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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Vision & Goals

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  1. We maintain "the field of communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. The field promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication."1
  2. We acknowledge and promote the power of communication to advance the complementary concepts of community and diversity.2 The communication of "community" is the bond holding society together; the communication of "diversity" allows the silenced voice in society to be heard.
  3. We affirm scholarship is fundamental to our mission. We envision scholarship as consisting of four key components: discovery, teaching, collaboration, and service.3
  • Scholarship of Discovery: Research is necessary for the advancement of understanding in society. We support free and open inquiry in order to expand the limits of human knowledge. We support all avenues of research–critical, empirical, quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, performance, historical–in exploring the dynamics of human communication.
  • Scholarship of Teaching: The advancement of skills, abilities, understanding, and knowledge is essential for the betterment of society. We support instruction in a broad spectrum of communication interests, including interpersonal, organizational, instructional, rhetorical, gender, performance, public address, argumentation, intercultural, and small group.
  • Scholarship of Collaboration: Studies in human communication serve as a prominent companion for application in other disciplines. An individual versed in effective communication may better engage in all other fields of endeavor.
  • Scholarship of Service: As members of the field of Communication Studies, we are committed to contributing to the academic growth and development of our discipline. As such, we believe that an essential component of teaching is to remain current in the theory and practice of communication; therefore, the efforts of a faculty must interrelate with the world extending beyond the campus. Our mission is to prepare students to pursue a variety of career options and service opportunities. Students of human communication may prepare for career paths in consulting, human resource training and development, community relations, teaching, administration, management, law, ministry, politics, and graduate studies in communication. We support student, graduate student, and faculty service to the discipline, state, region, global community and education.


  1. To continuously refine and strengthen the quality of undergraduate and graduate programs offered requiring students to master the basic concepts and practices of the field, to begin to explore the many areas of study within the field, and to master a specialized area of study.
  2. To offer general education courses that provide students with the knowledge and skills to be critical thinkers and effective communicators in both professional careers and advanced study.
  3. To promote the performance of communication in both creative and scholarly venues.
  4. To encourage students to explore and take part in the vocational and scholarly practice of communication.
  5. To encourage students, graduate students, and faculty to take part in scholarship, research, creative activity, planning and assessment that will contribute to the personal and professional development of all involved.
  6. To use quality faculty fostered academic and career advising while working with Communication Studies majors, minors and other interested students in developing an academic program that will lead to vocational and academic success.
  7. To encourage students to view education as a lifelong process.
  8. To encourage students, graduate students, and faculty members to take part in scholarly activity and pedagogy that promotes diversity and inclusion.
  9. To promote student, graduate student, and faculty involvement in and enhancement of service to the state, region, and global community.
  10. To encourage students to maintain an awareness of the relationship between communication and technology through a demonstrated commitment to the establishment of a distance learning plan, the inclusion of technological teaching aids in the classroom, and the critical discussion of the impact technology has on society.


1Daley, J., Chesebro, J., Duncan, R., Jayes, J., Levin, S., Long, L., Palmerton, P. & White-Newman, J.B. (1995, summer). Final Definition: Defining the Field of Communication, Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Association of Communication Administrators Summer Conference.

2Based on Zarefsky, D. (1995). The roots of American community. The Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture. Allyn & Bacon: Boston.

3Based on Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professorate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Adopted 9/21/98

Revised 9/2003