School of Communication

Our History and Mission

The School's History

In 1972, the separation of the Speech Communication Department into the Department of Speech and Hearing and the Department of Communication begins.

In 1974, Sidney Kraus became the first Chairperson of the Department of Communication. He established the department as a Communication Theory and Methodology center. Dr. Kraus served as the Chairperson for twelve years.

In 1976, the Communication Research Center was established, and its first project was completed in 1977 with the first Director, John Robinson.

In 1977, there were plans for a new Communication building.

In the Spring of 1980, the department awarded its first master's degree.

In 1986, Leo Jeffres becomes Chairperson. He served a seven-year term. During his tenure, the plans for the new building were finalized, and the building occupied.

In 1988, there was ground breaking for the new Music & Communication Building.

In the Summer of 1990, the Music and Communication building was completed. The Communication Department occupied the second floor. First floor and ground floor housed a television studio and video/audio editing suites. The building also contained three large rehearsal halls, two concert halls, two chamber music rehearsal rooms, four electronic music/computer laboratories and dozens of practice rooms, and teaching spaces and classrooms.

In 1993, Victor Wall became the Chairperson of the Communication Department. During this time, the School was facing budget cuts. When his wife took a position in Indiana, he resigned after serving 3 ½ years of his term.

In 1995, Susan Kogler Hill became Chairperson of the Communication Department. She shepherded the department through the switch to semesters and worked to gain approval for the School of Communication.

In 1997, CSU transitioned from a quarter system to a semester system. At this time, changes were made to the curriculum as the Communication facility improved, expanded programs, and added several courses.

In 2001, Richard Perloff was elected to serve as the final the Chairperson of the Communication Department. After a one-year term, he was selected to be the first Director of the School of Communication. International Exchange of the Study for Communications, directed by Professor Jae-Won Lee, was established.

On July 1, 2004, the Department of Communication officially becomes the School of Communication.

On July 25, 2005, the School of Communication adds three new majors to its offerings: Communication Management, Film & Digital Media, and Journalism & Promotional Communication.

On July 1, 2010, George Ray becomes the Director of the School of Communication.  He steered the School through the University’s "4 to 3" credit-hour conversion process that was implemented in the Fall 2014 semester.

On July 1, 2015, Gary Pettey was elected to serve as the Director of the School of Communication.

In 2016, the School of Communication hosted its first Award Ceremony where students received top scholar awards, were granted scholarships, and were inducted into the National Communication Association Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society.

In 2017, The Film, Television & Interactive Media Major left the School of Communication to become the School of Film & Media Arts and added a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The School of Communication continued to award a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Promotional Communication.

In the Summer of 2019, Robert Whitbred was elected to serve as the Director of the School of Communication; he remains the Director currently.

In the Fall of 2020, the School of Communication added a Digital Content Production Minor to its undergraduate programs.

In the Fall of 2022, the School of Communication added a Health Communication Minor to its undergraduate programs.

In the Spring of 2022, the School of Communication became part of Levin College of Public Affairs and Education.

In the Fall of 2023, the School of Communication added a Communication Skills Certificate to its undergraduate programs.

In the Fall of 2023, the School of Communication launched a broadcasting series extending campus-wide and involving members and leaders of the local communities.

Our Mission

The School of Communication provides students with an education in the powerful, transformative role that communication plays in contemporary society. The curriculum of the School is designed to prepare students for communication careers in the fields of:  public relations, journalism, health communication, organizational communication, mediation, and relational communication. Students will take courses from professors who are nationally known for their academic scholarship and professional credentials. Our students receive an outstanding education in the art, science, and digital technology of contemporary communication so they are competently prepared for the work world.

Our Mission is to:
  1. Educate students in the art and science of communication so that they may become critical, thoughtful, and ethical communicators in their professional and personal lives.
  2. Provide career-related competence in different fields of communication, including communication management and journalism & promotional media.
  3. Offer state-of-the-art education in communication research so that students can apply research principles to real-world problems.
  4. Make significant contributions to academic knowledge that facilitate solutions to everyday relational, regional, and global communication issues.
  5. Constructively contribute to the enhancement of the metropolitan region by developing innovative ideas to improve communication and aid problem solving.
  6. Produce a generation of graduates who apply the art and science of communication with conviction and compassion in their professional and personal endeavors.