Council approves dues increase for schools;
member dues under consideration

The Accrediting Council has approved a $1,000 increase for the annual dues of accredited programs. The increase will be implemented in $500 increments in the next two academic years, increasing from $1,000 to $1,500 for 2011-12 and then to $2,000 for 2012-13 and thereafter.

The increase was approved at the Council’s fall meeting in Chicago following a strategic planning committee presentation on the organization’s financial outlook. The Council incurred an operational deficit in 2009-2010, and a deficit is projected for the current fiscal year.

for 2010-11
school dues
is Nov. 1.



Council President Peter Bhatia, who led the presentation, said the increase was necessary to address financial difficulties stemming from decreased professional membership revenues and increased costs of doing business. The strategic planning committee determined the deficit likely would continue unless revenue was increased.

Even with the increase, Bhatia said, the Council’s fees still are below those of other national accrediting agencies. The Council’s last dues increase for accredited programs was in 2004; annual dues were raised from $650 to $1,000.

The strategic planning committee was formed last spring when the Council agreed its business model, although tweaked over the years, was no longer viable given the changes in the professional industry. A recurring discussion among Council members has been whether the schools or the industry benefit most from accreditation, and, therefore, should bear more of the cost.

Member fees from industry and educators associations help finance the Council’s work. In the past five years, six of 15 industry organizations have dropped their memberships. Among them were all of the Council’s professional minority organizations. Cost was often cited as the reason. Two more professional organizations have indicated finances could force them to drop their memberships this year.

Professional organizations pay considerably higher dues per seat on the Council than educator associations. The dues structure was established some years ago when a thriving industry could support association membership. Fees were set lower for educators to increase their participation. Adjustments have not kept up with the changing landscape. Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication pays $6,000 for six seats and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication pays $5,000 for four seats. By contrast, professional membership dues range from $1,500 to $6,000 per seat, based on the organization’s operating budget.

The loss of professional members has not only led to reduced revenue, it has created an imbalance between professional and educator representation. Educators outnumber professionals almost two to one on the Council. A more equal balance is preferred.

The Council will take up the membership fee discussion again at its spring meeting in Portland.

Above: At the fall meeting in Chicago, Accrediting Council members addressed financial concerns and membership representation. They also discussed ways to improve graduate program reviews.
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Council steps back from paperless self-studies
After considering suggestions from site team chairs, the Council has agreed to return to the practice of hard-copy self-studies beginning with the 2011-12 cycle. Last spring, the Council decided digital reports would help reduce costs for programs and help site teams manage the volume of data. After working with the digital reports this fall, site team chairs and members determined the format was more time-consuming and less efficient for purposes of in-depth reviews.

The Council did agree that a hybrid approach, using both print and live web links for some data, was a logical option. Units can provide links for lengthy supporting documents, such as examples of online newsletters, copies of course catalogs, and, when available, faculty vitae, etc. What remains unchanged are the instructions to use thorough and concise writing, along with a common-sense approach in determining supplementary material. Both measures help control bulk.

As was the practice in the past with print self-studies, a CD disk of the main body of the narrative (Parts 1 and 2 and Standards 1-9) must be submitted along with the print copy. Questions about submitting self-studies can be directed to Cindy Reinardy at
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When the site team and Accrediting Committee don't agree

Beginning with site visits in the 2012-13 academic year, site team chairs will be asked to attend the Council meeting if the Committee overturns a site team recommendation. The school will pay the cost of the team chair's expenses to the Council meeting.

2011 Meetings
March 26-27, Chicago
April 29-30,
Portland, Ore.

If the team chair cannot attend, another member of the team will be asked to attend.

In addition, the Committee chair will write a letter outlining Committee discussion and reasons for overturning the site team’s recommendation. This letter would be included in the Council meeting notebooks. This begins with the 2011 Committee meeting.
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Assessment leads noncompliances -- again
Since the Council made assessment a part of the accreditation process, noncompliance judgments in assessment have continued to outnumber all others in each review cycle. The most recent review period was no different. In 2009-10 reviews, 12 of the 18 total noncompliances were in assessment.

The assessment standard was implemented in three stages: Beginning in 2003, schools were required to have a written assessment plan in place; data collection was to begin in the 2003-04 academic year. By 2004-05, assessment findings were to be used in making curriculum improvements. Site teams were to apply the revised standards during 2005-06 visits.

Most noncompliances in recent years are the result of schools not having completed the third stage, said Susanne Shaw, ACEJMC executive director. By this time, the Council expects that schools are not only collecting data per their plans, but also using the data to make changes.

