posted August 4, 1999

National Institute Returns

For a 14th year, Hope College is hosting the nationally-acclaimed "NCA Institute for Faculty Development" for college and university communication faculty.

          The institute gathers faculty and resource people
  from around the country to examine a variety of issues in
  the teaching of communication at the undergraduate level.
  This year's conference will run Sunday-Friday, Aug. 8-13.
          First held in 1985, the institute was co-founded
  by Dr. Joseph MacDoniels of the Hope communication faculty
  and Dr. Roger Smitter of North Central College in
  Naperville, Ill., who continue to co-organize the event.
  The National Communication Association (NCA) has sponsored
  the institute since the summer of 1997, and in November of
  1997 the NCA presented MacDoniels and Smitter with a
  citation of appreciation in recognition of the program.
          This year's institute will feature a single
  evening keynote address, several daily morning keynote
  sessions and a variety of workshops.  Approximately 40
  educators will participate in the institute, with another 11
  experts serving as resource persons.
          The evening keynote will be presented by Stephen
  W. Littlejohn, co-author of the book "Moral Conflict:  When
  Social Worlds Collide," who will discuss approaches to
  conflict and its resolution.
          Littlejohn and co-author W. Barnett Pearce view
  communication as an essential component of conflict
  development and resolution.  The authors posit that social
  life is built through communication, that social and moral
  conflict are thus also built through communication, and that
  new forms of communication can therefore help resolve such
  conflicts.
          "Human beings live in a world of communication, a
  world made through communication," they note in their
  preface.  "This perspective leads us to look for the ways in
  which our worlds are built in social life and to seek forms
  of social life in which better worlds might be created."
          "Instead of viewing communication as one part or
  aspect of conflict, we see it as the essence of all forms of
  conflict," they continue.  "The constructionist frame leads
  us to look for new forms of communication in which to bridge
  incommensurate social worlds."
          During the morning keynotes, Carole Blair will
  deal with approaches to contemporary rhetorical theory; Jim
  Anderson, who has been a Presidential Scholar in Residence
  at Hope, will discuss curricular designs based on
  cooperative learning groups formed of students and
  instructional staff; Helen Sterk of the Calvin College
  faculty will discuss gender and communication; and Bruce
  Gronbeck of the University of Iowa will review visual
  rhetoric, an area of study concerned with the visual nature
  of popular culture.
          The institute's workshops will concern topics
  ranging from achieving diversity, to family communication,
  to teaching research methods, to small group communication,
  to organizational communication, to outreach/service
  learning.