The William A. Kern Professorship in Communications was established as an endowment by the Rochester Telephone Company to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the company and to provide a memorial for Mr. Kern, former company president who served as an RIT trustee from 1959 to 1964.
The purpose of the endowment is to provide instruction and research into contemporary communication issues. The Kern Professorship resides in the School of Communication, College of Liberal Arts.
Jonathan Schroeder was appointed to the Kern Professorship in 2010. Previous Kern professors include Diane Hope, Bruce Austin, Michael Prosser, Harley Parker, György Kepes, and Rob Roy Kelly.
The Kern endowment provides funding for research, scholarly conferences, visiting speakers and student field trips.