Brent David Ruben
Brent David Ruben
Brent David Ruben
|Born||October 17, 1944|
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||Theodore Roosevelt High School (1962)|
University of Iowa (M.A. 1968)
|Title||Distinguished Professor; and Executive Director, Center for Organizational Leadership|
|Spouse(s)||Jann M. Ruben|
Brent David Ruben (born October 17, 1944) is a distinguished professor of communication, Department of Communication, within the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers-New Brunswick; and executive director of the Center for Organizational Leadership at Rutgers University. His academic career has been devoted to advancing interdisciplinary and systemic approaches to the study of communication, and the application of these frameworks in cross-cultural, health, educational, organizational, and leadership contexts. He is author of more than 50 books and 135 journal articles in these areas.
Ruben was the founder and executive director of the Center for Organizational Leadership (OL) at Rutgers University (1993–present), created by the university president, to serve as a resource for Rutgers and the higher educational community, nationally and internationally. Ruben was also a founder and is co-director of the Rutgers Leadership Academy (RLA), and of the Rutgers PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute (PLDI).
Early life and education
Ruben attended the University of Iowa, graduating in 1966 with majors in psychology and advertising. He completed a master's degree in communication from the University of Iowa, in 1968, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1970.
Rutgers years – Department of Communication
In 1971, Ruben accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Communication at Rutgers University where he worked with a team, to establish a Department of Communication, in which experiential teaching and learning approaches would play a central role. He developed Interact, a complex instructional communication education experiential system which integrated speech, group, organizational, and mass communication instruction, which became the central and integrating component in the undergraduate program. What had been a professionally oriented Department of Journalism with four faculty members, 65 majors and 200 total enrollments per semester was transformed to become one of the first departments in the country to fully integrate theory and practice from the fields of speech communication and journalism/mass communication in a single unit, and the first to study and apply experiential teaching and learning—and simulation and gaming, in particular. (See selected articles on experiential learning, simulation and gaming in References and Selected Publications).
The department grew substantially in size and prominence, and was renamed the Department of Human Communication to reflect its broadened scope. Ruben served as assistant department chair from 1976 to 1980. He was promoted to associate professor in 1980, and was appointed chair in that same year, a position in which he served until 1984. By the end of his tenure as chair, the department had grown in size and scope, with 18 full-time faculty and staff, 800 majors with 6,000 student enrollments per year in interpersonal, intercultural, organizational, international, health, speech and mass communication.
Consistent with his work within the department during those years, Ruben's scholarship and publication focused on general systems theory (General System Theory and Human Communication, with J. Kim, 1975), and other interdisciplinary conceptualizations which were useful for integrating the then distinct theories of speech communication and mass communication.
Ruben's interest in integrating the multidisciplinary traditions of communication in undergraduate education also led to the publication of a work entitled, Approaches to Human Communication (With R. Budd), which was created for use as the introductory text at Rutgers and was also adopted at a number of other departments of communication. Approaches to Human Communication provided a broad perspective on the field exploring 24 disciplinary orientations to communication from Anthropology to Zoology. In 1984, Ruben authored Communication and Human Behavior (CHB) to provide an integrated, interdisciplinary, and more broadly accessible book on the role of communication in human affairs. CHB is now in its 5th edition, and coauthored with L. Stewart.
In 1977, Ruben proposed the creation of a Communication Yearbook to the leadership of the International Communication Association, and the association agreed to sponsor the publication. As series founder, Ruben also served as first editor of the annual series, which is now in its 40th year of publication. Then, as now, the goal of the series was to promote theoretical integration and coherence by annually publishing state-of-the-discipline overviews along with exemplary research in various subareas of the field.
In 1983, Ruben was named to a university committee charged by the Provost with developing a plan to form a comprehensive school composed of the various disciplines related to communication and information within Rutgers. Bylaws and a structure for the new unit was proposed, and what was then named the School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, was chartered. Later, the name was changed to the School of Communication and Information. The new school included communication (speech, interpersonal and mass), journalism and mass media, and library and information science. Ruben was selected as the first Ph.D. Program Director for the school, a role that would require him to create a theoretical and programmatic framework to incorporate the various disciplines in a single hybrid Ph.D. program—which would become the first of its kind nationally, and a model for a number of other institutions. He served in this role from 1983 to 1993, and was promoted to full professor in 1987.
Rutgers years – Center for Organizational Leadership
In 1993, Dr. Ruben was appointed to establish a university-wide program in Organizational Quality and Communication Improvement (now called the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership—(OL). The Center was chartered with the mission of providing professional consultation and programming for the university in the areas of organizational effectiveness, assessment, planning, and leadership development. Ruben led in the formation of resource-sharing partnerships between Rutgers and Johnson & Johnson and Rutgers & AT&T, and under Ruben's leadership, a number of books and articles were developed that applied concepts of organizational quality and leadership from business and healthcare, to the higher education context.
During this period, Rutgers played a pivotal role in creating a national consortium to encourage networking and facilitate best practices sharing across institutions, along with other institutions—among them the University of California-Berkeley, Cornell University, the University of Missouri-Rolla, Penn State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ruben was a founder and the first president of the organization—now named the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI). NCCI now has approximately 100 institutions.
Honors and special projects
In 2018, Ruben was named the first recipient of The Baldrige Foundation National Leadership Excellence Award for Education for his accomplishments in advancing the Malcolm Baldrige organizational excellence philosophy within higher education. Ruben has also received other awards in recognition of his scholarly and professional leadership, including the National Communication Association Gerald Phillips Award (2004), the Rutgers University Daniel Gorenstein Award (2000), the National Association for College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Professional Development Award (2003) and the Brent D. Ruben Leadership Award, created, and named in his honor and awarded annually by the National Consortium for Change and Continuous Innovation in Higher Education (NCCI) to recognize distinguished contributors to higher education (2006).
