Panel Discussion Sept. 28 to Focus on Ethics in Political Campaigning

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 24, 2007 — The Southeast Missouri State University Department of Communication and the University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America are sponsoring a panel discussion on ethics in political campaigning Sept. 28 in Rose Theatre.

The event, scheduled for 2 to 3:30 p.m., is open to the public.

The ethics panel is planned in conjunction with a special topics course on ethics in public relations. The topic also is timely with the upcoming political campaigning season just around the corner.

Panelists will include Dr. Hamner Hill, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, Philosophy & Religion at Southeast Missouri State University (media ethics); Dr. Karie Hollerbach, assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Southeast (advertising ethics); Dr. Dean Kruckeberg, professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa; and Elizabeth Ziegler, general counsel with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Kruckeberg will be at Southeast for the weekend teaching MC482 “Special Topics in Public Relations,” a course in the Department of Communication’s public relations option in which leading practitioners and scholars come to teach intensive one-hour courses for Southeast public relations students. Kruckeberg has lectured in more than 28 countries on the topic of public relations ethics. “With the current political climate and significant media coverage of ethics in campaign finance, we felt that students would benefit tremendously from discussion on the topic by experts from both education and politics,” said Doug McDermott, instructor in the Department of Communication. “Whether or not they have an interest in pursuing public service or campaigning as careers, the panel discussion will surely provide knowledge to help them better understand current events.”

McDermott said the panel was scheduled to coincide with a visit from guest instructor Kruckeberg. Students on Southeast’s public relations program have to take three special topics courses during their degree program.

“Our students have a great opportunity to hear from leading experts about the value of ethics as it relates to political campaigning,” said Dr. Susan Gonders, professor in the Department of Communication. “Ethics is a core value and competency embraced by our department and its accrediting bodies.”

The Department of Communication at Southeast Missouri State University holds accreditation in mass communication from the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) and Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Currently, 109 universities hold ACEJMC accreditation in mass communication, and Southeast and the University of Missouri are the only two in Missouri. Eighteen universities hold PRSA/CEPR certification in public relations, and Southeast is the only one in Missouri. Southeast is one of only nine universities that hold both accreditation in mass communication and certification in public relations.