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Budget Cuts Continue to Surprise Affected School of Communications Faculty, Students

By: Jaylin Paschal, Editor-in-Chief (@creativelbrtn)

In a matter of budgetary staff reduction decisions, The Cathy Hughes School of Communications has lost figures of the school which students deem integral to their success.

After public student opinion refuted and reversed the termination of Ms. Carol Dudley, career development advisor, students have been paying close attention to other faculty shifts.

Notably, former Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Assessment Robin Thornhill was let go last week.

Dean Thornhill served as the Business Advisor for The Hilltop and filled several other roles on campus. She was a Lecturer & Program Manager of the CERCC program and the Director of Adopt-A-Team Professional Development Program. Her presence was considered by many students to be characterized by passion and dedication to student success.

“I don’t know where I would be without Dean Thornhill; she played a vital role in my recognition as one of Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30.’ She also convinced me to come back to Howard to pursue my Ph.D. Dean Thornhill is a staple in the Howard University community, and is a connector, teacher, ally, as well as a mother figure who goes above her job

description to make sure the students have a smooth transition in and through the School of

Communications. Howard without her is not Howard at all,” said former student David Castain.

The most revisited point about the layoffs within SOC is their sudden nature.

On Aug. 30, Thornhill was working by 8 a.m. Within the next hour, she was let go.

This layoff, and others within the School of Communications, has left students wondering about the financial state the school.

“According to Dean Lawson-Borders, labor laws are preventing her from giving us further information. We are actively fighting to receive information from administration, and will keep everyone updated as the information is presented to us,” said CHSOC Student Council President Mekkah Husamadeen.

A town hall will be held Sept. 12 by the CHSOC Student Council. Dean Gracie Lawson-Borders and SOC department chairs will be in attendance to facilitate discussion and provide further information.

“They [students] are upset, confused, and want answers. Transparency between the staff and students is one of our main focuses this year, and our students are being left in the dark,” said Husamadeen.

Howard University did not respond to requests for comment.

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