Stewart, who also serves as director of the Center for Communication and Health Issues at SC&I, said as acting chair she will be responsible for fulfilling all of the duties of the chair as specified in the Communication Department bylaws.
Describing her goals for the next six months, Stewart said, “There are two major personnel matters this year – a search for two full-time faculty members and a tenure and promotion case for an incoming faculty member so those are my immediate concerns. I would like those processes to run efficiently while making sure that all faculty voices are heard and respected.”
The most rewarding aspect of taking on the duties of acting chair, Stewart said, is that “It's always interesting to see ‘the other side’ of the academic process. A great deal of work goes into making sure that the academic enterprise works for everyone, and I enjoy doing that work.”
"As a former department chair, Lea Stewart brings tremendous experience to this role. The department is in strong hands under her leadership," current chair and Professor of Communication Craig Scott said. Scott will be taking a sabbatical from July through December, returning on Jan. 1, 2020. While on sabbatical, Scott said, he will be working on research projects and giving several talks related to his ongoing work on anonymous communication and hidden organizations.
In order to take on the responsibilities of acting chair, Stewart said she has received a one-course reduction in her teaching load so she will be doing a little less teaching and a little more administration.
Asked if she anticipates any challenges while fulfilling her role, Stewart said, “The Communication Department faculty are wonderful, so I'm sure they will be there to assist me if any major challenges arise.”
For more information about the Department of Communication at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, click here.