Michael Osborn is Professor Emeritus at the University of Memphis, retiring in 1995
after 30 years as professor and department chair at the University. He had taught
previously at American University and the University of Iowa, where he returned some
years later to teach a seminar as the A. Craig Baird Distinguished Visiting Professor.
He also served as visiting professor at the Universities of North Carolina, California-Davis,
New Mexico, and Vanderbilt. He served as president of the Southern States Communication
Association and of the National Communication Association, and received the distinguished
service awards from both organizations. He also served as chair of the board of Humanities
Tennessee, on which he sat for many years as an appointee of the governor. In 1970
he was the nominee of the Democratic Party for the U. S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's Ninth District. His research has been recognized by the NCA's Golden
Anniversary Monograph Award, the Charles H. Woolbert Award for research of enduring
influence, and the Ehninger Award for sustained work in an area of rhetorical study.
The Osborn Award is presented annually by SSCA recognizing a career in the Southern
region balanced among scholarship, teaching and service. With Suzanne Osborn he has
written Public Speaking, now in its ninth edition, published by Allyn/Bacon.
Dissertations in Rhetoric
and Public Address
The Public Address Conference