Communication Studies Department Statement on Scholarship

What forms of scholarship define the work of those in your department at their best?

Scholarship in communication studies includes original written research and films, presentation of that work at conferences and in journals, invited speaking opportunities, and consulting. We consider scholarship in three ways, with original research the most important.

●      Original Research

○      Papers accepted for publication in peer-reviewed international, national, regional, and state journals.

○      Book authorship or editorship.

○      Original films accepted for presentation at conferences and/or film festivals.

○      Presentations of competitively selected papers at international, national, regional, and state conferences.

○      Projects that involve students.

○      Research shared with/used to educate the lay community.

●      Reviews

○      Writing published reviews of books.

○      Reviewing articles for publication.

○      Reviewing textbooks for publication.

○      Reviewing competitive papers for presentation at conferences.

○      Judging films for conferences and/or film festivals.

●      Lectures/Public Speaking/Panel Participation

○      Invited lectures and public speaking engagements.

○      Workshops and discussions designed and led.

○      Invited participation on round-table and panel discussions at international, national, regional, and state conferences.

○      Consulting.

What forms of peer review—including those beyond the Luther campus—are appropriate for that work?

The most prestigious form of peer review is that for refereed journals in the field, with international and national journals being most prestigious, followed by regional and state journals. For films, peer reviewed/judged selection for conferences and/or film festivals are most prestigious and can be evaluated based on the level of competition at each venue. A second layer of peer review includes competitively selected papers for international, national, regional and state conferences. Finally, a form of peer review is invitation, because of reputation and expertise, to present lectures, workshops, speeches, or to serve as a consultant.

How can you encourage and enable your colleagues to see that such work bears fruit in their teaching?

Creating an environment of teaching scholars that encourages faculty to conduct research and produce creative works that excites them is essential. Relating scholarship to teaching can challenge our best students. Furthermore, involving students in research teaches students and benefits faculty who can simultaneously teach and mentor students, while engaging in research that may be presented or published.

What depth and range of achievement in scholarship at the third year, tenure review, and application for promotion to full professor should distinguish the work of Luther faculty?

Journals in the field of communication are highly competitive with acceptance rates typically ranging from 8 to 15 percent. As such, an active research program, presentation of that research at conferences, and attempts to publish are expected. Publications are also expected, but due to the low acceptance rates and preference of quality over quantity, a specific number of publications expected is not specified. In regards to creative works such as filmmaking, production of works and submission to and acceptance at conferences and/or film festivals is expected. Each of the below listed expectations are expected at each level of review.

●      Third year review

○      An active research program.

○      Presentations of research and/or films at conferences and/or film festivals.

○      Submission of research to peer-reviewed journals and/or films to conferences and/or film festivals.

●      Tenure and promotion to associate professor

○      An active research program.

○      Presentations of research and/or films at conferences and/or film festivals.

○      Submissions of research to peer-reviewed journals and/or films to conferences and/or film festivals.

○      Publications and/or film screenings.

●      Promotion to full professor

○      An active research program.

○      Presentations of research and/or films at conferences and/or film festivals.

○      Submissions of research to peer-reviewed journals and/or films to conferences and/or film festivals.

○      Publications and/or film screenings since tenure.

○      Extending research beyond the academic community.

What distinctive forms of scholarship can thrive at a liberal arts college of the church?

Many endeavors and applications of scholarship are important at a liberal arts college of the church, including asking difficult and challenging questions, collaborating with students in research and media production, and producing impactful work that reaches beyond the classroom to our surrounding communities.  In the spirit of Martin Luther, we should put forward questions that arouse thoughtful conversation and provoke meaningful change. This can be completed through a variety of research methodologies and production avenues in ways that hone in on current issues and give voice to social matters. At a liberal arts college with an emphasis on learning, we should engage our students in scholarship and as such, engage them in their field of study. Where appropriate, research can be presented by students at communication-related conferences, and films can be screened at film festivals. Additionally, we can aim to use our research to aid the community.  For example, research on family communication, intercultural communication, and media all can reach beyond the classroom to educate communities on effective communication strategies, and on media literacy. Such scholarship, when presented to the community in newsletters, guest lectures, or other ways, can wed scholarship with community service. Ultimately, whenever our scholarship can reach colleagues and be delivered to a lay audience, our scholarship becomes distinct as furthering the goals of a liberal arts college of the church.

(Revised Spring 2021)