Meet Dan Waechter, Assistant Dean of CCIM Curriculum, Associate Chairperson, and Senior Lecturer of Journalism. Since 1988 Dan has been working hard to make sure students get the most out of the programs we offer. In this spotlight, we dive into his personal journey as well as his commitment to preparing students for meaningful careers and life after Ball State.

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Could you share the personal journey that led you to become a faculty? 

During my graduate program in public relations, I worked closely with the journalism department’s secondary education outreach program. It was incredibly rewarding working with high school students, especially as they were considering their future.  As I finished my master’s degree, I was given the chance to join the journalism department advising journalism students and coordinating the department’s internship program.  I’ve been a part of the Department of Journalism for more than 30 years and have enjoyed every minute.


What is your work philosophy?

When I was an undergraduate, I had my fair share of struggles and there were always faculty or advisors who helped me find the path forward.  When dealing with students in similar circumstances, I always like to consider how I would like to be treated. I’m convinced we can be compassionate without compromising our standards.  The last 10 months have taught us a lot.  I hope we take the best of what we’ve learned and integrate it more fully in how we engage with our students.


You are the Assistant Dean for CCIM Curriculum and you chair the CCIM curriculum committee. Why did you accept those roles? 

I think I was ready for this challenge.  I’ve served as assistant or associate chair in the journalism department for more than 20 years, including two temporary assignments as interim chair.  For me, it just seemed natural to move into this role.  I’ll forever be grateful to Dean Paaige Turner for giving me this opportunity.


What did the CCIM curriculum committee focus on this past year? What are the next steps?

CCIM’s curriculum committee continues work on curriculum mapping – a process that will likely never be completely finished. We’ll continue reviewing our curriculum to ensure the best possible alignment with learning outcomes and needs of our professions while providing students with a quality experience.  In the fall we reviewed and mapped common intellectual experience that connect all of our discipline areas.  While we started with diversity, experiential learning, law and research, we know there are other common bonds as well, including written and oral communication, technological literacies and presentational communication.  We also continue work aligning our curriculum with Ball State’s skills infusion process. It should be clear to our students how all of our courses prepare them for meaningful careers and life after Ball State.


What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?

When I was asked to serve as interim chair in 2011, it wasn’t lost on me that I was asked to lead the same department that had previously been led by an outstanding group of servant-leaders including Louis Ingelhart, Mark Popovich, Earl Conn and Marilyn Weaver.  I’m incredibly blessed to have known each and to count them among my mentors.  To then serve as interim chair when the journalism department was last accredited was exceptionally meaningful.


Can you share one thing that people don’t typically know about you?

Not only am I a product of Ball State and the Department of Journalism, but I’m also from Muncie.  My commitment to Ball State and the success of all CCIM programs runs very, very deep.