About the Department


The Communication and Journalism Department here at UMaine has been around in various configurations since 1915 which makes us one of the oldest programs in the country.  The Department of Public Speaking opened in 1915, later to become a Department of Speech & Theatre, and then to be combined with Speech Disorders.  The Department of Journalism began in 1948, later to become the Journalism and Mass Communication Department.  Communication and Journalism were combined in 1994.  As a Department we have a long, respected tradition of success and student-centered education.

Our undergraduate  students have gone on to careers in the private and public sectors and to graduate school. Our graduate students have become professionals, teachers, and professors.

Our Department’s mission is to understand and to improve the human condition through the study of communication practices. We offer challenging liberal arts degree programs in Communication, Media Studies, and Journalism, and graduate programs in Communication and Media Studies. Our programs address personal and professional practices, social contexts, and theoretical understandings of human-to-human and technologically mediated communication.

To our many alumni, we extend continued best wishes and, please, don’t be a stranger. To our current majors and graduate students, you are what make this a great Department. To prospective students, what are you waiting for?


The Department’s primary educational mission is to offer challenging liberal arts degree programs that include the personal and professional practices and the social contexts of communication, mass communication, and journalism. Through the study of human communication we seek to understand and to improve the human condition. The Department fulfills this liberal arts mission through its undergraduate programs in Communication, Media Studies, and Journalism, and through its graduate programs in Communication and Media Studies.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement: Our Collective Work in Progress

Here in the Department of Communication and Journalism we believe that everyone has a place with us. We understand that as scholars and teachers we bear a responsibility in building open and just communities and that this requires the coming together of and interaction between different opinions and backgrounds. We know that the academy, whose aims are the advancement of knowledge and human betterment, are nonetheless built upon systems of dispossession, injustice, and inequality. This challenges us to change those systems even though we depend on and work within them. We thus recognize that the process of building open and just communities and to change the academic environment is difficult, continual, and involves creating an environment of trust. To work toward creating this environment, we individually and collectively reflect on, develop, and implement practices that:

  1. Intentionally integrate diverse perspectives and voices in classroom materials;
  2. Engage in discussions about inclusive teaching and learning practices, either in department meetings or public colloquia that involve graduate teaching assistants and instructors from other departments;
  3. Conduct community-oriented research that centers the voices, questions, and perspectives of participants;
  4. Build a curriculum around the critical examination of existing inequities and injustices.

We recognize that the department should and will continuously enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Developing our curriculum with the understanding that building an inclusive program requires working to understand the diversity of our students and their needs, our community, and the greater world as well as recognizing the experiences and perspectives we as instructors bring into the classroom;
  2. Creating and implementing training in inclusive and critical pedagogies;
  3. Fostering classroom environments that allow for discussions about injustice, diversity, inclusion, and identities that is open and respectful, acknowledges different identities within systems of oppression, and that values the necessary discomfort that comes with having such discussions;
  4. Considering ways in which the department can hold itself accountable in its striving toward creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. This includes an annual re-evaluation of this equity statement that will involve seeking feedback from undergraduate and graduate students.

Statement Development Process

A committee of full-time CMJ faculty has been meeting since Spring of 2021 to discuss goals pertaining to DEI. After drafting an initial statement, we conducted a focus group of CMJ students and revised the statement to reflect their feedback. We see this statement as a living document that will be revisited and updated regularly.

Please contact Dr. Judith Rosenbaum (judith.rosenbaumandre@maine.edu) with any questions or comments.

History, Past Faculty, and Alumni