Department Chair: Dawn O. Braithwaite (five years, appointed by Dean of Arts & Sciences, 2nd term ends May, 2021*announced completing May, 2020).
Department Governing Body: Primary decision-making body of the department, considering discussion and action items from committees and department chair. Members: All tenure-leading and professor of practice faculty (voting members). Lecturers welcome to attend (non-voting members). Two graduate student representatives serve two-year terms (grad students share one vote, except on personnel issues on which they may not vote). The Department Chair will initiate an annual spring election conducted by the graduate student representatives to replace the second-year representative. Mallory Marsh, (term expires August 15, 2020), Zoe Farquahr (term expires August 15, 2021).
Executive Committee: Elected and serves as advisory to the department and Chair and serves in the role of the DGB when the body is unable to meet. Undertakes annual merit and workload review for faculty, advising the Chair. Undertakes annual review of the Chair for the Dean. Members serve three-year terms becoming chair 3rd year. Members: Bill Seiler, Chair (June 2020), Kristen Hoerl (June 2021), Kathy Castle (June 2021). Department Chair ex officio (Dawn O. Braithwaite).
Personnel Committee: All promoted faculty
Director of Graduate Studies: Casey Kelly (May, 2019-May, 2022)
Graduate Committee: Oversees and develops policy for graduate program for approval by DGB. Works with the Chair on matters related to Graduate Studies. Undertakes initiatives for graduate program and students. Undertakes graduate assessment. Coordinates colloquium, professional development seminars and convention rehearsals with Colloquium Chair. Members: Casey Kelly (Chair), Kristen Hoerl, Angela Palmer-Wackerly, Department Chair ex officio (Dawn O. Braithwaite), and confer with Director of Speech & Debate on matters related to UNL Speech & Debate Program (Aaron Duncan). Two graduate student representatives to advise the graduate committee and help coordinate graduate recruiting activities with the DGS: Jordan Johnson, Robbie Hall.
Colloquium, Professional Development, and Visiting Scholars Coordinator: Jordan Soliz.
Assistant Chair and Director of Undergraduate Education: Kathy Castle (3 years, appointed) (June 2021).
Undergraduate Leadership & Service Roles
Undergraduate Major Advisor: Sarah Feit
Undergraduate Committee: Oversees and develops policy for undergraduate program for approval by DGB. Undertakes initiatives for undergraduate program and students as a committee and in subsets of the committee assigned to different projects. Works with the Chair on matters related to undergraduate program. Undertakes undergraduate assessment. Members: Director of Graduate Education Kathy Castle (Chair), Jody Kellas, Justin Kirk, Undergraduate Advisor Sarah Feit, graduate students (2-3), Lucas Hackenburg (Lambda Pi Eta), Jen Rome (RPC); Toni Morgan (IFH), one undergraduate student, Mary Schultz.
Director of UNL Speech & Debate Program: Aaron Duncan
Assistant Director of UNL Speech & Debate Program and Director of Speech: Allison Bonander
Assistant Director of UNL Speech & Debate Program and Director of Debate: Justin Kirk
Speech & Debate Program Assistants: Mallory Marsh; Jordan Johnson, Tyler Behymer
Director of COMM 101: Aaron Duncan & Allison Bonander
Assistant: Robbie Hall (Fall and Spring)
Director of COMM 286: Kathy Castle
Assistant: Morgan April (Fall and Spring)
Social Interaction Shared Lab Director: Jody Kellas
Speech Lab Director: Will Cooney
Consultants in lab: Will Cooney, Dr. Bill Seiler, Katie Storck
Department service committees and roles
Human Subjects (IRB) Coordinator: Jordan Soliz
Awards and Honors Committee: Coordinates many of the award nominations for students, faculty and staff. Helps with annual departmental honors process in Spring. Aaron Duncan (Chair), Kathy Krone, Sarah Feit (Undergraduate Major Advisor), graduate students (2) Chase Aunspach, Braedon Worman, and undergraduate student Lorina Amore. The Director of Undergraduate Education (DUE) will confer with the committee as needed.
Grading Appeals Committee: Receives and manages process of student grade appeals. In the event of a conflict of interest, the Department Chair appoints a temporary replacement. Members: Kathy Krone (Chair), Justin Kirk, graduate student Trevor Kauer; undergraduate student Maddi Smith
Faculty Grievance Committee: The committee has the primary responsibility of hearing grievances of members of the department. Members: Three promoted faculty members with staggered three-year terms, elected by the faculty.) Aaron Duncan (2019-2020), (Chair), Jordan Soliz (2020-2021), Kristen Hoerl (2021-2022).
Diversity Committee: Addresses issues associated with climate and needs of Communication Studies members from underrepresented groups. To bring information and issues of diversity and climate to the attention of the department and students. Department members may bring diversity-related concerns or desires for information to this committee. Members: Jordan Soliz (Chair), Allison Bonander, graduate students (2-3) Megan Cardwell, Amanda Brand, Mackensie Minniear.
Faculty Senate Representative: Represents department on UNL Faculty Senate and reports back after each meeting: Ronald Lee.
Library Coordinator: Serves as liaison with UNL Libraries: Ronald Lee.
Department Newsletter: Lucas Hackenburg, Dawn O. Braithwaite.
Department Photography: Takes photos at departmental events, in classes, and at conferences for the department office and social media. Chuck Braithwaite, Social media intern Bryce Kaltenbach; graduate students (2-3) Toni Morgan, Samantha Gillespie, Trevor Kauer.
Media Outreach: ad hoc group working on social media: Dawn O Braithwaite, Kathy Castle, Casey Kelly; social media intern Bryce Kaltenbach.
UNL Graduate Student Association (GSA): Cassidy Taladay, Jordan Johnson.