|Retired in 1989
Dr. Rossman's 26-year career at Western began in 1963 in the Broadcasting area of the then Department of Speech and Theater, working with late beloved colleague, mentor and friend Dr. Robert Franklin Smith. Dr. Smith unexpectedly passed away a few years after his arrival. Dr. Zack York was the Department Chairman. The broadcast area then consisted of one faculty member (R Franklin) and three courses, Radio production, Broadcast Journalism and Introduction to Broadcasting. Classes were offered in East Hall, and in white world war two shacks near the football field.. The Radio studio was a small room and production facilities consisted of one turntable, one microphone and an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. Due to lack of space, Dr. Rossman's office was in a converted closet with room for a desk, two chairs, and a walled bookcase.
Experience in commercial television allowed Dr. Rossman to add various courses in television production, scripting and others. The very basic TV Production studio was housed in a room at the back of the old Waldo Library. WIDR was still Inter Dormitory Radio, located on the top floor of the old Maybee Music Hall. Until his unfortunate death, Dr. Rad Kuykendall was the WIDR advisor for many years. His tireless dedication eventually resulted in WIDR's FM license granted in the 1970's. Dr. Barry Sherman was the advisor for several years until he moved to the University of Georgia. Dr. Rossman replaced Dr. Sherman and kept the position until his retirement. Upon retiring, several students established a Scholarship in Dr. Rossman's name, which is awarded every year to the outstanding WIDR staff member. Dr. Rossman also received the Advisor of the Year Award from the university.
There was a major expansion and change beginning in the 1970's and 1980's. As the department became the Department of Communication, the Broadcast area became the area of Mass Communication. Additional faculty beginning with Dr. Tom Pagel, in the 1970's resulted in the expansion of course offerings in various areas of Mass Communication theory, advanced TV production and performance courses. and more Dr. Rossman introduced courses in Broadcast Sales and Programming. Two modern TV studios were constructed in Dunbar Hall, and two modern Radio production studios in Brown Hall. With additional faculty, and Video and Film Production facilities, Department started offering courses in film and video production. By the time Dr. Rossman retired an area with one faculty member and three courses had grown to a faculty of seven, a Public relations program, several major areas of concentration, and almost twenty courses During those years Dr. Rossman also served as departmental Advisor. A number of his students have gone on to success in broadcasting and related fields. These include Tim Allen, Jim Hickey (ABC TV News) Tom Decerhio (TV commercial producer and film director of the film: "Celtic Pride") Sue Geha (News Anchor, Grand Rapids) Michael Petok (TV Producer of the Bernie Mac TV Show.) and others. Two years ago 15 of Dr. Rossman's former students had a reunion with him in Las Vegas. It was blast!
After moving to Scottsdale, Dr. Rossman helped establish the WMU Alumni group with several of his former students who live in the area. He keeps busy with various projects involving his Temple, an annual film festival, on the steering committees and doing publicity for various interfaith and social action groups. Dr. Rossman is in in constant touch with Ernie Stech, Dick Dieker, Tom Pagel, and other faculty. Life is good.