ACEJMC Ascent logo

v. 11, #2
June 2004

Also in this issue:
Graduate program review policy set
Ceppos calls for focus on ethics
New standards clarified
Council elects Committee members, officers
Provisional period extended
Perspectives on accreditation: Judith Watkins
Page Society joins Council
Summary of accrediting actions, May 2004
Updates, calendar

Masthead & contact information

Council elects Keyes president

Saundra Keyes was elected president of the Council April 30 at the Council’s meeting in Cambridge, Mass. Keyes, editor of the Honolulu Advertiser, was elected to a three-year term.

Keyes has represented the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) on the Council since 1998 and has served two terms on the Council’s Accrediting Committee.
Saundra Keyes

Keyes replaces Jerry Ceppos, who served the maximum two three-year terms as president. Ceppos, vice president of news for Knight Ridder, will remain on the Council as ASNE’s representative. Council bylaws allow an organization to name a replacement representative when its representative becomes president.

Keyes has been editor of the Advertiser since December 2000. She previously had been managing editor of the Contra Costa Times, managing editor of The Miami Herald, executive editor of the (Long Beach) Press-Telegram and managing editor of the Philadelphia Daily News.

She had also worked in various reporting and editing positions at the Orlando Sentinel, the (Louisville) Courier-Journal and the (Nashville) Tennessean. She participated in the startup of USA Today.

Before becoming a journalist, she was an assistant professor of English at Fisk University. She earned her B.A. at the University of Utah and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Indiana University. She is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

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Graduate review policy set

ACEJMC has redefined the terms for review of professional master’s degree programs.
At its spring meeting, in the last of a long series of steps, the Council adopted a set of additions and changes to its policies and standards, intended to improve the review process at the graduate level. The new policies will become effective for self-studies in the 2005 – 2006 academic year and will be applied in reviews starting in the 2006 – 2007 year.

Policy restated
The basic policy that governs ACEJMC’s reviews of graduate programs was revised extensively. It now defines graduate-level education in terms of expected outcomes and professional emphasis in coursework, including a “professionally oriented thesis, project or comprehensive examination.”

It also calls for accreditation reviews to consider graduate and undergraduate programs separately, with separate recommendations for overall accreditation status. The Council in fact adopted this aspect of the policy in 2002 but put it on hold pending the development of criteria.

New competency, indicators, evidence
Under the new policy, graduate students will be expected to attain one core competency in addition to those already adopted for undergraduate students. In addition to attaining the 11 original values and competencies, graduate students will be expected to be able to “contribute to knowledge appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.”

The new policy also adds three indicators and six evidence items to the standards for accreditation. Affected standards are: 1, Mission, Governance and Administration; 2, Curriculum and Instruction; 4, Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty; 6, Student Services; and 9, Assessment of Learning Outcomes. The other four standards were not affected.

The membership of the Graduate Review Committee changed over the roughly four years of its work. Mary Ann Ferguson served as chair throughout. Original members were Will Norton, John Soloski and George Thottam; in 2003 they were replaced by Beth Barnes, Tom Bowers, David Rubin and Linda Shipley.

Click here to see the standards with the changes highlighted.

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Ceppos calls for focus on ethics


Jerry Ceppos confers with Susanne Shaw at the spring meeting in Cambridge.

Outgoing ACEJMC President Jerry Ceppos put a challenge before the Council at the spring meeting in Cambridge: Find a way to promote effective instruction in ethics.

Ceppos said, “If any outsider poked his or her head in this room, the first question obviously would be, ‘What are you doing about this epidemic of ethical problems in journalism?’”

He listed newspapers that had admitted to plagiarism just in the past year, including some college papers. He said some of these instances appeared to stem from confusion about the nature of plagiarism.

“My guess is that our newsrooms, and probably this Council, are full of people with varying interpretations of what plagiarism is,” he said. “Shouldn't we at least engage the discussion in every school of journalism?”

Ceppos offered a second list, of activities students might be assigned to promote their awareness of challenges in ethics, fairness and accuracy. However, he said he wasn’t suggesting that the Council should tell schools what to do.

“I do believe that we could develop a set of outcomes that we hope for from ethics and fairness instruction, a procedure that wouldn't be prescriptive,” he said. “Perhaps we even should publish a guide to meeting new standards on ethics education, as we did on diversity last year; it was full of ideas, not requirements.”

For the full text of Ceppos’s speech, click here.

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New standards clarified

The Council approved two small but significant clarifications in its new standards for accreditation. The new standards, including these changes, will become effective for self-studies starting in the 2004 – 2005 academic year and will be applied in accreditation reviews starting in the 2005 – 2006 year.

In the “Indicators” section of the preamble to the standards, references to “compliance with” indicators were replaced with references to “meeting expectations defined for” indicators. This change was intended to clarify that visit team reports will not cite compliance/non-compliance for individual indicators, but will continue to cite compliance/non-compliance with standards.

Indicator “c” of Standard 3, Diversity and Inclusiveness, also was clarified. The expectation that the unit “supports” the retention, progress and success of women and minority faculty members was changed to an expectation that the unit “provides an environment that supports” them. The change was a response to concerns that, on some campuses, the requirement to support faculty could imply an obligation to support retention, tenure or promotion applications no matter what.

To see the standards, including these clarifications, click here.

