Chair's Message

What an honor to return to Michigan State University and its Department of Communication. I get to work with old friends like Kelly Morrison and Gwen Wittenbaum, and new colleagues such as Dan Bergan and Kami Silk. It's a privilege to walk the halls, learn from staff, meet the students, and plan for the future.

Through example and advice, previous chairpersons of this department have shared with me ideas for this job. Over the years I've also noted how others with titles of director, vice-president, program officer, and division head in private and public sectors work and interact. We'll see what I've learned.

Rigor has always defined this department. If you are a masters student looking for the best training possible in communication, this may be your place. If you've never experienced Frank Boster or Ron Tamborini in small seminar, you're missing out. A number of leading scholars and practitioners of cross-cultural and intercultural communication were trained right here under Mary Bresnahan's close tutelage. If you are an undergraduate deciding on a major or looking for an advantage in tomorrow's job market, you will learn transferable strategies, lessons, skills and ethics in our courses that can propel you past students with other degrees. We find that our alumni are highly adept at reinventing themselves to take advantage of future opportunities.

We invite inquiries from all individuals interested in faculty positions. This department is on the verge of growing and changing in important ways and we will need help from progressive, energetic scholars with high standards. This department is directly linked to more fellows of the International Communication Association than is any other communication school or department. Call me.
Lastly, this department is about to engage in a range of relationships with external stakeholders unprecedented for us. This will be true for teaching, for research, for applied engagement, for employer relations, and with our alumni. If your caller ID reads "Department of Communication," answer that call!

James W. Dearing

Further reading:
Erwin P. Bettinghaus (1999). Gerald R. Miller: A colleague's view. Communication Studies, 50, 247-250.
Michael Meyen (2012). International Communication Association fellows: A collective biography. International Journal of Communication, 6, 2378-2396.
Everett M. Rogers (2001). The Department of Communication at Michigan State University as a seed institution for communication study. Communication Studies, 52(3), 234-248.

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