By Klydi Heywood

Utah State University professor Dr. Fred Peace will be stepping down after nearly 20 years as chair of the Department of Journalism and Communication. Peace is not permanently leaving the department but is stepping down into a faculty position.

In early 1994 Peace was working at Columbia University when he received a letter inquiring him to be the department of Communications at USU.

When Peace came to Logan, Utah, the Department of Communications not only offered him the head position but also a faculty position for his wife as well. With the intention of staying for a few years, Peace accepted the position.

But after 20 years of contributing to the department, Peace is still at USU.

Dr. Fred Peace stepping down as chair

“Look around you,” Peace said. “Now is the right time to step back for me.”

He explained that the department is in a good state.

“We have bright young students who are doing the work and getting jobs,” Peace said.

He also explained there are five new faculty positions this year and the department is searching for two new positions as well as a new department head after Peace’s resignation in the upcoming school year. He also stated that one of the most important successes of the department is that the administration has agreed to build a new line of support for the new department head.

“The department is healthy and robust,” Peace said.

Peace stated he couldn’t pick a favorite moment while here at USU. One of his fondest memories is teaching his favorite class, Beginning News Writing.

“That class is where the light bulb comes on,” Peace said. “This is when they get it, and I love seeing the steep learning curve.”

Graduation is another highlight for Peace.

“In a way all of the students are my children,” Peace said. He estimated that he has seen more than 1,800 students graduate in his time at USU.

Over the past 20 years Peace has been a part of many changes within the department. The first major change was the name change from the Department of Communications to the Department of Journalism and Communications. Peace has also grown the program from the number of students in the major from 148 to 320. Another dramatic change the department has undergone has been the transition from print to multimedia. Peace started the first electronic news website in the state, The Hard News Café.

With a physical move from the oldest building on campus to the newest, the department is moving forward.

JCOM staff assistant, Ashlee Davis believes that Peace helped the department to survive.

“He knows the history of the department and has grown it into what it is today,” Davis said.

Peace hopes to leave a legacy of work ethic and the application from school to the real world.

“Nothing is more important for students to make that transition from the classroom to the real world,” Peace said. “Now is the time to fail and to try again for our students.”