Communications department head Paula Furr set to retire


Dr. Paula Furr, professor and department head of News Media, Journalism and Communication Arts is retiring at the age of 67.

Furr came to NSU in 1999 after she retired from the military. She was a journalist in the army. She was in public affairs working with the newspapers and radio. Her last assignment was at West Point, where she taught for six years.

“I went through the transition of women going into the regular army,” Furr said.

She said being in the army taught her how to be unafraid and how to articulate clearly.

She retired and came back to her home state, Louisiana, where she was born. At first,

she was going to be a stay-at-home mom because she had a child in kindergarten, “but for one reason or another I was just led back to teaching,” she said. Furr was hired at NSU in the Department of Journalism. In 2007, the state and the university were going through dramatic budget cuts. Journalism was among one of 25 programs that NSU eliminated at that time, something Furr described as “very painful.” However, she continues to work with student media and in a short period with a lot of effort Furr said: “We were fortunate that we were able to bring News Media journalism back.” “So, I guess I’ve held on all these years because I just had a firm belief that we will once again have media and journalism back at Northwestern.” After all the hard work for two decades, Furr said thank you to all the faculty and thank you to the students. “Without students, we would not be here. So, first of all, thank you for choosing Northwestern for those who are in communication or those of you who work with student media, thank you for doing that,” she said. “I have enjoyed my time at Northwestern immensely and I have really enjoyed the students.” “I think the students help keep you young. It’s always interesting every semester I go into a class. I am learning along with the students,” Furr said. “I’m happy for her and sad to see her go,” said senior communications major Matthew Giering. “She’s been an inspiration to me and been very generous.” Jennifer Doiron is a sophomore and a communications major. She said all her encounters with Furr has been pleasant and she will miss her. “Dr. Furr has always answered my emails and questions soon after I sent them to her and helped me out promptly. I think that is something to be appreciated and celebrated,” Doiron said. Professor Emeritus, Thomas Whitehead, said he has known Furr since she came to the faculty at NSU and he thinks NSU has been fortunate to have a “truly multi-talented person” and NSU is thankful for her to the development of the journalism program. “She has a broad background. It’s rear we have someone here with this much experience. We will all miss her,” Whitehead said. Furr has a newborn grandson, so she will be spending time with her family and traveling with her husband.