Name change initiated for Department of Speech Communication

Isaac Blankson, professor and chair of speech communication.

Faculty and staff in SIUE’s Department of Speech Communication have been discussing a potential name change for that department for at least 10-15 years.

Now that the process to change the name “Department of Speech Communication” to “Department of Human Communication Studies” has begun, Isaac Blankson, department chair and associate professor of speech communication, is overjoyed about the possibilities.

“We’ve initiated the name change and we’re extremely excited about it because of what the name change will do for our department and our students,” said Blankson.

The name change, according to Blankson’s proposal, “will help SIUE students better understand the breadth of concentrations within our field [and] alleviate the misperception students have of the department.”

The proposal points to several misconceptions about the Department of Speech Communication that Blankson and his colleagues have been faced with regularly. A major concern is the confusion between the speech communication department and Speech Pathology and Communication Disorders (College of Education). Faculty and staff in speech communication believe that the name change may alleviate this confusion.

In addition, the speech communication department “considers the name change a very important and necessary response to our national association’s recommendations and the internal and external program review recommendations,” reads the proposal.

Although the initial steps have been taken, there are several committees that must review Blankson’s proposal. According to Blankson, the process has the potential to be lengthy but is certainly worthwhile.

A group of speech communication faculty and students. (Photo courtesy of I. Blankson).

“It hasn’t been approved yet but the proposal has been submitted to the Dean’s Office and will go through various committees for approval,” explained Blankson. “We have worked with all of the departments that the name change could affect and they are all in support of it.”

As the proposal makes it way through various committees, Blankson and his speech communication colleagues anxiously await what they expect to be good news.

“I don’t see any obstacles in the way of the name change for us,” Blankson said.

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