s two terms as Blair Chair, the communication department developed new courses for students, including media planning and selling, public relations writing and cases in communication. Internship opportunities for students also increased locally, regionally and in large media markets across the nation, Meyer said.

The expansion of the opportunities for communication students during Meyer’s tenure has not been overlooked by Clampitt and has plans to continue the development of the communication department throughout the coming years.

“One thing I’ve already proposed is a new course called social media strategies,” Clampitt said. “I have big shoes to fill and I have to carry on the legacy of John P. Blair and what he was all about — implementing cutting-edge business practices.”

John P. Blair was an early promoter of broadcast advertising and established the industry’s first agency of its kind devoted to radio and TV advertising. In 2003, Dorothy Blair, widow of John Blair, visited UWGB and was impressed with the faculty’s commitment to its undergraduate communication program as well as its effective level of mentoring offered to students. Dorothy Blair and the Blair Foundation offered a donation to UWGB to create the university’s first endowed professorship, Meyer said.

“The Blair Chair adds a level of prestige to the communication department,” Clampitt said. “It puts the department on the map as one of the top undergraduate communication programs in the nation. It’s something unique and has become a selling point for incoming students and speaks volumes to the quality of faculty, and more importantly, the quality of students we’ve attracted.”

Regardless of the accolades, Clampitt said high-level instruction is most important.

“For me, it’s not about the awards, it’s doing what I’m supposed to do as a scholar, and to help create great students that have great value in the workplace — that’s what I’m all about.”