School of Communication professor David Zarefsky acknowledged the word "ruthless" has been used to describe his former student Rahm Emanuel.
It's probably a good thing, Zarefsky said.
"I think it can be applied to him in a positive sense because he's just very determined to achieve his goals," he said.
Chicago Congressman and Northwestern alumnus Rahm Emanuel recently accepted an offer from president-elect Barack Obama to serve as his White House chief of staff. Emanuel, who received a master's degree in speech and communication from NU in 1985, served as a top adviser to President Bill Clinton prior to running for congressional office.