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Council elects Committee members, officers

Click to see information about the candidates:

Doug Anderson
Sue Bohle
Jane Healy
Tom Kunkel

Carla Lloyd
Will Norton
Rick Rodriguez

The Council elected three new members, and re-elected two current members, to serve three-year terms on the Accrediting Committee.

New members are: Sue Bohle, president, Bohle Public Relations Company in Los Angeles; Carla Lloyd, associate professor and chair of the advertising department, Syracuse University; and Rick Rodriguez, executive editor, Sacramento Bee.

Re-elected members are: Jane Healy, editorial page editor, Orlando Sentinel; and Tom Kunkel, dean, College of Journalism, University of Maryland. Committee members Beth Barnes, Mark Trahant and Betty Anne Williams each had served two three-year terms and were not eligible for re-election.

The Council elected Will Norton, dean, College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Nebraska, to continue as ACEJMC vice president. Doug Anderson, dean, College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University, will be chair of the Committee, and Kunkel will be vice chair.

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Provisional accreditation period extended

Schools that receive provisional accreditation soon will have more time to address their problems.

Starting in the 2005 – 2006 academic year, the standard term of provisional accreditation will become two years. Schools will retain the option to schedule a revisit in one year.

Will Norton, chair of the Council’s Committee on Structure, presented the recommendation for the change at the Council's spring meeting. Norton said the overlap of the accreditation cycle and the academic year meant that many schools, in practice, had considerably less than a year to address their problems.

He also said some problems that commonly lead to provisional accreditation could not be completely addressed even given a full year. Under the current schedule, the team chair often makes the revisit when the school has developed a solution but can’t yet demonstrate results.

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Perspectives on accreditation

ACEJMC’s openness and focus on diversity are unique among accreditors, a national authority told the Council at its spring meeting. At the same time, she said, ACEJMC faces many of the same problems and concerns as other accrediting agencies.

Judith Watkins, vice president for accreditation services, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, spoke after observing a day of discussions as the Council made 28 decisions on accreditation status.

Watkins said the public nature of ACEJMC’s process was unique to this organization. And, she added, she hadn’t seen the same kind of far-ranging consideration of diversity in other accrediting organizations.
Concerns shared with other accreditors include a search for consistency, a struggle to define compliance and an attempt to balance the interests of educators and professionals, she said.

Watkins also discussed accountability, assessment, the potential effects of a reauthorized Higher Education Act and other topics.

For a full summary of Watkins’s address, click here.

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Page Society joins Council

The Council voted at its spring meeting to accept an application for membership by the Arthur W. Page Society. It is a membership organization based in New York City for senior public relations and corporate communications executives. The society has not named its representative.

The Council’s membership now includes 15 professional/industry organizations and six educational organizations.

For more information about the Page Society, click here.

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Summary of accrediting actions, May 2004

The Council accredited two new schools, provisionally accredited one new school, provisionally re-accredited four schools and re-accredited 21 schools at its spring meeting in Cambridge, Mass. The Council now accredits 105 programs in the United States and outside the country.

Initial accreditation
Department of Journalism and Media Studies, University of South Florida – St. Petersburg

Initial accreditation after removal of provisional accreditation
Department of Communications, University of Southern Indiana

Initial provisional accreditation
Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, North Carolina A&T State University

Provisional re-accreditation
Department of Journalism, Bowling Green State University
Department of Journalism, University of North Texas
School of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Southern Mississippi
Department of Journalism, Texas Christian University

Lemke Department of Journalism, University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
Department of Journalism, Ball State University
Department of Journalism, Baylor University
Department of Journalism, California State University – Chico
Department of Journalism, California State University – Northridge
School of Journalism, Universidad Catolica de Chile
John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University
Department of Mass Communications, Jackson State University
Manship School of Mass Communications, Louisiana State University
College of Communication, Marquette University
Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland
School of Communication, University of Miami
Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Murray State University
College of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Nebraska
Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, University of South Dakota
School of Public Communications, Syracuse University
School of Mass Communications, Texas Tech University
Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University
School of Journalism and Broadcasting, Western Kentucky University
Department of Journalism, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

Accreditation lapsed
School of Communications, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, New York University

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Member & program updates

West Virginia University
Maryanne Reed has been appointed acting dean of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University. She replaces Christine M. Martin, who has been appointed vice president for Institutional Advancement. Martin’s appointment is for one year.

National Press Photographers Association
The NPPA has dropped its membership on the Council.

Arthur W. Page Society
The Society has been accepted as a new member of the Council.


Accrediting Council
Sept. 10 – 11, 2004
Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue

Accrediting Committee
April 2 – 3, 2005
Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue

Accrediting Council
May 6 – 7, 2005
Westin Hotel
Portland, Ore.

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Newsletter of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Vol. 11, No. 2, June 2004

President, Accrediting Council
Jerry Ceppos
Vice President for News
Knight Ridder
50 W. San Fernando St., Ste. 1500
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 938-7830

Vice President, Accrediting Council
Will Norton
Dean, College of Journalism and
Mass Communications
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68588-0443
(402) 472-3041

Chair, Accrediting Committee
Beth Barnes
Director, School of Journalism
and Telecommunications
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0042
(859) 257-2786

Vice Chair, Accrediting Committee
Doug Anderson
Dean, College of Communications
201 Carnegie Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-1484

Executive Director
Susanne Shaw
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-3986

Publications Editor
Charles Higginson
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-7640

Council Website:

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