Bonae Barrs, Correspondent
Dr. Steven McClung grew up in West Virginia, in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Now, as the newly hired Dean of the School of Business and Industry at Jacksonville State University, he is preparing to settle in at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
“It looks exactly like Jacksonville and reminds me of that area,” said McClung. “My wife, Kathy, grew up in Cheshire, CT and it looks like Jacksonville too. So, in a way, it’s a very familiar setting for us.”
McClung has a background in broadcast advertising, and began his academic career with on-camera duties and eventually moving to sales.
McClung earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marshall University and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. He worked at the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University for nine years and the Stetson School of Business at Mercer University for 10 years and is currently a marketing professor.
McClung wants to look at strengthening career services and networking possibilities for the School of Business and Industry.
“Eventually, we may look at curriculum adjustments that will better suit the needs of industry and trends in the job markets for our majors,” said McClung.
McClung is entering the role of dean with the challenge of working with university officials to construct a new School of Business and Industry complex after the March 2018 tornadoes damaged Merrill Hall beyond repair. Since the tornadoes, the school has been housed in the old Kitty Stone Elementary School building.
“This is probably the most interesting facet of the job,” said McClung. “I’ve never moved an entire school from one building to another, so we’ll probably have to play it by ear and see what comes up.”
He plans on meeting with as many people as possible during the spring semester to assess the needs of students concerns when it comes to the issue of the lack of digital media technology.
“The good news is that all three programs in SBI have recently gone, or are currently going through the accreditation process,” said McClung. “So, academically, we’re in great shape.”