Mission Statement | Communication Studies

Mission Statement

We teach and research communication to connect people, create change, and work toward a just world.


  • We engage communication knowledge to understand, advance, and challenge human interaction processes locally and globally.
  • We promote the centrality of communication to personal, professional, and public lives.
  • We seek to invigorate our collective moral imagination to build a world of hope, justice, and peace.
  • We engage pressing social and relational issues through written and spoken communication, active research and teaching, and involvement in the world around us.
  • We foster learning and application of communication knowledge and skill to transform relationships and communities.
  • We affirm, practice, and teach service and community engagement.
  • We teach the art of living well together.


We actively value and promote:

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Responsibility
  • Care
  • Ethics
  • Justice
  • Courage
  • Equality
  • Creativity
  • Compassion
  • Engagement
  • Critical Thinking
  • Holistic Thinking
  • Incremental Thinking
  • Learner-centered practice
  • Independence
  • Interdependence
  • Difference
  • Relationships
  • Connection
  • Self-discipline
  • Focus
  • Service

Philosophy of Scholarship

We believe that communication is formative and foundational to human identities, relationships, and communities–and that ethical and strategically effective communication can be the means of critiquing, constructing, and transforming identities, relationships, and communities.

We engage in communication scholarship in the form of research, teaching, and service that:

  • Integrates dialogue and other approaches to communication as the foundation for scholarlyinquiry and application to the world
  • Cultivates diversity and respect for differences
  • Promotes change that leads to more democratic, just, and peaceful relationships and communities
  • Engages creative partnerships of faculty, students, and other stakeholders in addressing contemporary challenges and opportunities for improving communication

Scholarly Focus Areas

These beliefs and values are articulated in the following ongoing scholarly focus areas of the department:

  • Public Voice
    • How can communication scholarship help us to understand and improve the quality of public discourse in the world around us?
  • Voices of Change, Diversity and Difference, and Conflict
    • How can communication scholarship help people to engage with diversity, differences, and divisions in ways that promote understanding and collaborative/democratic change?
  • Voices of Identity and Relationships
    • How can communication scholarship help us understand how people create and sustain desired identities and healthy relationships?
  • Voices of Discovery
    • How can communication scholarship help us understand how people learn to co-construct, share, and critique knowledge?