The essay critiques communication scholars and the entire field through Wilson's experiences in the past six years as Dean.
"I am struck by what I see as tremendous opportunities and some serious problems, problems deep and broad enough for me to give the 'communication' field as whole a barely passing grade of C-," Wilson said.
He described the great opportunities the academic field of communication has failed to take advantage of as the modern world enters into a post-industrial age driven by networks of communications. Wilson emphasized the way to put the industry on the path to a well-deserved "A" is an industry-wide assessment of challenges and the redefinition of those challenges into opportunities.
According to Wilson, the field needs a series of reality checks from the communities of practice in which communication students are being trained to work.
Wilson went on to cite interviews from the past 18 months with practitioners who stressed the importance and need for rigor and precision among current communication scholars.
"There is a need for all subfields of communication to be more ambitious, outward looking, and rigorous, relevant and re-engaged," Wilson said. "We must transform the relationships among relevance, rigor and re-engagement from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle."
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