Dept. chair bids farewell


Dr. Tim Todd, dean, Arthur J Bauernfeind College of Business, shares his memories with the crowd in attendance at Dr. Bob Lochte’s retirement reception on May 4. Lochte finished his 28 year career with Murray State in June.


Dr. Bob Lochte, Journalism and Mass Communications Department Chair at Murray State University, will retire following the conclusion of the Spring 2016 semester.

Lochte graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a degree in English literature and a minor in Latin and Greek classics. While in high school, he worked at a radio station in Nashville, Tennessee where he was in charge of the remote transmitter that helped to broadcast church services on Sunday mornings, “[It was] probably one of the worst jobs at one of the coolest radio stations in town,” said Lochte.  He then spent the next 22 years working between both commercial and non-commercial radio and television before coming to Murray State. During this time he held program director and general manager positions.

At Murray State, Lochte has held a number of titles over his 28 years as a faculty member from assistant professor to graduate coordinator before stepping into his final position as department chair.

In a world that is constantly and quickly changing with regards to how we interact with each other, Lochte sees many challenges as well as a great deal of potential for the art of communication.

“You have to constantly revise what’s in these classes to try and be as contemporary as possible, so that’s more work to accommodate. But what’s interesting to me is not so much the technology as the things that don’t change. You’re delivering television shows, but if the content isn’t a hit, it doesn’t matter how good the technology is,” said Lochte.

“We’re in a chaotic and disruptive business environment driven by the audience and our goal has always been to give the audience what it wants. Professionals today have to figure out who this audience is, what they want, and how we deliver that. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge and will continue to be for several years to come.”

At a University where the faculty are famously student-driven, Lochte is no exception. His time as a student advisor has been appreciated by past as well as present students on campus.

“I felt so fortunate to have Dr. Lochte as an advisor. He really cares about his advisees and it was evident by his prompt communication and good advice. I always felt like if I had any questions about scheduling or needed guidance on a particular issue, I could count on him,” said Alissa Sommerfeldt, a junior public relations major.

“Students are the reason we’re all here. It’s a constant challenge to create a valuable learning experience for the students and I think that’s what I really like about the job,” said Lochte. “I think that our department has always been focused on the performance-based learning that higher education is now leaning toward across the country. We’ve always been very conscious that when our students graduate, they need to know how to do something, and if they don’t know how to do it, they need to know how to figure it out.”

Lochte doesn’t like the term “retirement,” but is very ready for the “next stage” in his life. He believes that it will be a time for self-discovery, and intends to enjoy the hobbies he’s developed over past years as well as continue his weekly radio show the Eisenhower Hour® on WKMS-FM. The program can also be streamed worldwide at wkms.org.

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Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Categorized | Faculty/Staff, Featured, JMC Dept.