Diversity has been the second standard most often found out of compliance since the revision. In 2009-10 reviews, the standard accounted for two of the 18 total noncompliances. Since the standards revision, Standard 9 has accounted for 50 percent of all noncompliance judgments. Diversity has accounted for 19 percent.

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Anderson to lead Standards Review Committee
Council President Peter Bhatia appointed Doug Anderson to chair the Standards Review Committee. Anderson is dean of the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University and represents the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication on the Council. He also serves as Council vice president.

Other members of the committee are: Carla Lloyd, Accrediting Committee chair and professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University; Steve Geimann, Accrediting Council member and deputy leader of the U.S. Regulation Team at Bloomberg News; Jan Dates, Accrediting Council member and dean of the John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University; Joe Foote, Accrediting Council member and dean of Gaylord College, University of Oklahoma; and Trevor Brown, Accrediting Committee member and professor emeritus at the School of Journalism, Indiana University.

The Council reviews its standards every 10 years. As a result of the last review, the Council implemented assessment of student learning and streamlined standards, reducing the number from 12 to nine.

As part of its work, the current review committee will look closely at graduate program reviews and consider suggestions from an ad hoc graduate program review committee led by Nicolas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.
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Member and program updates

Accrediting Committee member Susan Goldberg will join Bloomberg News as an executive editor, overseeing the expansion of state and local government reporting. She will be based in San Francisco. Goldberg has been editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland since 2007. She was executive editor and vice president of the San Jose Mercury News before joining the Plain Dealer. Goldberg also has had editorial positions at USA TODAY, the Detroit Free Press and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Accrediting Council member Barbara Cochran was named the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. She will be based in the school’s Washington bureau, where she has spent her entire career. Cochran retired in 2009 from the Radio-Television Digital News Association. She had served as president of the association for 12 years. Before joining RTDNA, Cochran was managing editor of the Washington Star, vice-president for news for National Public Radio, executive producer of NBC News’ Meet the Press and vice president and Washington bureau chief for CBS news.

Oklahoma State University School of Journalism and Broadcasting has changed its name to the School of Media and Strategic Communications.

Clarification: The Department of Journalism and Public Relations at Bowling Green State University was inadvertently omitted from a news release regarding accreditation decisions at the Accrediting Council’s May meeting. The department, which was re-accredited, was included in the list of reaccredited programs that accompanied the news release.
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Parsons appointed chair of Appeals Board
Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications at Elon University, was appointed chair of the Appeals Board by Peter Bhatia, Council president. Other board members are Dorothy Bland and Peter Debreceny. Bland is director of the Division of Journalism at Florida A&M University. Debreceny is retired vice president of corporate relations at Allstate Insurance Co., Chicago.
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Vol. 17 #3, Oct. 2010


Promoting the value
of accreditation
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation has produced two new brochures to help increase public awareness about the value and benefits of accreditation.

Ask Before You Decide: Accreditation Matters is a consumer-friendly brochure to help prospective students, parents and the public understand the value of accreditation and the importance of knowing accredited status before choosing an institution or program.

The brochure answers questions including: How does accreditation help me to make informed decisions? What questions do accreditors think I need to ask to make smart choices?

The Value of Accreditation answers frequently asked questions about the process and what the status means to students and the public.

CHEA is encouraging organizations and schools to use the publications to help promote the value of accreditation. The publications were a collaborative effort by CHEA and regional, national and programmatic accrediting organizations. The Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is accredited by CHEA.


Schools working
on the self-study:


-- Before Nov. 2, submit CEO’s letter of invitation to ACEJMC executive director.

-- Before Nov. 2, return the Enrollment and Credit Hour Information and preferred dates sheets to ACEJMC executive director.

-- Receive from ACEJMC the date of 2011-2012 site visit and due date for self-study.
-- Schedule exit interview with CEO and team in the morning on the last day of visit.

Schools hosting
site visits:

-- Provide detailed visit schedule for site team no later than 30 days before the visit.

-- Payment due two weeks before visit for the 80 percent invoice of estimated cost of the visit.
-- Set up visit team’s work room; updated general information should be ready for the team’s arrival.
-- Within 3 weeks after the visit, submit a response to the team chair regarding errors of factual information or interpretation (if any) in the team report.
-- Final report received from site team within three weeks of visit.
-- Optional response to visit report recommendation; submit in writing on unit letterhead to ACEJMC executive director.


Newsletter of the Accrediting Council on Education
Journalism and Mass Communications

Vol. 17, No. 3, October 2010

President, Accrediting Council
Peter Bhatia
Editor and Vice President
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: