CSD Strategic Plan

A strategic plan, at its core, is about making choices. The choices we make are evident in the depth of our research, the strength of our training programs, and the breadth of our clinical services. Our choices are influenced by our glorious history and shaped by our vision of the future. The future we see requires individuals with deep expertise in the biology, psychology, sociology, and economics of communication and its disorders to form strong and lasting teams. We envision these teams interacting with other experts in adjacent intellectual domains to understand the important challenges in the communication sciences and solve the foremost disorders of communication.

The mission of understanding communication science and solving communication disorders is not unique to us. Our approach is perhaps different from that of others. We embrace the highest intellectual standards and distinct culture of collaboration from our institutional home, Northwestern University. Our goal is to inject this spirit of collaboration into everything we do. Not only do individual scientists and laboratories collaborate to successfully tackle vexing scientific problems, our science collaborates with our training programs and clinical services. In turn, our clinical services are the test bed for the latest discoveries in our laboratories. And our trainees carry these seeds of innovation far and wide to lead the thought and practice of our disciplines. 

Our long standing goals remain anchored to achieving the highest levels in science, training, and clinical service. We strive to stay on the path of achieving these goals by constantly evaluating and modernizing our curricula, actively searching for and attacking the next set of scientific questions in our disciplines, and translating this new knowledge into practice in our clinics.

While keeping a steady eye on these long term standards, we invest in more time-contained efforts that enhance our overall mission. At the present time we are in purposeful discussions about — critically evaluating the training models in the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology; engaging our students in a process of life-long learning even after the formal completion of their professional or scientific training programs; increasing the disciplinary, cultural, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity of those who seek training or clinical services from us. 

The Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has been a standard bearer of the science and practice of communication sciences and disorders since 1928. We intend to carry our history forward and build a future that is useful to society, relevant to the times, and remains the example of successful congruence of science, training, and practice.

Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
Department Chair


The CSD Department engages in activities that align with the University’s strategic plan, which can be found at www.northwestern.edu/strategic-plan/

The current CSD working (strategic) plan can be found at www.communication.northwestern.edu/csd/WorkingPlan [pdf].