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© 2018 by Kevin Must

Gail Fairhurst Wins Prestigious Distinguished Research Professor Award


Written by Steve Depoe, Head, Department of Communication.


We are pleased to announce that Professor Gail T. Fairhurst, Ph.D. has been named as the 2017 University of Cincinnati Distinguished Research Professor in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS).   This is a wonderful achievement for an outstanding colleague and friend.


I would like to share highlights from the letter I wrote to support the nomination:


“Since beginning her faculty appointment at UC in 1979, Professor Gail Fairhurst has been one of the most productive and most highly visible communication scholars in the world


This statement is not an exaggeration. Here is the record:


1. Gail Fairhurst has been recognized by her peers at a supremely high level for her overall impact on the field.


She is one of a very few individuals who has ever been recognized by her peers as both a Distinguished Scholar (National Communication Association, elected 2011) and a Research Fellow (International Communication Association, elected 2010).  Winning both of these two awards from the major U.S. or international associations represents the highest pinnacle of professional achievement, and reflects a career of incredibly active and impactful research productivity.


2. Gail Fairhurst’s published work has consistently garnered awards and recognition.


One of Gail Fairhurst’s publications (co-authored with Linda Putnam) was recently recognized by the journal Communication Theory as one of the three most important articles published in its first twenty-five years of existence.   Gail’s vita, which includes three books and fifty-plus peer reviewed publications, book chapters, and monographs, includes many other pieces that have been recognized as top publications by a variety of professional organizations.


3. Gail Fairhurst is a rare scholar who has achieved success and intellectual influence in multiple fields: organizational communication and management/leadership. 


Gail’s research program, which examines the interplay between discursive and structural dimensions of organizations and organizational leadership, has been influential not only in the organizational communication area of her own discipline, but also in other fields such as organizational psychology, management, and decision sciences.  Her work has also spanned gaps between theory and practice, as indicated by the wide circulation of her books and other publications among business and management professionals in the United States and around the world.  Most recently, Gail’s book The power of framing:  The language of leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2011), which has garnered considerable international interest, has been translated into Mandarin Chinese.


In sum, Professor Gail T. Fairhurst is one of the most active and influential scholars in the entire communication discipline.  I would further argue that Gail is one of most active scholars in the humanities and social sciences throughout the entire university, and has been for many years.  Her career of achievement and continuing productivity make her an outstanding candidate for the award of Distinguished Research Professor in 2017 at the University of Cincinnati.”


Gail—Your research has made a real difference.  Even more importantly, you have touched the lives and influenced the careers of scores of undergraduate and graduate students whom you have taught advised over the years.  On behalf of all of those students and your colleagues in the department, CONGRATULATIONS!!