Historical Background of the Department
The first series of lectures on communication science at the University of Salzburg was held in 1965 by visiting professors from Munich and Vienna. Beginning with 1967, under the responsibility of the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten René Marcic, a first professorship for communication science was established. The department was officially established on January 15, 1969 under the name “Institut für Publizistik und Kommunikationstheorie“ (Institute of Media Studies and Communication Theory). Hence, the institute established itself as the second location for communication studies next to Vienna. The institute’s first full professor was Günter Kieslich, who was followed by Michael Schmolke in 1973. In 1978, the department was renamed ”Institut für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft” (Institute of Media and Communication Studies) when a faculty of Social Science was established at the University of Salzburg.
Communication studies became popular and the number of enrolled students rose from 100 in 1969 to currently around 1,300. When the new University Law came into force in January 2004 the institute was renamed and is now called “Fachbereich Kommunikationswissenschaft” (Department of Communication Studies).
The scientific staff of the Department of Communication Studies consists of 11 professors (full, associate and assistant professors) and some 30 additional staff members (PhD students, postdoc researchers, lecturers, administration).
Research activities are undertaken within an extensive network of international academic and policy partners as well as practitioners. The Department of Communication Studies is also closely related to the Center for Advanced Studies and Research in Information and Communication Technologies & Society (ICT&S) which combines expertise from computer sciences and communication research with the mission to examine and analyze the implications of new information and communication technologies for society and democracy.
Those collaborations and the versatile staff are granting a diverse and high quality education. Members of the Department of Communication Studies are presently teaching and looking after 1278 (in 2013) enrolled students. Each year, around 250 of them graduate successfully and are thus granted their Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts or PhD degrees.