This study explores the communication process used to generate and express communication program mission “names.” It argues that the process that underlies the creating, maintaining, and changing of names, ranging from the specific to the ideological, also generates academic unit “mission.” Viewing mission texts through the lens of the rhetoric of social intervention model reveals how the texts reason rhetorically as they propose and provide evidence for the “appropriateness” of a unit’s constituted mission name. Awareness of the rhetorical-reasoning pattern can help unit members make sense of mission-building or -revising work and provide a practical way for them to organize and critique their efforts. Furthermore, examining mission statements from an RSI approach highlights attention to the “incompleteness” of an academic unit’s naming choices, which has practical implications for constructing mission statements and defining program “uniqueness.”
Opt, S. K. (2016). Mission statements as naming proposals: An RSI approach. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 35(2), 65-79.