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Recently Retired Professor Flickinger Named Professor Emeritus
By Kevin Stump
Dr. Joe Flickinger who recently retired serving at Radford University for 24 years has been named professor emeritus.
Flickinger was the second-longest serving tenured faculty member in the School of Communication.
“For years, when the department was badly underfunded when it came to equipment, Joe actually was able to patch together a studio with bailing wire, chewing gum, and a few prayers,” laughed Dr. Bill Kovarik. “It was not an easy job, and he has a great sense of fun.”
While the original equipment he worked with and studio he helped to create may be gone, Flickinger’s legacy lives on in the School of Communication. In fact, many faculty members were hired by him and had excellent working relationships with him.
“If you think about it, if you’ve been there a long time you’ve probably ended up hiring most of the people still in your department,” Dr. Matthew Smith, director of the School of Communication said. “And that was certainly the case with Joe.”
With so many people being hired by him, it’s little wonder that many of them looked up to Flickinger and enjoyed their time working with him. Some, like Dr. Sam Jennings, saw him as very encouraging and full of advice, and a very capable mentor to them.
“He has demonstrated some of the most collegiality of anyone that I have worked with within higher education,” said Jennings. “He and his colleagues from that era have been some of my biggest influences.”
One of the biggest things his fellow colleagues had to say about Flickinger was his great sense of humor, and the air of professionalism that he always had that students picked up on. With such glowing opinions, it was a no-brainer that Flickinger would land the professor emeritus title.
Professor emeritus is an honorary title; mostly given to faculty who leave the university in good standing, served for at least 10 years at the institution, and provided significant contributions to it.
“When faculty retire or resign, typically more when they retire, they can be considered for emeritus status,” said Smith. “That’s not an automatic thing, it’s an honor given to faculty.”
The title of professor emeritus is the university expressing gratitude for everything that a faculty member has done during their tenure. Benefits of the title include continued use of the library resources and athletic facilities, continued use of computer and e-mail accounts, and special event discounts from a university identification card.