The Department of Communication Studies’ core values continue to be guided by the forward-looking, interdisciplinary approach articulated decades ago by our building’s namesake, Samuel L. Becker. Also known as “Mr. University of Iowa,” because of the major leadership roles he played within UI over the decades, this native Iowan joined our faculty in 1950 and was a benevolent presence until his death in 2012. In short, he wanted scholars to pursue ideas and approaches that help us view the world from a new perspective and to create positive social change—something he put into practice as an early supporter of Civil Rights and gender equality in the workplace.
Sam’s legacy is echoed in the Department’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—areas where our faculty have been leaders within the field of Communication. The Department offers six General Education courses for undergraduates, half of which fulfill the Gen Ed requirements for Diversity and Inclusion. This reflects our departmental vision that seeks for us to become “an internationally-renowned center for innovation in Communication scholarship, particularly in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”