About Us

About the School Of Communication Studies

The School of Communication Studies at Kent State University holds a record of academic excellence and achievement. Students and faculty have demonstrated the academic excellence Kent State University strives for and has earned a ranking as a top three program by Education-Portal.net and DegreeDirectory.org. The school is one of four in the College of Communication and Information (CCI), along with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD). There are 17 full-time faculty, each with unique teaching and research interests, as well as being renowned communication scholars. 

Undergraduate students under the School of Communication Studies have six different communication concentrations to pick from which include: applied, global, health, interpersonal, organizational and public. Students will gain valuable skills to carry throughout various careers in the communication field, and can also pursue master degrees within the school; a doctorate degree is offered through the college. Due to Kent State’s continuing renovations, the School of Communication Studies has temporarily moved from its home in Taylor Hall into the Art Building. 

The School of Communication Studies has a rich history dating back from its establishment in 1932 as a Department of Speech:

•    Department of Speech established by Board of Trustees
•    National honorary forensic fraternity Kappa Gamma Alpha Chapter founded
•    Men’s Varsity Debate Squad formed

•    Kent State student is sent to a state contest in oratory, the subject being “peace”
•    Men’s Debate Team earned distinction of being the only team in the Northern Ohio League to defeat the Akron University team
•    Women’s Debate Squad formed

•    The School of Speech is established under the Division of Language and Literature

•    500 crewmen of the 336th College Training Detachment (Aircrew) arrive on campus to complete a speech curriculum during World War II
•    Approximately 2,000 enlisted men completed the program at Kent State University

•    L. LeRoy Cowperthwaite named new head of the School of Speech


•    Kent Debate Team took first place in Carnegie Tech Tartan Tourney, Pittsburgh, PA

•    Music and Speech Building is completed and belongs to the School of Speech. At the time, the building was the largest classroom building.

•    Doctoral program proposed

•    Dr. Dominic Infante is the first Ph.D. graduate


•    D. Ray Heisey, Ph.D., was coordinator of the Division of Rhetoric and Communication from1980 to 1983, acting director of the School of Speech Communication from July through December 1993, and then director of the School of Communication Studies, a post he held until June 1996. 

•    The Cowperthwaite Lecture series was created after the retirement of Dr. L. LeRoy to honor his service, leadership and dedication to the School of Speech and the College of Fine and Professional Arts.

•    The School of Communication Studies honor society Upsilon Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta is established

•    Four academic programs are united to form the College of Communication and Information: the Schools of Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design

•    Dr. Angela Planisek is the 100th Ph.D. graduate


•    Dr. Alan Rubin retired as emeritus director of the School of Communication Studies. He began teaching at Kent State in 1982.


•    Dr. Stan Wearden is named director of the School of Communication Studies.


•    School moves to Taylor Hall. Taylor Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places for the events of May 4, 1970. 

•    Dr. Paul Haridakis is named director of the School of Communication Studies
•    Upsilon Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta celebrates 20th anniversary

•    Dr. Elizabeth Graham is named director of the School of Communication Studies
•    The School of Communication Studies temporarily moves from historic Taylor Hall to the Art Building while interior renovations are made to Taylor Hall


Kent State University
211 Art Building
400 Janik Drive
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001

Contact Information

E-mail: comm@kent.edu
Phone: (330) 672-2659
Fax: (330) 672-3510
International Phone: 00 1(330) 672-2659

Office Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday

Diversity Statement

The Kent State University School of Communication Studies embraces a commitment to diversity in all aspects of teaching, research and service. Diversity encompasses multiple dimensions, including but not limited to race, culture, national origin, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, body size/type/shape, marital status, parental status and veteran status. We are committed to fostering and developing a community that values mutual respect, social justice, freedom to access information and the open exchange of ideas among all students, faculty and staff. We recognize that diversity is essential in understanding the cultural competencies embedded in a variety of communication contexts. We strive to attract, recruit and retain a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that the perspectives of underrepresented populations are an integral part of our educational experiences. The School of Communication Studies is dedicated to fostering a community that respects diversity, empowers others and helps to bring about social change.