The department holds colloquia several times a semester in which noted, outside visitors present their work. These events are typically research focused, but are also occasionally teaching focused. Colloquia offer students a chance to learn more from visible scholars in the field whose work they will be reading and integrating with their own. In addition to lecturing, visiting speakers typically hold office hours, thus providing opportunities for students to cultivate relationships with scholars at other universities.
This annual lecture, one of the department’s highest-profile events for the campus and surrounding community, is typically held in early March. It is funded by a generous donation from a regional figure who dedicated her career and treasure to improving the quality of public discussion and deliberative discourse in American society. Each year, the department selects a high-profile figure from Communication or another discipline whose work is concerned with related themes such as community, democracy, diversity, argumentation, participation, and politics. Lecturers typically visit for several days; in addition to speaking, they offer seminars and meet with students and faculty.