Dr. Edward Truman Funkhouser is a native of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at James Madison University in 1968. He completed his Masters degree in Radio/TV/Film at the University of Memphis in 1973, and his Ph. D. in Communication and Organizational Behavior at Ohio University in 1979. Funkhouser was a faculty member in NC State’s Department of Communication for 40 years, from 1977 to his retirement in 2017. However, he has continued to teach part-time at NCSU each year since 2017, and will be the Instructor for COM 250, Communication and Technology, in Fall Semester, 2023.
During his career he was an Associate Professor who held a variety of administrative appointments. He was Associate Department Head from 1991 to 1996, and during most of those years he also held the Coordinator of Advising position. He was Assistant Dean and Director of Undergraduate Programs for NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) from 1996 to 2002. He served as the CHASS College Facilities Coordinator from 1996 to 2011, a period when many CHASS campus buildings were extensively redesigned and renovated.
Funkhouser became CHASS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in May, 2007, and served in that position through June, 2010. He returned to administrative duties once again on July 1, 2013, when he was named the Department of Communication’s Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies, a position he held for one year. During the era of Funkhouser’s administrative appointments, the Department of Communication was one of the largest academic departments on campus, and each year CHASS awarded more bachelor’s degrees than any other college at the university.
He has taught a wide variety of communication media, public speaking, and public relations courses, and has conducted many seminars and workshops on communication and leadership across our state for a variety of organizations, including The UNC General Administration, NC State University’s Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service, the College Foundation of North Carolina, the North Carolina Bar Association, IBM, Bridgestone/Firestone, and Wells Fargo Bank.
He was voted Outstanding Teacher in the Department of Communication by the department’s graduating seniors in 1987, 1989, 1991, and 2006. He was elected to the NCSU Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension in 2000 for his work at the university’s McKimmon Conference and Training Center, where he frequently taught (with James Alchediak) workshops in video production in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
In the early 1980s, Funkhouser led efforts to use his and others’ expertise and the technical resources of the University of North Carolina System to establish a newspaper and magazine content reading service originally delivered via a special radio signal to blind and visually impaired citizens of North Carolina, but, now, through “smart speakers” such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, can be heard anywhere. The North Carolina Reading Service began operation in March, 1983, more than 40 years ago, as an independent, non-profit corporation, and today serves people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Funkhouser served as the first President of this corporation, and was a member of its board of directors from 1983 to 2000. The North Carolina Reading Service is one of the most successful such organizations in the United States. North Carolina Reading Service Web Site
In 2004, Funkhouser received an award for actions that “created accessibility and inclusion in the community for people of all ages and abilities” from the Alliance for Disability Advocates and the Center for Independent Living. His reading service work was also recognized by the Wake County Board of Commissioners in 1989 with an award for service to citizens of Wake County, North Carolina.
Currently, Funkhouser serves on the Marketing and Public Relations Committee of the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education, which seeks to “educate and empower North Carolina children, youth and their families to make choices that increase positive health behaviors.” (Poe Center mission statement)
Funkhouser’s research reports have been published in his field’s important scholarly journals, including The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Human Communication Research, Communication Education, and The Journal of the Association for Communication Administration. His commentaries on contemporary communication issues have frequently appeared on the opinion pages of North Carolina’s largest newspapers.
Human Communication Research Article (.pdf) Communication Education Article (Abstract Only)
Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Article (Abstract Only) 1986 Newspaper Commentary (.pdf)
Edward Funkhouser is co-author (with Robert Schrag) of The Process: Understanding Communication Technology and the Media, 2d Ed. published by Kona Publishing, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-935987-97-0. Textbook Information
Funkhouser’s commitment to interdisciplinarity is evidenced by his previous teaching and advising duties. For 12 years (2011-2022), he team-taught with a College of Natural Resources faculty member, a Paper Science Engineering course, PSE 220, From Papyrus to Plasma Screens: Paper and Society (this was both pre- and post-retirement teaching). Also, he served as Faculty Advisor for the Communication graduate student who was Communication Manager for the ECOcar2 project, a national competition among fifteen universities to design and construct a more efficient “green” car.
In 2006, Funkhouser received the First Year Student Advocate Award, an award presented annually to one NC State faculty member by the First Year College for outstanding service to students at NC State University. In 1985, he was selected as a member of The Golden Chain Society, the oldest honorary society at NC State University. Faculty and staff members at NC State are selected for Golden Chain membership to honor their leadership and service to the university and the community.
Funkhouser served as Senator in the University Faculty Senate from 2010 to 2014, and was a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee from 2012 to 2014. He is a past member of the ARTS NC State Board of Directors, and served three terms (nine years) on the Campus Design Review Panel. He was elected in 2016 by the Faculty Senate to fill a three-year appointment (2016-2019) on the University Athletics Council.
Funkhouser is an amateur photographer who documents campus artifacts, scenes, and events. The “Edward T. Funkhouser Photo Collection,” maintained by NC State University Libraries, contains approximately 10,000 photos. In 2017, his photo of the demolition of Harrelson Hall on campus won an award from CASE (The Council for Advancement and Support of Education) for photographic excellence. Photo Collection
While a high school, undergraduate, and graduate student, Funkhouser worked as an announcer at radio and television stations in Virginia and Tennessee during the period 1963 to 1974. During the 1990s and 2000s, Funkhouser served as on-camera host for StateSide, a monthly television program about people and events at NC State University. Over one-hundred sixty (160) StateSide programs were produced and shown on Time-Warner Cablevision in the Raleigh metro area, and are now maintained in N. C State University Archives. Since 2000, he has served as public address announcer at university commencement exercises in PNC Arena.
A military veteran, he served in the US Army for three years, 1968 to 1971.
July 27, 2023