ERIC Number: ED390083
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov-20
Reference Count: N/A
Recapturing the Role of Communication Arts and Sciences in Liberal Education: Selling it to the Academy.
McCall, Jeffrey M.
At one time communication scholars could go their merry way, secure in the notion that their departments would continue to receive ample funding. However, recent assaults on established and recognized communication departments around the country are more than shots across the bow from administrators and even colleagues from other academic departments. These shots threaten the very existence of communication departments. One of the reasons communication departments have been the target of cutbacks is that they have not adequately defined their field for those outside it. A major step was taken recently when 100 communication administrators gathered to identify and list integral concepts for the discipline. In the trend toward increased specialization, the communication discipline has splintered itself to the point that core understandings and principles are no longer recognizable. A quick glance through convention programs shows a myriad of divisions, committees, caucuses, and sections. Department names for communication vary from university to university. Further, the tendency to define communication as a vocational field makes it suspect in the eyes of "back to basics" administrators. One step to help communication students identify and appreciate the convergence of subdisciplines is to offer a single introductory course for communication study. What communication scholars must now do is (1) define the field so that it secures its rightful place in the center of the liberal arts program; (2) enter communication courses into the general distributional requirements framework of the university; and (3) lobby for communication programs in universities that do not now have them. (Contains 13 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Educational Issues
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (81st, San Antonio, TX, November 18-21, 1995). Best available copy.