Peter Bhatia, executive editor of The Oregonian, was elected president of the Accrediting Council at its May 4-5 meeting in Portland. He was elected to a three-year term beginning with the fall 2007 Council meeting.
Bhatia represents the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) on the Council. He joined the Council in September 2006 and was a member of the Accrediting Committee for four years. Bhatia replaces Saundra Keyes, professor, Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno.
The Council also elected Jan Dates, dean, School of Communications, Howard University, as its vice president. She has represented the Black College Communication Association (BCCA) on the Council since 2000.
Two new members were elected to three-year terms on the Accrediting Committee. They are Susan Goldberg, editor, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, and Rose Jackson Flenorl, manager of global community relations and philanthropy for FedEx, Memphis, Tenn. In addition, two Committee members were re-elected. They are Carla Lloyd, associate dean of scholarly and creative activity and chair of the advertising department, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, and Rick Rodriguez, executive editor and senior vice president, The Sacramento Bee. After the May meeting, ASNE appointed Rodriguez to the Council as its representative to replace Bhatia. The Nominations Committee will recommend to the Council this summer a replacement for Rodriguez on the Committee. Goldberg, Flenorl and Lloyd will serve three-year terms, expiring after the March 2010 Committee meeting.
The following schools were re-accredited: Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Abilene Christian University; Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University; School of Mass Communications, University of South Florida; Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, Hampton University; College of Communications, University of Illinois (both undergraduate and graduate degree programs); Department of Journalism, University of Memphis (both undergraduate and graduate degree programs); School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota; E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University; College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University; Department of Communication, East Tennessee State University; Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Washington and Lee University.
The Department of Mass Communications at Savannah State University received initial accreditation. The Department of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, received provisional re-accreditation.
Considerable discussion occurred Saturday on how visiting teams and the self-studies should do a better job of presenting diversity statistics. Members were concerned that the inclusion of international students was not the intent of the diversity standard.
Site teams and schools having visits next year will receive a letter asking for more detailed explanations in the team reports for Standard 3: Diversity. The self-studies for the 2008-09 visits will ask for a breakout of international students and faculty members.
John Paluszek, who represents the Public Relations Society of America, said that some schools blurred international students in their diversity statistics. He suggested that international students should be reported in a separate section of the self-study and that the site teams should make the distinction in the team reports. The information also should be included for faculty members.
Connie Frazier, who represents the American Academy of Advertising, said that the site teams should look at diversity more carefully and ask questions if the information was not included in the self-study.
Tim Gleason, dean at the University of Oregon and ASJMC representative, said that site teams and Council members did not spend much time looking at diversity plans. He said that teams should ask questions about how the plans fit and if the plans do what the schools said they did. Gleason said that he would like to see more emphasis on the plans.
The Accrediting Council will meet Friday, Aug. 31, in Chicago at the Westin Hotel, 909 N. Michigan Ave. Council members and administrators from schools having visits next year will receive hotel information later this month. Council members should send agenda items to Susanne Shaw no later than July 16.
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Former Council presidents Jerry Ceppos and Saundra Keyes will write a guide to being a good Council member. The guide will address everything from suggestions on meeting attendance to looking at the big picture of the role of Council members. The guide also will include some of the Council's history.
Keyes and Ceppos invite former and current Council members to contribute ideas.
ACEJMC plans to have a weekend training program for site team members Oct. 20-21 at the Westin Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Va. Executive Director Susanne Shaw said that 20-25 invited participants would attend. She said it was very important for individuals to attend a training program before being a member of a site team.
If Council or Committee members would like to recommend someone, please send your suggestions no later than July 6 to Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Shaw said that this session would be primarily for people in the eastern part of the country. She said that she hoped to have another program in the spring in the western United States.
ACEJMC's annual session at the AEJMC convention will be from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9. Susanne Shaw, executive director, said that those attending the program could ask questions about the new standards, assessment and anything about ACEJMC's procedures and the accreditation process.
Tom Kunkel, chair of the Accrediting Committee, Trevor Brown, Accrediting Committee member, and Shaw will be present to respond to questions.
Several ACEJMC representatives will participate in a pre-convention assessment workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
President, Accrediting Council
Vice President, Accrediting Council
Chair, Accrediting Committee
Vice Chair, Accrediting Committee