June 20, 2013

Interim Professional Studies Dean Retires

Rama Tunuguntla retires from university after more than 30 years

Dr. Rama Tunuguntla, Interim Professional Studies DeanGrambling, LA – After more than 30 years on the Grambling State University faculty, College of Professional Studies Interim Dean Rama Tunuguntla is retiring, effective June 30.

“We affectionately call him Dean T and Dr. T, and many of our students are saddened as they hear that such a gentleman and scholar is leaving our campus,” said President Frank G. Pogue. “Though he’s leaving his day-to-day work with us soon, he’ll always be a part of our Gramblinite family.”

“It has been a sheer joy working with students, colleagues and the University administration over the years,” said Tunuguntla, reflecting on his retirement. He thanked everyone, especially fellow faculty members and the administration for helping and assisting him in fulfilling his obligations in teaching, research and academic administration as department head and interim dean.

Tunuguntla has been acting dean since January 2009. The College of Professional Studies includes the Department of Mass Communication, the School of Nursing, the School of Social Work and the Department of Criminal Justice. Prior to the last several years as a dean, he was the head of the Department of Mass Communication for 17 years, starting in 1988.

“Dr. T has left his mark on the university,” said Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the university. “He played a lead role in establishing the mass communication program and has touched the lives of many students. I wish him the best as he starts a new chapter in his life.”

Tunuguntla was instrumental in developing the Department of Mass Communication in 1988 with a mass communication B.A. degree and a master’s degree in mass communication in 1997. The undergraduate program has maintained continuous national accreditation with the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) since 1993.

As interim dean, he guided the School of Nursing for full accreditation of its BSN, MSN and PMC programs by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), full accreditation of the BSW and MSW programs of the School of Social Work by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Also, under his leadership, Grambling State University’s Master in Nursing (MSN) graduates have continued the tradition of 100% pass rate on the national certification exams, and the criminal justice master’s program, the largest on the campus, has been approved for offering the program 100% online, and the next step is to seek approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

A native of India, he turned to teaching after years of professional experience as a journalist. He earned his Master’s and Ph. D. degrees in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Joining as an assistant professor in 1980 in the then Department of English and Journalism, he moved up the ranks as member of the faculty and in academic administration. He continued to pursue his research interests in the areas of international and intercultural communications by presenting papers at various national and international conferences.

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