Changes in accreditation

Paperless self-studies to start this fall

Programs scheduled for review during the 2010-2011 accreditation cycle will be required to submit self-studies on disk. The Council agreed to the paperless reports following discussion at the spring meeting in Arlington, Va. The move will help reduce costs for programs and help site teams manage the volume of data.

Submission of the electronic data should include a folder containing the body of the self-study and supporting charts and data. Additional folders should be appropriately labeled and provide faculty vitae, attachments, lengthy documents, examples, etc. Requested materials that cannot be included on the disk should be made available in the site team’s workroom. This arrangement should be discussed with the site team chair before disks are sent to the team.

School administrators working on self-studies were notified of the change immediately after the May meeting. Contact Cindy Reinardy at the ACEJMC office (785-864-7640) with questions.

Values and Competencies expanded to 12

The Council approved an addition to the Professional Values and Competencies last fall. Also, several amendments were made to standards language to guide accreditation decisions of programs operating within unique cultural, social or religious parameters.

Administrators were advised of the changes immediately after approval. The revisions will be included in the 2010-2011 guidebook and apply to programs completing self-studies in 2010-2011 and thereafter.

The following was added to the Values and Competencies: Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society.

The 12 Values and Competencies, including revised language, can be viewed at

Staying current in curriculum

In response to a growing need for online knowledge and competency in the industry, the Council approved a recommendation last fall that placed greater emphasis on “current” in standards language. Collectively, the standards and supporting indicators direct programs to keep up-to-date with technological change and professional practice, and authorize site teams to hold programs accountable for doing so. The emphasis applies to all programs completing self-studies this year and thereafter.
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Council planning committee to address financial and membership concerns

During its April 30-May 1 meeting in Arlington, Va., the Accrediting Council initiated long-term planning to focus on the finances and overall structure of the organization to help sustain its work.

The action followed a report by executive director Susanne Shaw that Council membership had decreased for the fourth consecutive year. The Associated Press Managing Editors Association and the National Association of Black Journalists withdrew their memberships this year. Shaw said memberships were dropped because of the organizations' finances and Council dues. She said there are two additional organizations that might drop in the coming year.

In addition to reduced income, lost membership also has led to concerns of diminished diversity representation and an imbalance between professionals and academics on the Council. Academics outnumber professionals almost two to one. Minority membership has dwindled to one.

Council president Peter Bhatia has selected a committee to make specific recommendations on strategic directions for the Council including, but not limited to:

  • dues and membership structure,
  • long-term funding of the Council and the accrediting process, including fees paid by accredited programs,
  • broadening membership of professional organizations to correct a widening imbalance between professionals and academics on the Council,
  • and increasing diversity membership of the organization.

The committee will meet during the AEJMC conference in Denver and provide an update at the Council's Aug. 27 meeting in Chicago.

In other business, the Council also considered that in cases where the Committee overturns a site team recommendation, the site team chair will attend the Council meeting. The chair's expenses to attend the meeting would be paid by the school. The matter will be taken up at the fall meeting.
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Council officers, Committee members elected

During the Council's spring meeting, president Peter Bhatia presented service awards to Jan Dates, outgoing Council vice president, left, and Pam Luecke, outgoing Committee chair.

Peter Bhatia, who is editor of The Oregonian in Portland, was re-elected to serve a second term as Council president. Doug Anderson, dean of the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, was elected vice president. Both will serve three-year terms. The elections were held April 30 during the Council's meeting in Arlington, Va.

Carla Lloyd, professor, School of Communications, Syracuse University, was elected chair of the Accrediting Committee. Will Norton, dean of the Edwin and Becky Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi, was elected vice chair.

The Council elected three new members and re-elected two members to three-year terms on its Accrediting Committee. Susan Goldberg, editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, and Rose Jackson Flenorl, manager, social responsibility for FedEx, were re-elected. New members elected were Ron Culp, Ketchum partner and managing director in Chicago, and Trevor Brown, assistant dean of curriculum affairs, Graduate School of Journalism, and dean emeritus, School of Journalism, Indiana University. Charlotte Hall, senior vice president and editor, Orlando Sentinel, was elected to complete the one-year unexpired term for David Boardman, editor of The Seattle Times. Beginning in the fall, Boardman will become the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) representative on the Council.

Bhatia appointed Scott Bosley, former ASNE executive director, to a three-year term as one of the Council’s public members.
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ASJMC, AEJMC name Council representatives

Lori Bergen and Birgit Wassmuth of Kennesaw State have been appointed as Council representatives for the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. Bergen is dean of the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University. Wassmuth is chair of the department of communication at Kennesaw State University. They will serve three-year terms.

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication reappointed Debashis "Deb" Aikat to a second three-year term. Aikat is associate professor and media futurist at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Member and program updates

Accrediting Council member Reginald Robinson has been named a professor of law and director of the Center for Law and Government at Washburn University. Robinson was president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents. He serves as a public member on the Council.

Accrediting Council member Ward White has joined Vollmer Public Relations, the largest such firm in Houston and the largest independent in the Southwest, as chief strategy officer. Vollmer has offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas and New York. White represents the Arthur W. Page Society on the Council.

Accrediting Committee member Ben Holden has been named director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for the Courts and Media, part of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. Holden, who is licensed to practice law in California and Georgia, had been executive editor of the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer for the past five years. He assumed his new role May 3.

Gary Kebbel, journalism program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has been named dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska, effective July 1. Kebbel replaces former dean Will Norton Jr., who is now dean of the Edwin and Becky Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Charlyne Berens served as interim dean.

