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Depoe Stepping Down as Head of Department of Communication, Returning to Faculty

Lauren Linne, Communication Major


Stephen Depoe, PhD, who has served as the Head of Department of Communication, University of Cincinnati for two consecutive five-year terms, has made the decision to step down from the position after 10 years. While he enjoys the leadership aspect of the position, he also believes that it is good to “turn over the soil” and allow others the opportunity to lead the department.

During his tenure as Department Head, he successfully led the transition to semesters, the addition of the Public Relations major, in 2015 a co-op option for sophomores, undergraduate certificates in Communication and helped to establish the Friends of Communication alumni organization. He views his biggest accomplishments as the addition of the new PR major and focus group, as well as the addition of co-ops and laying the foundation for the future to get a PhD program approved.

Dr. Depoe leaves behind a strong legacy over his 10 years in the position that includes the successful hiring of strong people within the department. This will enable continued success in the future, maintaining a good balance by research and by serving students, building the students after graduation, and continuing to provide students role models. His wish for the new department head is to have the ability to continue to cultivate the programs that were started in the past five years, being able to guide the PhD proposal to the finish line, adjusting to what the future looks like after the pandemic, elevated structural issues and addressing the steep cost of education for students.

While he stated that “all good things must come to an end,” he is excited for the opportunity to focus his attention on his return to undergrad teaching. He plans to teach the curriculum required course, Intro to Rhetorical Theory, which he has not taught for 11 years. He plans to focus on teaching higher education and decolonizing the curriculum by taking topics that have been taught for years and freshening them up by bringing other cultural perspectives. Dr. Depoe also plans to stay involved with Friends of Communication and would love to hear thoughts about how they could do a better job of promoting co-op opportunities.

As Dr. Depoe departs his position as department head, his message to the Friends of Communication alumni organization is that he, as well as the new leader coming in, plan to stay in touch with Friends of Communication. The positive relationship will continue to grow as the Communication Department remains dedicated to supporting Friends of Communication enabling them to reach their goals of helping each other and students by focusing on long-term networking and keeping an eye on the future where there are brighter and better days ahead.

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