A Life Well Lived: In memory of Bud Goodall

H.L. “Bud” Goodall, Jr., professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, passed away on August 24 at the age of 59 after a 15-month struggle with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Goodall served as director of the Hugh Downs School from 2004 to 2009 and worked to elevate the research profile and the national reputation of his school and his university. He oversaw degree programs with 2,000 majors, 900 minors and 100 graduate students; established freshman seminars; and created a Communication Majors Club and a chapter of the National Honor Society in Communication for undergraduate students. He also expanded alumni contacts; contributed to diversity initiatives; and created “Professor of Practice” positions, to advance the transfer of practical business and new media skills to undergraduates and transfer of scientific and humanistic forms of academic scholarship into the public sphere.

Dr. Goodall established the annual Hugh Downs Award for Communication Excellence, which recognized Larry King and Stephen Spielberg and was instrumental in creating the Center for Strategic Communication, the first ABOR-approved research center in the school’s history.

A prolific author, Goodall published nine scholarly books, numerous textbooks, white papers, book chapters, book reviews and trade books, including a cookbook designed to encourage cross-gendered conversations. He considered himself a narrative ethnographer who used qualitative methods - deep immersion in cultures, participant-observation, interviews, writing fieldnotes, and mining rhetorical and narrative data from historical archives-to construct personal accounts of the intersections of communication and cultures.

When asked about the study of communication Dr. Goodall replied, “I believe that communication is a transdisciplinary field of study, which means that communication theories, methods, activities and practices shape and inform all other disciplines and subjects. Ours is an infinitely complex field of study because communication between and among people is an always evolving symbolic phenomenon. One reason I selected communication as a field of study is that it is sufficiently complex to embrace a lifetime of inquiry. As the philosopher Georges Gusdorf once put it, ‘Communication calls the world into being.’ The purpose of my research is to teach others through diverse cultural examples how they may choose to live.” To read more about Dr. Goodall and his work.