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Mission and Vision


To be a department whose faculty and graduates engage nationally and locally through the many forms of scholarship, writing, pedagogy, and community.


We believe the study of language and literacy prepares humans to be careful and compassionate thinkers and creative problem-solvers in any endeavor.

Therefore, we value:

  • The power of language and literacy to promote mutual understanding.
  • A collegial culture that supports individual initiative.
  • Collaboration across and within disciplines.
  • Inquiry, creativity, and critical thinking as essential in a democracy.
  • Academic excellence in both faculty and students.


  • To investigate deep understandings of language and the ways it enriches lives;
  • To promote inclusive study of language, rhetoric, and narrative;
  • To teach in individualized ways that promote strong relationships among faculty and students;
  • To initiate projects that serve or partner with local communities;
  • To produce scholarship and creative work that enriches the ongoing exploration of the human condition;
  • To graduate students who can think critically and creatively, and read and write effectively.

(Approved December, 2016)