In a ceremony on April 20, 2012, Fitchburg State University dedicated the W. Barnett Pearce records, the first component of the Coordinate Management of Meaning (CMM) Collection in the University Archives. This collection marks a major scholarly gift to FSU and provides faculty, students and other researchers access to important communication theory research materials.
CMM Theory was developed by W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon E. Cronen and posits that communication is a two-sided process involving the making and managing of meaning, and coordinating action. Pearce was a professor emeritus in the School of Human & Organization Development at Fielding Graduate University. He served on the faculties of the University of North Dakota, University of Kentucky, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Loyola University Chicago. Improving the quality of communication was his driving professional commitment, first taking the form of developing a conceptual understanding of communication in CMM, and, more recently, integrating scholarship with the practice of designing and facilitating communication, particularly in public meetings about community issues. As a practitioner, he worked on six continents through the nonprofit Public Dialogue Consortium and the for-profit Pearce Associates. He cofounded the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution. He published eleven books and numerous scholarly articles.
The Pearce Records including published and unpublished writings by Pearce, research materials important to the development of CMM and related to the work of others applying CMM, and materials related to the practice of Pearce as an educator, trainer and consultant. The collection includes approximately 18 linear feet of papers, correspondence, published monography, video and audio recordings, and electronic records.
The Pearce Records are the first group of materials of what will become a much larger CMM Collection. The University Archives will soon receive the papers of Vernon Cronen which will be added to the collection. The Archives are collaborating with the CMM Institute to create a research destination at Fitchburg State University for those interested in researching CMM. Those interested in viewing the Pearce Records are encouraged to make an appointment in advance with Kate Wells, the Reference and Special Collections Librarian.