Volume 96, Issue 89
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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Hippies and suits

By Deanne Miachika
Gazette Staff

Have you ever witnessed the academic equivalent of mating a cat with a dog? You will soon.

A new concurrent program, combining media, information and technoculture and the honours business administration program at the Richard Ivey School of Business will be introduced this coming September.

The creation of the new program is a response to the growing demand for graduates with strong educational backgrounds in both media and information technology, as well as business management, said Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic.

"Both programs are extremely outstanding and popular, [and] will lead to complimentary sets of educational experiences," Moran said, adding the new program will focus on leadership positions within the multimedia and information areas.

Regarding any tension that may be created due to a philosophical clash between the two programs, Moran said he believes they will be minimal and positive, adding healthy tensions will lead to extremely interesting discussions.

The concurrent degree program will offer a bachelor of arts in honours MIT and HBA, said Gloria Leckie, associate dean of the faculty of information and media studies, adding the demanding program will benefit those who are looking for business expertise within the media.

Such a program will lead students in many directions and is extremely wide ranging, Leckie explained, adding all avenues of radio, TV, public relations and Web management will be possible paths of employment.

With the growth of a global economy, it is important to combine other programs with business, said Larysa Gamula, director of the HBA office at Ivey. To better understand the changes of today, it is only natural to combine the two fields, she added.

Both areas of discipline provide a greater understanding of the other and, in turn, actually complement each other, she said.

"[The concurrent program] reflects the changes in the working world [and] allows more flexibility of what students can study at Western," Gamula said.

This program is available to those students currently enrolled in the second year of the MIT honours program. More information can also be located on the MIT Web site at www.fims.uwo.ca.

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