Council to sharpen focus on ethics
Council President Saundra Keyes intends to keep the spotlight where the previous president aimed it: on ethics in education. She said at the Council’s September meeting that she hoped to discover how the Council could foster improved ethics education. She said she wanted first to get a sense of what other organizations are doing and then to identify actions the Council could take.
“I assume this is a widely discussed issue on campuses,” Keyes said. “We should look for a way to marry the Council’s concerns to that.”
This initiative follows directly from the concerns expressed by outgoing Council President Jerry Ceppos, who devoted his farewell address at the April meeting to ethics and education.
Keyes said, “As in diversity, this topic seems appropriate for academics and professionals to address together.”
Council members offered numerous suggestions, urging a broad approach.
“It goes beyond the issues Ceppos mentions,” public member Judy Nadler said. “There are tools and frameworks that can be used. It would make the jobs of reporters and editors easier to have the tools.”
Judy VanSlyke Turk said she hoped the effort would extend throughout journalism and mass communications, including advertising and public relations.
Two small changes — one in policy, one in bylaws — will ensure that the Council’s decisions avoid undue influence by specific individuals. In theory, current policy and bylaws would allow a single person to vote on a school three times, as team member, Committee member and Council member.
The new policy will require Committee and Council members who were site visit team members to refrain from voting on the schools they visited. They may take part in discussions, although they should not introduce information not included in the written record.
The Council will vote in May on a change in the bylaws to specify that no one may serve on both the Committee and the Council simultaneously. Current bylaws allow up to two individuals to serve on both bodies, although no one now is doing so.
The Council decided at its September meeting to make the changes, but won’t be able to adopt them formally until May because proposed amendments to bylaws must be distributed at least 60 days in advance of voting.
The Council at its September meeting elected Trevor Brown to serve the remaining two years of Jim Spaniolo’s term on the Accrediting Committee. Brown is dean of the School of Journalism, Indiana University. Spaniolo became president of the University of Texas at Arlington in February and said the demands of the office precluded continuing as a member of the Committee.
Brown has served three previous three-year terms as a member of the Committee, including two years as vice chair and two years as chair.
When it comes to provisional accreditation, two now is the magic number: two years; two chances; and two people on the re-visit. The Council in September revisited the decision it made last spring to approve details of implementation.
Effective September 2005, the standard term of provisional accreditation will become two years. Schools will retain the prerogative to schedule a re-visit in one year. Schools that do so, and fail to achieve full accreditation, retain the right to schedule a second re-visit two years after the original visit. Provisional accreditation cannot be extended beyond two years.
To provide a fresh perspective, a person not previously involved in the visit will accompany the team chair on the re-visit.
The Council in September decided that, since graduate programs will be accredited separately from undergraduate programs, team reports should contain separate and complete evaluations of graduate programs. After what seems an eternity, this decision defined the final detail of changes in ACEJMC’s review of professional graduate programs.
For each standard, the site visit team will write a narrative section evaluating the undergraduate program; conclude that section with a finding of compliance or non-compliance regarding the undergraduate program; then add narrative as necessary to evaluate the graduate program; and conclude with a finding of compliance or non-compliance regarding the graduate program.
In accordance with previous decisions, the new review policy will be effective for the 2005 – 06 academic year for self-studies and the 2006 – 07 academic year for accreditation reviews. The separate-review approach means that the site visit team could recommend, and the Committee and Council could approve, a different accreditation status for a unit’s undergraduate program and its professional graduate program. (see here for the full policy that will go into effect.)
At its September meeting, the Council clarified two points of policy, one a responsibility of the school under review and the other a responsibility of the visiting team.
responsibility to inform ACEJMC of changes
listed in team reports
The third question requests a list of “problems or deficiencies that must be corrected before the next evaluation.” The Council clarified that items listed here should be limited to those related to non-compliance with a standard.
The team should list less significant deficiencies under the first question of the summary section, which requests a summary of the unit’s strengths and weaknesses. This summary also may include the weaknesses listed again under the third question.
Schools with site visits during 2005 - 06: Nov. 1 is the deadline to return your list of preferred visit dates; credit-hour information; and the formal invitation from your campus CEO.
All schools and member organizations: Nov. 1 is the deadline for dues payments to ACEJMC.return to top
The September Council meeting was notable for numerous new faces around the table. The new representatives were:
In addition, two new members sent substitutes: Mary Moster sat in for Ward White, representing the Arthur W. Page Society; and Ameet Sachdev, representing the Asian American Journalists Association, said his organization had not appointed a representative.
Council member Joe Foote has a new telephone number: (405) 325-5997
Council member Carolina Gonzalez has returned to freelance work, and her contact information has changed:
President, Accrediting Council
Chair, Accrediting Committee