James Willis has been appointed as chairman of the department of journalism at Ball State University. He replaces Marilyn Weaver who is retiring on June 30 after serving as chairwoman for 14 years and concluding her 33-year-tenure at Ball State. Willis was most recently chair of the department of communication studies at Azusa Pacific. Before moving to California, Willis was the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Journalism at the University of Memphis. He was chair of the department of communication at Boston College prior to that.

Fred Pearce, chair of the department of journalism and public communications at the University of Alaska Anchorage, has been named director of the School of Mass Communications at the University of South FloridaTampa, effective July 1. He replaces Jay Friedlander. Paola Banchero will serve as interim chair at the University of Alaska's department of journalism and public communications.

Russell Shain is retiring as dean of the Arkansas State University effective July1. Osa Amienyi will serve as interim dean.

Texas Tech has let its accreditation lapse and is no longer accredited through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. The University of Utah did not schedule a 2010-2011 visit to maintain its accreditation status. Its accreditation will lapse in May 2011.
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Council makes accreditation decisions on 27 programs

During its April 30-May 1 meeting in Arlington, Va., the Council made 27 accreditation decisions, including one initial accreditation for the communication department at Buffalo State College.

The undergraduate programs at the following schools were removed from provisional reaccreditation and received full reaccreditation: department of journalism at San Francisco State University; School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; and the department of journalism at Temple University.

The following schools received provisional reaccreditation for their undergraduate programs: department of journalism, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; the department of journalism and mass communication at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; and the department of journalism at University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

The Council also reaccredited the undergraduate and graduate programs at the following schools: Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; School of Communication, University of Miami; department of journalism and media studies, University of South Florida, St Petersburg; Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University; S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University; Mayborn School of Journalism, University of North Texas; J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication, Marquette University.

The following schools received reaccreditation for their undergraduate programs: department of journalism, Ball State University; Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University; Schieffer School of Journalism, Texas Christian University; Walter J. Lemke department of journalism, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; School of Mass Communications and Journalism, University of Southern Mississippi; department of journalism, California State University, Chico; department of journalism, California State University, Northridge; John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University; department of journalism and mass communications, Murray State University; School of Journalism, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; P.I. Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University; the School of Journalism and Broadcasting, Western Kentucky University; and department of journalism and public relations, Bowling Green State University.

The Council now accredits 113 schools in the United States and outside the country.
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Vol. 17 #2, June 2010

Information session
to be offered at AEJMC convention

ACEJMC’s annual information session at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention will be 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colo.

The session will provide general information about the accreditation process and include time for questions from school representatives about upcoming site visits and self-study preparations.
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When is it due?

Self-study due dates vary, based on the date of the program’s site visit. Because of this, there sometimes is confusion about when the self-study should be submitted.

A copy of the self-study is due to the ACEJMC office by Sept. 1 OR three months before the visit, whichever is later. Also, schools are given their self-study due date when they are given their site visit date.

The report is given a preliminary review and the unit is provided a follow-up. Changes or corrections are made to the self-study by the unit before copies are sent to the site team.

Self-studies can be submitted to the Council office before the due date. The additional time allows more opportunity for the initial review.

Avoid these
self-study pitfalls

The last question of the site team summary report reads, “The self-study is the heart of the accrediting process, and often the quality of that document determines the degree of success of the accrediting visit. Summarize the team members’ judgment of the self-study.” The following are excerpts from some of the 2009-2010 site team reports.

-- The self-study was generally thorough, but because it was prepared over a period of several months during which the department was enacting many changes, there were inconsistencies in numbers and even in names of academic programs. A detailed table of contents would have made it easier to find specific tables, plans and documentation.

-- It did not reflect the enthusiasm found by the site team on the part of the faculty for the work they do, their dedication to students and their optimism for the opportunities they feel are available.

-- The school will want to have faculty submit their own CVs in the future instead of using a template that did not provide necessary information.

-- The unit is much better than how it was portrayed in the self-study. The team found the unit to have many good qualities that were not described in detail in the self-study.

-- Some typos and inconsistent editing weakened the product.

-- It was richer in information than in critical analysis. …It was not as reflective on its intellectual and professional readiness to address the bewildering changes in the world of journalism and mass communications.

-- A democratic and participatory process was used to develop the self-study by including many faculty members, which was commendable, but left some unevenness in the report. Some sections were complete and analyzed; others were lacking in detail or too wide-ranging.

-- The self-study was nicely presented, but often too sparse in its answers, at times conflicting and confusing, and the team had to obtain some necessary materials on-site.
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Meetings calendar

Accrediting Council
Friday, Aug. 27, 2010
Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Accrediting Committee
March 26-27, 2011
Westin Hotel on Michigan Avenue, Chicago

April 29-30, 2011
Westin Hotel,
Portland, Oregon


Newsletter of the Accrediting Council on Education
Journalism and Mass Communications

Vol. 17, No. 2, June 2010

President, Accrediting Council
Peter Bhatia
Executive Editor, The Oregonian
1320 S.W. Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 221-8393
Fax (503) 294-5012

Vice President, Accrediting Council
Doug Anderson
Dean, College of Communications
201 Carnegie Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-1484
Fax (814)863-8044

Chair, Accrediting Committee
Carla Lloyd
Professor, School of Public Communications
Syracuse University
215 University Place
Syracuse, NY 13244-2100
(315) 443-2305
Fax (315) 443-3946

Vice Chair, Accrediting Committee
Will Norton
Dean, Edwin and Becy Meek School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Fax: (662) 915-7765

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

Assistant to the Executive Director
Cindy Reinardy
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-7640

Office Staff
Cheryl Klug
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-3973

Council Web site: