Council accredits 19 schools at May meeting
Two schools received initial accreditation at the Accrediting Council's May 5-6 meeting at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.
They were the School of Communications, Elon University, and the School of Mass Communications, Virginia Commonwealth University.
The following schools received provisional re-accreditation: Department of Communication and Journalism, Auburn University; Division of Journalism, Florida A&M University; Department of Mass Communications, Southern University; Department of Journalism, New York University; and Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, Hampton University. The Department of Mass Communications at Winston-Salem State University received initial provisional accreditation. The Council grants provisional status when it identifies weaknesses that can be corrected within two years.
The Council also re-accredited the following 10 schools: Department of Journalism, University of Arizona; Graduate School of Journalism, University of California-Berkeley; College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida; College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia; Department of Journalism, Eastern Illinois University; Department of Communication, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; School of Journalism, University of Montana; Department of Mass Communication, Nicolls State University; School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon; Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, South Dakota State University.
Accrediting Committee elections
Re-elected members are Trevor Brown, professor emeritus, School of Journalism, Indiana University; Karen Brown Dunlap, president, The Poynter Institute; Dulcie Straughan, associate dean for undergraduate studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina; and Paul Voakes, dean, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado.
Tom Kunkel, dean, College of Journalism, University of Maryland, was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Accrediting Committee. Pam Luecke, Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Washington and Lee University, was elected to a two-year term as vice chair of the Accrediting Committee.
Council president Saundra Keyes, who recently resigned as editor of The Honolulu Advertiser, will return to her roots in higher education this fall by accepting a professorship at The Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada in Reno.
"The idea of returning to teaching has always lingered at the back of my mind, but a newsroom is a hard place to leave and the timing has never seemed quite right," Keyes said. "Still, as I've gone on site team visits and read through self studies and accrediting team reports, I've felt the tug of getting back to hands-on work with students."
Keyes' adventure in journalism began when the academic dean at Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn., where Keyes taught in the English department, asked if she would create and teach a journalism course. As research for her upcoming class, she accepted an evening job copy editing at The Tennessean, loved it, and ultimately chose life in the newsroom. Since then Keyes also has worked at The Courier-Journal, The Orlando Sentinel, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram, The Miami Herald, The Contra Costa Times and The Honolulu Advertiser. She also had a role in the start up of USA Today .
Keyes' involvement with ACEJMC began years ago when she was chair of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Education for Journalism Committee. As an outgrowth of that, she served on the Accrediting Committee and in 2004 was elected Council president.
Because the Council presidency traditionally has been filled by a working journalist, Keyes will not seek re-election when her term ends in the spring.
Bob Steele, Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values, and Kelly McBride, Poynter's Ethics Group Leader, gave Council members ideas on how schools might improve the teaching of ethics. They led the discussion on May 6 at the spring meeting at the Poynter Institute.
Council members have discussed for the last year how schools could strengthen ethics courses and learning in accredited programs. Jerry Ceppos, chair of the Ethics Committee, said that he hoped the Council would finish its discussion at the Sept. 1 meeting. The Council has discussed several ways to accomplish its goal. Most accredited schools require students to take an ethics course.
Penn State and Washington & Lee University will have site visits next year. Doug Anderson, dean at Penn State, and Brian Richardson, head at Washington & Lee, gave members examples of how they included in their self-studies additional information about ethics instruction.
Ceppos said it was possible that the Council might adopt additional guidelines for schools to complete when doing their self-studies.
Professional graduate programs will for the first time this year receive a separate accreditation recommendation by the visiting teams. In May 2004, the Council approved that visiting teams will make a separate overall recommendation for the accreditation status of the graduate program.
It is possible that a team could recommend a different status for a unit's undergraduate and its professional graduate program.
Visiting teams will write specific information in the report on the graduate program for each of the nine standards and make a separate recommendation for compliance and non-compliance for each standard.
It is likely that an additional team member will be necessary for schools that have graduate reviews.
The Council approved at its May meeting a recommendation of its Finance Committee to increase the annual dues for accredited schools to $1,000, The dues were $650 and had not been raised since 1997.
Dues for member organizations were not increased.
Will Norton, ACEJMC vice president, is Finance Committee chair. He said that almost all accredited schools agreed that the dues should be increased.
For the first time, the fall and spring Council meeting and the Accrediting Committee will meet for one day only.
The reason for the one-day May Council meeting and the March Committee meeting is that only 13 schools will have accreditation visits this year.
The fall Council meeting will be Friday, Sept. 1, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The meeting will be from 9 a.m. to at least 5 p.m. The spring Council meeting will be Friday, May 4, 2007, at the Westin Hotel in Portland. It is very important that Council members do not plan to leave the meeting early on Friday because the accreditation decisions and other business will last all day.
Council members know that it is difficult to know the precise time that a meeting involving accreditation decisions will end.
The Accrediting Committee will meet Saturday, March 24, at the Westin River North Hotel in Chicago. This meeting also will not end until at least 5 p.m.
The ACEJMC Appeals Board will meet Tuesday, July 25, in Arlington, Va., to hear an appeal by the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University of its provisional re-accreditation decision. The Council at its May meeting made the re-accreditation decision.
Charles Edwards, Jr., dean of of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Drake University, is chair of the Appeals Board. Other members are Eddith Dashiell, associate professor in the School of Journalism at Ohio University, and Merrill Rose, independent public relations consultant in New York.
Edwards will present the board's recommendation to the Council at its Sept. 1 meeting.
Schools who receive provisional re-accreditation do not lose any rights or privileges of accreditation.
Kara Lynch joined the ACEJMC staff in mid-May, replacing Charles Higginson, who joined the editorial staff of Mother Earth News. She will work as an assistant to Susanne Shaw, focusing primarily on communications and publications.
Lynch worked for 10 years as manager of communications and as magazine editor for the Kansas Bankers Association. For the past five years, she's been on the faculty at the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. She will continue to teach one class each semester.
You can reach Lynch at 785-864-7640 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jo-Ann Huff Albers, who represents Women in Communications on the Accrediting Council, was ill and unable to attend the spring meeting. Albers has been a Council member for 26 years, which is longer than any other member.
She sent the following note to Council members thanking them for flowers and card:
"Arrival of the giant card and magnificent plant arrangement lessened my sadness at not being able to attend the May meeting at the Poynter Institute. Thank you all so much for thinking of me. Continued prayers would be appreciated.
My chemotherapy for B-cell lymphoma started on Friday, May 12. I will have five more treatments spaced three weeks apart and fully intend to see you all at the September meeting."
Jo-Ann Huff Albers
Several of ACEJMC’s member organizations have appointed new representatives, or re-elected current representatives, to the Council.
American Society of Newspaper Editors
Newspaper Association of America Foundation
Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication
Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
American Academy of Advertising
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
President, Accrediting Council
Vice President, Accrediting Council
Chair, Accrediting Committee
Vice Chair, Accrediting Committee