Ruben has been project director or co-director with other ODL staff for a variety of research and training programs including: Academic Leadership Development Program for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (2017-); The Leaders of Tomorrow Program, AT&T Foundation, 2001–2002; Rutgers-Johnson & Johnson Knowledge Networking Group, 2001–2004; Rutgers-AT&T organizational partnership, 1993–2001, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Academic Leadership Development Institute Kellogg Foundation 2000–2003.
Ruben has also served as a member of the U.S. Department of Education Rule-Making Committee on Accreditation Standards Advisory Group (2007). He has been a Malcolm Baldrige Examiner and a member of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology Education and Healthcare Baldrige Pilot Advisory and Evaluation Team. He has served as a Middle States Commission on Higher Education Accreditation Examiner (1994–97), Special Consultant to Canadian Royal Commission on Conditions of Foreign Service, Examiner and Judge for the New Jersey Performance Excellence Awards, and in various other advisory roles.
Family and personal life
Ruben and his wife, Jann, married in 1967, and now live in Hillsborough, New Jersey.
- Higher Education Assessment: Linking Accreditation Standards and the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria.
- The Excellence in Higher Education Guide: A Framework for the Design, Assessment, and Continuous Improvement of Institutions, Departments and Programs - Eighth Edition.
- A Guide for Leaders in Higher Education: Core Concepts, Competencies, and Tools.
- Higher Education Assessment: Linking Accreditation Standards and the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria.
- Evaluating the Impact of Organizational Self-Assessment in Higher Education: The Malcolm Baldrige/Excellence in Higher Education Framework.
- Behavioral Assessment of Communication Competency and the Prediction of Cross-Cultural Adaptation
- Human Communication and Cross-Cultural Effectiveness
- Brent D. Ruben in the Library of Congress.
- National Communication Association, 2004 Gerald Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Scholarship
- National Association of College and University Business Officers, 2003 Professional Development and Scholarship Award.
- National Consortium for Change and Continuous Innovation in Higher Education (NCCI), 2006 Brent D. Ruben Award.
- Recipient of the 2012 NCCI Leveraging Excellence Award.
- "Rutgers Leadership Academy". Archived from the original on September 7, 2017.
- Ruben, Brent. "PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute". Rutgers PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute.
- Ruben, Brent. "Department of Communication". SC&I.
- Ruben, Brent; Kim, John (1975). General System Theory and Human Communication. Hayden Book Company. ISBN 978-0810459410.
- Budd, Richard; Ruben, Brent (1975). Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Communication. Routledge. ISBN 978-0765805263.
- Ruben, Brent; Stewart, Lea (2015). Communication and Human Behavior. Kendall Hunt Publishing. ISBN 978-1465251909.
- Ruben, Brent. "Center for Organizational Development and Leadership". ODL.
- Ruben, Brent. "Network for Change and Continuous Innovation". Network for Change and Continuous Innovation.
- Ruben, Brent. "NCA Gerald Philips Award 2004". NCA.
- Ruben, Brent. "NACUBO Award 2003". NACUBO. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- Ruben, Brent. "Brent D. Ruben Leadership Award". NCCI.
- Ruben, Brent. "NCCI". NCCI.
- Ruben, Brent. "Middle States Association". Middle States Association.
- Ruben, Brent. "Higher Education Assessment: Linking Accreditation Standards and the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria". New Directions for Higher Education. 137: 59–83. doi:10.1002/he.246.
- Ruben, Brent (2016). The Excellence in Higher Education Guide: A Framework for the Design, Assessment, and Continuous Improvement of Institutions, Departments and Programs (8th ed.). Stylus Publishing. ISBN 978-1620363966.
- Ruben, Brent (2017). A Guide for Leaders in Higher Education: Core Concepts, Competencies, and Tools. Stylus Publishing. ISBN 978-1620363911.
- Ruben, Brent (Spring 2007). "Higher Education Assessment: Linking Accreditation Standards and the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria". New Directions for Higher Education. 137: 59–83. doi:10.1002/he.246.
- Ruben, Brent (2007). ". Evaluating the Impact of Organizational Self-Assessment in Higher Education: The Malcolm Baldrige/Excellence in Higher Education Framework". Leadership and Organizational Development Journal. 28 (3): 230–249.
- Ruben, Brent (1979). "Behavioral Assessment of Communication Competency and the Prediction of Cross-Cultural Adaptation". International Journa1 of Intercultural Relations. 3 (1). doi:10.1016/0147-1767(79)90045-2.
- Ruben, Brent (1988). "Human Communication and Cross-Cultural Effectiveness". International and Intercultural Communication: A Reader (Fifth ed.). 4: 95–105. ISBN 978-0534085988.
- "Ruben, Brent D." Library of Congress.
- Ruben, Brent. "National Communication Association, 2004 Gerald Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Scholarship".
- Ruben, Brent. "National Association of College and University Business Officers, 2003 Professional Development and Scholarship Award". Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- Ruben, Brent. "National Consortium for Change and Continuous Innovation in Higher Education (NCCI), 2006 Brent D. Ruben Award. First Recipient of annual award named in Ruben's honor to recognize distinguished contributors to the advancement of excellence in higher education".
- Ruben, Brent. "Recipient of the 2012 NCCI Leveraging Excellence Award".