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Graduate School
Keynote Speaker

David D. Perlmutter
Professor and Dean, College of Media and Communication, Texas Tech University

Keynote Address: "Are Public Research Universities the Walking Dead?: Making the External Case for the Discovery and Creation of Knowledge"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Maple/Dogwood Room, Morris University Center, 2nd Floor

Panel Discussion: "Good Deeds That Are Most Punished, Part 3: Research"

Inspired by the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 10:45 - 11:45 a.m., Mississippi/Illinois Room, MUC

Why do we need research universities—or at least more than a few big ones? Why fund graduate programs in more than a handful of fields, and shouldn’t those demonstrate applied or practical outcomes for society? Since the 1950s the answers to these questions, if they were even asked at all, seemed self-evident: To solve problems, whether in physics or crime, we need to understand them; beyond that, understanding our physical, mental, and cultural world is the highest duty of our species. Travel to mainland China or Turkey and you see massive investment in higher education for similar reasons: hand-in-hand research and teaching is the future. Obviously in the United States today the public research university is in trouble, perhaps even an endangered species. Why, and what can we do about that? My case: Our fall from power is partly our fault. We (a) failed to continually make the public and political case for our value and (b) did not employ even the most elemental lobbying and persuasion techniques in our favor. Now is the time for all public universities, faculty, and grad students to aggressively band together to win the future.


DAVID D. PERLMUTTER is a professor at and Dean of the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University. He received his BA ('85) and MA ('91) from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. ('96) from the University of Minnesota. Perlmutter is the author or editor of ten books on political communication and persuasion. He has also written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as more than 250 essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines such as Campaigns & Elections, Christian Science Monitor, Editor & Publisher, Los Angeles Times,, Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today. Perlmutter has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN, ABC, and The Daily Show. He regularly speaks at industry, academic, and government meetings and runs workshops on personal and institutional branding via social media and on promotion and tenure in academia.

Books from Dr. Perlmutter include: Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Framing Icons of Outrage in International Crises (Praeger, 1998); Visions of War: Picturing Warfare from the Stone Age to the Cyberage (St. Martin's, 1999); (ed.) The Manship School Guide to Political Communication (LSU Press, 1999); Policing the Media: Street Cops and Public Perceptions of Law Enforcement (Sage, 2000); Picturing China in the American Press: The Visual Portrayal of Sino-American Relations in Time Magazine, 1949-1973 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); (ed., with John Hamilton) From Pigeons to News Portals: Foreign Reporting and the Challenge of New Technology (LSU Press, 2007); Blogwars: The New Political Battleground (Oxford, 2008); Promotion & Tenure Confidential: The People, Politics and Philosophy of Career Advancement in Academia (Harvard, 2010); (ed., with Robert Mann) Political Communication (LSU Press, 2011); and (ed., with Thomas J. Johnson), New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election (Routledge, 2011).

His articles include essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines such as Campaigns & Elections, Christian Science Monitor, Editor & Publisher, Los Angeles Times,, Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today. He writes a regular column, “Career Confidential,” for the Chronicle of Higher Education and blogs for CHE's The Conversation. In 2010 he was elected to the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication Standing Committee on Research and is now chair. In August 2011, he began a three-year term on the AEJMC Finance Committee.

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