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Wednesday, January 19, 2005
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Communication doctoral programs ranked in nation's top 10

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 19, 2005) -- Two of the doctoral programs in Ohio University's College of Communication are ranked in the top 10 communication programs in a reputation study conducted by the National Communication Association (NCA), the largest academic association of scholars of communication in the country. Several others within the college were also ranked.

Nine specialties at the doctoral level were examined in the study. The School of Communication Studies' organizational communication program was ranked nine, and the health communication program ranked 10. In addition, three other programs within the school were ranked in the top 20.

School of Communication Studies Interim Director Nagesh Rao is pleased with the recognition.

"We are delighted and honored that the School of Communication Studies ranked so highly in the National Communication Association rankings of doctoral programs," Rao said. "It is particularly heartening that the study tracks the remarkable strides we have made in research, teaching and service."

In the School of Telecommunications, the area of intercultural and international communication was ranked 14th nationally. Three other areas were ranked in the top 30.

According to Karen Riggs, the school's director, the program in intercultural and international communication has long been prominent internationally and is starting to gain considerable recognition on the national level.

Riggs also highlights the new Games Research and Immersive Technology (GRID) Lab, recently created by a partnership between Ohio University and City of Athens.

"The implementation of the new GRID lab, where research will concentrate on video game development and interactive design interface, will underscore achievement in the important realms of communication and technology and critical-cultural communication," Riggs said, "which will also enhance the school's reputation."

College of Communication interim Dean Greg Shepherd says the NCA's findings further indicate that Ohio University's communications programs are top-notch.

"These rankings reflect the quality of the faculty, staff, and students in these programs as well as the enormous good will and hard work it took to realize such perceptions of enhanced stature," Shepherd said. "When these rankings are put together with the top-rated professional programs we have in journalism and visual communication, as well as our new and growing master's program in communication systems management, it is easy to see why we are considered to be among the very elite colleges of communication in the country."

The study also assessed the ascent or decline of a program's reputation over the past five years. These data were especially definitive for the two top-ten programs in the School of Communication Studies. Among the top 20 ranked programs in organizational communication, Ohio University's program had the second highest score in terms of quality of change over the past five years. Among the top 20 programs in health communication, Ohio University's program had the third highest mean in terms of quality of change.

Rao cites the constituents of the School of Communication Studies for the success and predicts the school's programs will continue to improve and gain national recognition.

"My kudos go to the faculty, students and staff who have made this achievement possible," he said. "We continue to create new initiatives, tweak existing programs and, most importantly, stay in dialogue to be outstanding scholar-teacher-citizens."

Interim Provost Kathy Krendl also credits faculty for the high rankings.

"The new rankings released by the National Communication Association demonstrate the commitment to excellence in doctoral education in the College of Communication," Krendl said. "The faculty have focused on identifying programmatic strengths and recruiting faculty and graduate students in specific areas. The net result is that they have enhanced their national reputation significantly and earned a place among the most prestigious programs in the nation."

According to its Web site, the NCA "is a scholarly society and as such works to enhance the research, teaching and service produced by its members on topics of both intellectual and social significance." To learn more about the National Communication Association, please visit www.natcom.org.

Top 20 national rankings by the National Communication Association of Ohio University Communications doctoral/PHD programs and areas:

School of Communication Studies
  • Organizational Communication program: 9th
  • Health Communication program: 10th
  • Rhetorical Studies program concentration area: 18th
  • Interpersonal and Small Group Communication concentration area: 20th
  • Critical-Cultural Communication concentration area: 20th
School of Telecommunications
  • Intercultural and International Communication concentration area: 14th

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Media Contacts: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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