Themes to Guide Our Strategic Planning

We live in a time of great possibilities for communication. As students, instructors, practitioners, researchers and scholars, we are presented with boundless opportunities for innovation through communication technology. Communication touches lives, changes societies, topples regimes, incites violence, inflicts pain, soothes and heals. Communication is both art and science. It is the very essence of life, the currency of human relations, and a catalyst of change.

​As I embark on my new assignment as Dean of ComArtSci, my desire is to build an academic community in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and to nurture a vibrant intellectual environment that fosters the art, craft, practice, instruction and science of communication.

​In the next few months, we will work collectively to develop a strategic plan for the college. To prepare for this exercise, over the break I took some time to reflect on themes that should guide our strategic plan. In large part, these themes were derived from my conversations with members of the ComArtSci community over the last few months.

​Break silos. We should strive to tap the potential that lies in the fusion of communication arts and sciences. Of course, synergy extends beyond the fusion of arts and sciences. Let's look for synergy among labs, research groups, and centers within the college and explore interdisciplinary collaborations outside our college.

​Let's innovate. Let's explore innovative and creative approaches in instruction and research and invest in intellectual and physical spaces that facilitate and foster collaboration and innovation.

​Discuss teaching. We should continue our ongoing conversations about the values and goals of our teaching mission. Let's experiment with more effective and efficient methods of instruction. Let's capitalize on learning technologies and venture into online programs.

​​Invest strategically. Even Google and Apple think strategically about their investments. Let's place our bets on areas that build on our strengths and advance the priorities of the university.

​Stay balanced. When considering options for strategic investment, let's find the balance between arts and sciences, teaching and research, publications and grants, undergraduate and graduate education, basic and applied research.​

​Move the needle. We should be agents of change, actively engaged in translational research. Our research should have an impact on health, environment, and public affairs in our region and around the world.

​Integrate WKAR. Our friends in WKAR have launched a number of new programs that offer interesting opportunities for collaboration. Let's think of creative ways to integrate public radio and television in our teaching, research and creative work.​

​Value tradition. Each of the departments in the college has a rich tradition. As we envision our future, let's not forget the rich traditions of the past.

​In my meetings with students and alumni, I hear numerous touching stories of faculty, advisors and staff who have made a difference. That is our tradition – making a difference in the lives of our students and I have seen an abundance of evidence that we do this very well. That is the Spartan spirit and thank you for championing it.