Our Beliefs

The MTSU Department of Communication Studies celebrates and affirms differences among people from all backgrounds.  We embrace diversity both seen and unseen, strive for inclusion for students, faculty, and staff, commit to ourselves to equity in interaction and process, and actively promote social justice for all persons.  Our department cultivates an environment that empowers individuals from underrepresented and/or historically marginalized groups.  We serve our students, campus, and community by developing communication skills that promote understanding, respect, empathy, and critical thinking.

Mission

The Communication major and the Department of Communication Studies mission is to engage in the development and instruction of our students' skills, knowledge, and abilities that can lead to rewarding personal growth and career opportunities. We are committed to engaging students in the communication discipline, mentoring students to succeed, transforming our teaching and research, and partnering with others in our campus, community, and discipline.

Values

The Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University values:
   1.  improving knowledge and discourse in our classrooms and communities;
   2.  promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for our students and colleagues;
   3.  building pathways to success for our students;
   4.  developing our instructional and research footprint in the discipline of communication.


During Summer 2020, the faculty signed below issued the following statement regarding Black Lives Matter.

Communication Studies Departmental Statement: Black Lives Matter

In the Department of Communication Studies, our mission and values reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. As communication scholars, we understand the power of language, representation, and the importance of listening, especially to the most vulnerable people. To do nothing is to contribute to the trauma, deepening the grief and perceptions of isolation. Instead, we write this statement as one way to join others in proclaiming that Black Lives Matter.

In response to recent moments of racialized and heightened state violence that resemble moments in our past, we stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students, faculty, and staff. In doing so, we stand against hate, against inequality, against police brutality and impunity. While calling for an end to the long and ongoing reality of racial injustice and white supremacy in the United States, we must also acknowledge the fact that higher education can often be an unsafe space. In joining with the AAUP statement on racial justice in higher education, we are committed to creating a safer space by refusing to be bystanders to messages and behaviors that perpetuate racial injustice and invalidate Black lives. The reality of racism prevents People of Color from living freely in America. This system erases BIPOC contributions and diminishes their humanity. 

Words themselves impact and shape our identities and social worlds. But we recognize that words alone are not always sufficient. We stand with our students and communities and remain committed to acting in ways that support our values. Below are a list of concrete actions we can take to support those who are hurting, to educate ourselves, and to engage in self-care.

 Books and Online Resources:

 Signed,

Andrew Tinker Katie Gruber Roberta Chevrette
Betsy Dalton Kristin Naylor Robert B. Layne II
Debra Boyd L’Oreal Stephens Robert Carlsen
Dee Priddis Mary Beth Asbury Ron Kates
Elizabeth Stephens Natalie Hoskins Scarlett Hester
Heather Hundley Natonya Listach Steve Decker
Hsin-I Cheng Patrick Richey Xiaowei Shi
Janet McCormick Pierre Vincent, Esq.  

 

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