Strategic Plan 2017-2022

The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Department of Communication’s strategic plan aims to be a guideline to help faculty and staff set priorities and goals as it looks forward to its 2019-2020 ACEJMC accreditation visit and beyond.


The principal mission of the Department of Communication is to provide a strong preparation in communication practice and research based on a firm grounding in the liberal arts and sciences. The department aims to provide its students hands-on opportunities to help them develop into thoughtful, caring, engaged, skilled communication professionals and citizens. We accomplish this by offering our students a flexible curriculum that allows them to pursue their own interests and professional goals. The faculty is committed to making contributions to the discipline of communication through scholarship and professional practice.


The department seeks to integrate teaching, scholarship and service, including engagement with the community and communications professions in Chattanooga and the surrounding area, in order to maximize opportunities and outcomes for faculty, staff, students, the college and university and external constituencies.


In accordance with the university and college strategic plans, the department particularly values:

  • Engagement: Working with on-campus and off-campus constituencies, including student development, other departments in the college and in the university, professional and scholarly organizations and others in order to maximize opportunities and outcomes for faculty, staff and students.
  • Diversity: Ensuring that diverse voices, particularly those of underrepresented groups, are represented in all activities, including teaching, research, service, personnel and curriculum. Diversity ensures a maximum benefit to all students as they are exposed to different perspectives, ideas, and opinions, a concept that remains at the core of the academic enterprise. Attention to diversity also remains at the core of governance to ensure that diverse voices are considered as part of the decision-making process.
  • Professionalism & Ethics: In a rapidly changing field, it is essential that the Department of Communication uphold and promulgate professional values and best practices, emphasizing ethical decision-making and an adherence to truth, transparency and respect for faculty, staff and students.
  • Free Speech: We value free expression within the curriculum, including upholding principles of the First Amendment. This includes both open expression of ideas in the classroom and the practice of free expression in society.


Strategic Goals

Facilities & Technology

Secure new facilities to ensure continued success. The department’s longtime home, Frist Hall, is slated for demolition, so there is no incentive for major upgrades. At the same time, a new facility can ensure continued steady growth and provide the opportunity for synergies with student media and campus media outlets. ACEJMC has twice cited the department for lack of progress on this issue.

Provide students with up-to-date technology and equipment.

  • Work with university administrators to identify a location for the department’s future home. (Spring 2018).
  • Develop floor plans that are conducive for the unit (Summer 2018).
  • Purchase equipment to support audio production (Summer 2018).
  • Create online system for reservations and management of equipment (Summer 2018).
  • Purchase equipment to support video production (Fall 2019).
  • Secure funding to upgrade computers in Metro (Summer 2019).
  • Secure funding to upgrade computers in Frist 203 (Summer 2020).
  • Maintain equipment (ongoing).
  • Move into new facilities (Fall 2020).


Use assessment data to improve and inform curriculum.

  • Collect all existing assessment data (Summer 2018).
  • Enact new measures introduced in revised assessment plan (Fall 2018).
  • Report assessment data on an annual basis. (Fall of each year).
  • Use assessment findings to inform curriculum review (2018-19).
  • Review and revise assessment plan based on curriculum changes (2019-2020).
  • Continue assessment on a yearly basis (ongoing).


Revisit curriculum to ensure maximum student success both professionally and academically.

  • Create an ad hoc committee to conduct a full review of the curriculum (2018-2019).
  • Use assessment data to inform curriculum review (2018-2019).
  • Submit curriculum revisions to the university (Fall 2019).
  • Implement curriculum revisions (Fall 2020).
  • Use assessment data to annually review and improve curriculum (ongoing).


Provide students with opportunities to engage alumni and professionals.

  • Work with alumni affairs to update alumni contact information. Make initial contact with alumni (Fall 2018).
  • Reestablish alumni council (Spring 2019).
  • Establish a chapter of SPJ (Spring 2019).
  • Reorganize a chapter of PRSSA (Fall 2019).
  • Reorganize a chapter of NABJ (Fall 2020).
  • Maintain yearly contact with alumni (ongoing).


Strengthen the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

  • During the curriculum review explore ways to strengthen diversity across the curriculum (2018-2019).
  • Revisit department’s diversity plan (Spring 2019).
  • Strive to increase diversity in the faculty and staff through hiring practices (ongoing).

Faculty Research and Creative Works

Increase departmental support of faculty research and creative works.

  • Continue to fund faculty travel to conferences (ongoing).
  • Provide new tenure track faculty with course releases during their first year (2018-2019).
  • Explore possibility of transferring tenure/tenure track faculty to a 3/3 workload as other departments in the College of Arts & Sciences have in the last few years. 

Adopted Sept 2017, revised October 2018.