ERIC Number: ED227538
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Communication Department in Crisis.
Fest, Thorrel B.; Darnell, Donald K.
Two papers describing and reacting to the proposed abolition of a department of communication are contained in this document. The first paper ("Proposed Abolition of a Department of Communication" by Thorrel B. Fest) describes the factors that led the attack. Environmental factors--distrust of the discipline, decreasing funds, and increasingly numerous and complex demands on the institution from the legislature--are first presented. The staffing problems, internal conflicts, and political arrangements that made the department vulnerable to attack in the first place are next listed. The paper's final section suggests ways to avoid such attacks, including political awareness, increased size, and maintenance of a balance between teaching and research. The reasons for the attack, given in the second paper ("Reactions from a Faculty Member of a Communication Department in Crisis" by Donald K. Darnell), include too many students, low research output, low status of the discipline, and failure to gather information on the employment of graduates. Faculty faith in what they were doing, cost effectiveness, public opposition, and a lack of procedure for termination are then given as the reasons for the department's survival. The last section of the paper provides suggestions for helping a department in crisis: providing moral support, collecting data on enrollments and employment, stressing the importance of communcation education, and defining the discipline. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Program Termination; University of Colorado Boulder
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Albuquerque, NM, February 19-22, 1983).