Debra J. Ford, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Communication Studies, University of Kansas
MA, Communication, University of Nebraska-Omaha
BA, Communication, University of Nebraska-Omaha

Debra J. Ford, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor and program director of leadership majors in the MS and DNP programs at the KU School of Nursing.

Previously, she was associate dean of Student Affairs. In that role, she was responsible for colloborating with other associate deans and the dean on strategic planning, policy development, annual budgeting and fiscal monitoring, developing and implementing new initiatives, reviewing and revising admission requirements and evaluating quality of all missions for the School. 

Prior to her position at the KU School of Nursing, Ford was Basic Course Director, Communication Studies, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. She served as graduate recruiter and RN Advisor for the KU School of Nursing from 1997-1999, and Undergraduate Advisor/Recruiter from 1989-1994.

Her research focuses upon strategies used by organizations to influence public policy, with a specific focus on health policy; group communication processes in public-private partnerships and high reliability organizations; and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She co-authored a textbook with Mary Hoffman, Ph.D., on organizational rhetoric, published in 2010.

Ford is the recipient of the Donn W. Parson Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award from the University of Kansas, and was twice-nominated for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, Creighton University's highest award for teaching. She is a member of the National Communication Association, the Central States Communication Association, the Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing, and the Midwest Nursing Research Society.

Selected Publications

  • Hoffman, M.F. & Ford, D.J. (2010).  Organizational rhetoric:  Situations and strategies.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage
  • Keyton, J., Ford, D.J. & smith, f.e. (2008).  A meso-level communicative model of collaboration.  Communication Theory, 18, 376-406.
  • Koesten, J., Schrodt, P., & Ford, D.J. (2008).  Cognitive flexibility as a mediator of family communication environments and young adult children's well-being.  Health Communication, 24(1), 82-94.
  • Bisel, R.S. & Ford, D.J. (2008).  Diagnosing pathogenic eschatology. Communication Studies, 59(4), 340-354.
  • Bisel, R.S., Ford, D.J. & Keyton, J. (2007).  Unobtrusive control in a leadership program:  Integrating control and consent.  Western Communication Journal, 71(2), 136-158.
  • Russo, T.C. & Ford, D.J. (2006).  Teachers' reflections on reflection. Journal of Cognitive Affective Learning, 2(2), 1-12.
  • Ford, D.J. (2003).  Prism analysis of the debate over the American Medical Association's Health Access America Plan.  Proceedings of the 2004 Alta Conference on Argumentation.  Washington, DC:  National Communication Association.
Last modified: Aug 25, 2017


Debra J. Ford, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

P: (913) 588-1619