Communication Alumnus Charles Berger Dies at 79

Charles Berger, who earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in the Department of Communication at MSU, died September 25, 2018.  He was 79.

Chuck received his Bachelor’s degree from Penn State before arriving in East Lansing.  His doctoral guidance committee was chaired by G.R. Miller, with committee members Alice Eagly and Bradley Greenberg.  He was awarded the PhD in 1968.

Chuck Berger was best known throughout the communication discipline for Uncertainty Reduction Theory, which he developed with Richard Calabrese initially in 1975.  Berger and Calabrese argued that uncertainty reduction is an interpersonal process fundamental to the establishment of any relationship.  Berger was also well-known for his roles as Editor of Human Communication Research, Communication Research, and Co-Editor in 1987 (with Steven H. Chaffee) of the Handbook of Communication Science, and again in 2009 (with Michael E. Roloff and David R. Ewoldsen).   

Chuck Berger retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of California, Davis, where he had been Professor and Department Chairperson.