NSC Announces New Director

Robert S. Littlefield, Ph.D. will start as director of UCF's Nicholson School of Communication in August 2016.

Robert S. Littlefield, Ph.D. will start as director of UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication in August 2016.

Story by UCF Nicholson School of Communication.

January 28, 2016

Robert S. Littlefield, Ph.D. has accepted the offer of UCF College of Sciences’ Dean Michael Johnson to become Director of the Nicholson School of Communication (NSC) beginning in August.

Dr. Littlefield is currently Professor of Communication at North Dakota State University, (NDSU) where he has also served as Chair of the Department of Communication, Interim Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Cultural Diversity.

“I am very excited about joining the amazing faculty and staff in the Nicholson School of Communication,” Littlefield said. “Having the opportunity to help guide the NSC as it moves forward with its doctoral program, to assist with the potential transition to a downtown location, and to lay the groundwork for future growth and development as an academic unit persuaded me that the University of Central Florida was the place where I wanted to be. I can’t wait to get started.”

Dr. Littlefield is a highly regardedRobert-Littlefield-in-front-of-NSC scholar of crisis and risk communication. He has published six books and monographs and more than 100 articles, chapters, and workbooks. His most recent book, co-authored with NSC Professor of Strategic Communication Timothy Sellnow, Ph.D. is “Risk and Crisis Communication – Navigating the Tensions Between Organizations and the Public,” published by Lexington Books in 2015. Littlefield has also completed significant externally funded projects from the federal departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security and Education.

Littlefield’s professional service has included offices in such organizations as Central States Communication Association, American Forensic Association, National Speech and Debate Association, and Pi Kappa Delta National Honorary. He has also served as editor or on the editorial boards of Communication Studies, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and several other journals. He is deeply engaged in service to the community and around the world, most notably as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lions Club International.

“When I arrived for the interview process at Nicholson, I felt right at home,” Littlefield said. “It seemed like the stars aligned and this was the right position for me. As I met the faculty, staff and supporters of the NSC, there was a natural connection. When it’s right, you can’t resist. I was hooked from the start.”

“The faculty were very active in this search, perhaps more so than at any other time in the decade I’ve been here,” said Dr. Tim Brown, an Associate Director in the School. “We evaluated a number of high caliber candidates. I think it’s fair to say that the faculty are very excited about working with Dr. Littlefield when he arrives in August.”

Dean Johnson extended his thanks to all who participated in the search process, with special appreciation to members of the search committee. In particular, Johnson thanked Dr. Arlen Chase for leading this search, and for Dr. Chase’s recent and continuing work as Interim Director for NSC.

Littlefield will finish out the academic year at NDSU. His anticipated start date at UCF as NSC’s new director is August 8, 2016.

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