In Memoriam: Rudolph Busby, Professor of Communication Studies

Tuesday, June 04, 2019
Photo of Rudolph Busby and five students standing in front of a projector and whiteboard
Rudolph Busby (third from left) enjoying time with students

Communication Studies Professor Rudolph Busby died on May 9. He was 72.

Busby’s courses included Advanced Public Speaking, Communication Criticism, Communication and Rhetorical Theory. He was co-author of Basic Speech Communication: Principles and Practices (Harper and Row, 1987).

He was department chair from 1999 to 2003. He served on the Academic Senate and many committees. He also was the campus coordinator for the CSU Sally Casanova Predoctoral Program for 17 years. His sonorous voice may be familiar to thousands of alumni, as the Commencement master of ceremonies for several years.

“Rudy was a gem,” Professor Joseph Tuman says. “Professional, punctual, by the book, direct and to the point … and at the same time kind, considerate, a giving mentor to students and junior faculty and a tireless advocate for our department. He will he missed, and it’s doubtful his unique talents would ever be replaced. Godspeed, Rudolph.”

Busby joined the San Francisco State faculty in 1983 after completing his doctorate in rhetoric and communication theory from University of Texas, Austin. His dissertation analyzed the content of keynote and presidential nomination acceptance addresses. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Houston, where his graduate thesis set out his commitment to social justice: exploring how public school teachers lost their jobs for their speech until it was declared protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Busby was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, to Eddie and Barbara Busby, the third of their five children.

Busby is survived by brother Ronald Busby and wife Signee; brother Fredrick Busby and wife Reba; and sister Gwendolyn Inman and husband Herbert, as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives.


Communication Studies Department

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