Equity and Inclusion in Action

The Department of Communication is committed to:   ​

  • Advocate for social justice, access, equity, and inclusion of all persons of the Department of Communication, including faculty, staff, and students. ​
  • Welcome and celebrate the experiences of individuals, regardless of background, through innovative teaching, research, advising, outreach, and community involvement.​
  • Acknowledge structural racism and transform departmental climate to build a more welcoming and inclusive community.​

The Department commits to reflect upon, acknowledge, and address areas of improvement by identifying specific actions that will promote and sustain key human values, including compassion, empathy, and respect. See full statement.

As the Department of Communication takes actions to create a more inclusive and equitable community, we will add to this page to document those actions and to hold ourselves accountable to continued improvement.


  • The Undergraduate Studies Committee committed to adopt the following curricular initiative as a first step to support the ongoing work of the Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce:
    “The undergraduate curriculum will address the discipline’s history of centering white masculinity as the norm of scholarly inquiry, the historic issue of underrepresentation of non-White scholars in communication research, and the direct impacts of these issues on our learning and scholarship in the discipline.1 In particular, these items should be addressed in the introductory course (COMM 1000) the primary research methods course (COMM 2000Q) and each of the core courses (COMM 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, and 2600).” (March 2021)

Recruitment and Retention

  • The Graduate Admissions Committee engaged in a holistic admissions process that seeks to include qualified applicants from under-represented groups. (December 2020)
  • The Graduate Studies Committee is revising the personal statement required as part of the graduate program application to include a prompt referencing the Department's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. (April 2021)
  • The Department requested faculty positions that will focus on research in health inequities and in social justice through a lens of big data. (August 2020) Both searches were approved. While sourcing applicants for those searches, the Department increased its efforts to reach scholars from marginalized groups.

Advising and Outreach

  • The Speaker Series Committee committed to making a minimum of 50% of their invitations to speakers from under-represented groups or speakers conducting research about under-represented groups. (February 2021)

Recognition of DEI Work

  • The DEI Task Force is working on how the Department can best recognize the DEI-related work done by Communication faculty. (April 2021)


1Chakravartty, P., Kuo, R., Grubbs, V., & McIlwain, C. (2018). #CommunicationSoWhite. Journal of Communication68(2), 254-266. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqy003

Faculty and student in Human Computer Interaction Lab
Dr. Saras Bellur demonstrates equipment in the Human Computer Interaction Lab during an undergraduate open house.