A Bigger, Bolder and Stronger School of Communications

Webster University School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler believes it is a period of tumultuous change in the media industry. 

ST. LOUIS, March 1, 2013 –Webster University School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler believes it is a period of tumultuous change in the media industry. However, he does not see this as a bad thing.

“It is the single best, single most important time there has ever been to study communication and media, the most important time in the history of our field to be teaching communication and the most fraught time there has ever been to be practicing communication.”

Rothenbuhler delivered these remarks at a welcoming reception held by Webster University on Wednesday, February 20 at the St. Louis Club. More than 100 media professionals, alumni, faculty and staff attended the event to officially welcome Rothenbuhler to Webster University where he began his first year as Dean of the School of Communications and professor in August 2012. He was previously Associate Dean of the Scripps College of Communication and professor of media arts and studies at Ohio University, director of the media studies MA program at New School University and a faculty member at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.

Rothenbuhler said Webster University's School of Communications is poised to meet the needs of the changing media landscape.
President Beth Stroble, Eric Rothenbuhler and Provost Julian Schuster
“We offer the full range of media and modes of communication from journalism to animation, from advertising to film making – every aspect of media and communications is included in our curriculum,” he said. “What makes our university unique is that we're able to integrate theory and practice in a curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning, inter-disciplinary teamwork, professional-grade equipment and real-world clients in addition to the global campus network that benefits students in all programs.”

Rothenbuhler thinks the skills the students are learning in the School of Communications allow them to be competitive in every industry. “The public has never been more engaged in communication, more interested in new media, new technologies and applications, and in the process of change,” he said.

“As Webster University pursues global academic excellence in all academic disciplines, we are very pleased to have Eric leading the charge in the School of Communications,” said Webster University Provost and Senior Vice President Julian Z. Schuster. “He brings tremendous leadership and talent in a time of industry change. Eric will be an integral part of the efforts to establish Webster's programs in communication as globally and nationally relevant and to ensure that our graduates are sought-after professionals.”

Rothenbuhler outlined other goals for the School of Communications, which include:

  • Increasing the number and diversity of outside business partners
  • Increasing external support
  • Strengthening the collaboration with the global campuses
  • Internationalizing the experience for students on the St. Louis campus.

“The bigger, older, more well-known schools and colleges of communication no longer have their traditional advantages, because bigness, age, and renown are not in short supply.

What is in short supply are good ideas about the future of communication and media. That's where we come in,” he said. “We will be building a bigger, bolder, stronger School of Communications of the future—recognizable as the Webster School we have known and loved, but grown up, muscled up, and achieving a national reputation for leadership in global communication education.”

The Webster University School of Communications prepares 1,300 students in three academic departments to excel as skilled professionals in the global communications field. The School provides a hands-on approach to learning that is grounded in the University's liberal arts and sciences foundation and commitment to global education. Sixteen undergraduate programs, five graduate degree programs and 12 minors cover the wide array of communications specialties and are taught by faculty who are theorists and practitioners. Students work with professional-grade media equipment, take courses at Webster's U.S., European and Asian campuses, participate in robust field experiences and internships, and, along with faculty and alumni, are routinely recognized for their professional accomplishments.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military, online and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.