Diversity plan (2019-2024)
Approved by Journalism Unit faculty vote, April 5, 2019
The Journalism Unit in The Media School, which is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, abides by the College’s stated philosophy of valuing “diversity, equity, and inclusion as a core strength of its educational mission.” The Unit is committed to:
- Ensuring equity and access to diverse domestic and global constituents across the entirety of our research and creative activity, teaching, co-curricular, and service duties and opportunities;
- Fostering an environment that supports students, faculty and staff, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and other forms of difference, and;
- Valuing a diversity of intellectual contributions, political and ideological views, and lived experiences for their capacity to enrich learning and contribute to the Unit’s mission.
Echoing the College’s vision, the Journalism Unit’s approach to diversity is also “grounded in our aspiration to cultivate intellectual rigor and curiosity among our students and to prepare them to thrive in and contribute to a globally diverse, complex, and interconnected world.”
The Journalism Unit affirms The Media School’s statement of values and vision in its Action Plan for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty:
- This plan reflects our philosophy that a university should be a place for dynamic exchanges among a wide variety of people and ideas.
- To that end, we will strive to increase racial, sexual, ethnic, class, and gender equity and diversity in our academic programs; we will ensure access to people of varying economic means; and we will encourage political, ideological, scientific, religious, and artistic variety in our media research and creative activities.
The Journalism Unit’s diversity plan covers the following areas: Curriculum, Faculty, Student Body, and Climate.
Domestic (U.S.-based) Diversity
- Journalism faculty will be encouraged to include domestic diversity components in courses across the curriculum. Diversity topics and issues will be integrated into the content of existing courses to reflect real-world concerns within the professional practices and businesses of journalism and strategic communication.
- Journalism faculty will receive academic support to develop new domestic diversity courses—in conceptual, research and skills areas of the curriculum—that enhance students’ understanding of diversity in journalism and strategic communication and that address ongoing racial, gender, sexual, ethnic, religious and class diversity issues in the United States. Faculty efforts will be recognized as part of their advancement through the ranks.
- At the broadest level, while endorsing academic freedom, the content, objectives, and purposes of domestic diversity courses may include, but are not limited to the following: 1) exploration and critique of domestic diversity issues in media portrayals; 2) research and writing for diverse audiences across integrated media platforms; and 3) societal, political, and economic issues affecting journalism and strategic communication and the intended and unintended consequences on diverse audiences.
- Journalism faculty will continue to receive academic support for teaching service-learning courses in which students work with nonprofit organizations benefitting diverse, underserved populations (for example, funding to support client visits to classes). Faculty efforts will be recognized as part of their advancement through the ranks.
- Minority speakers and experts will be invited to speak to classes and in other vital student professional development forums to contribute their perspectives and experiences.
- Journalism faculty will collaborate with The Media School’s centers and with campus-level centers and institutes focused on diversity to expose students to a range of resources that can enhance their knowledge of domestic diversity. Some of these centers include Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, La Casa Latino Center, First Nations Educational and Culture Center, LGBTQ+ Culture Center, the Asian Culture Center, the African-American Arts Institute, Muslim Voices, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and the newly founded Center for Rural Engagement.
Background: Consistent with the long-standing global mission of Indiana University and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Journalism Unit in the Media School has a curriculum with a strong emphasis on global diversity. In addition to offering such regular courses as MSCH-C206 Media Reporting in a Global World and MSCH-J448 Global Journalism: Issues and Research, and other topics courses focused on global diversity, the Journalism Unit participates actively in The Media School’s travel-based field experience curriculum to enhance international awareness and understanding and expand educational opportunities abroad for students from diverse backgrounds. From 2009 through 2019, 64 travel-based field experience courses have been offered; and from 2016 to 2019, 142 BAJ degree-seeking students have participated in 15 travel courses taught by Journalism faculty. These courses have involved travel to diverse global destinations, including Kenya, Uganda, Japan, South Korea, China, Canada, Australia, Chile, London and Paris. Courses have included diverse topics ranging from reporting on the effects of the AIDS epidemic in Kenya to the study of journalist Ernie Pyle’s World War II reporting from the battlefront in Europe to emerging new media developments in South Korea.
- Journalism faculty will be encouraged to include global diversity components in courses across the curriculum and to develop new conceptual, research and skills courses that address ongoing issues in international communication. Faculty efforts will be recognized as part of their advancement through the ranks.
- Journalism faculty will encourage students to take advantage of speakers (in The Media School and across campus) with strong international media experience, culture centers, and other campus resources to understand the diversity of peoples and cultures and the significance and impact of journalism and media in a global society.
- The Journalism Unit and The Media School will continue their commitment to supporting and expanding international study opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Journalism faculty will be encouraged to utilize the Kemp Teaching Development, Holsinger, CITL, and other off-campus grants and resources to assist in the strengthening of existing courses and to support new course development.
- Journalism faculty will support The Media School’s Student Services Office to ensure that an increasing number of students from all social, economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds may benefit from travel-based field experience courses.
- Journalism faculty will seek out opportunities to collaborate with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies to enrich the curriculum and expose students to global diversity resources and initiatives in the social sciences and humanities.
- Journalism faculty will explore opportunities to collaborate with Indiana University’s new Global Gateway Centers in China, Europe, Mexico, and Southwest Asia (with access to university-facilitated partnerships with 60 international institutions) to identify and implement innovative learning opportunities for students of all backgrounds including new courses and dual degrees and certificates, distance learning, internships, and short-term diverse cultural experiences.
Background: As a unit of the Media School, Journalism no longer runs autonomous faculty searches. Rather, school-wide search committees include faculty members with relevant expertise from multiple units and new hires then select which unit to join.
In terms of faculty hiring and retention, Journalism wholly supports the newly created school-wide Action Plan for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty. Three journalism faculty members (out of a committee of four) helped craft the school-wide plan with Journalism professor Gerry Lanosga taking the lead to draft the document. This plan emphasizes the Media School’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment that is reflective of the broad array of intellectual, cultural, and demographic diversity in our larger society.
Prior to joining The Media School, the Journalism Unit fared well in terms of recruiting and retaining women faculty members, but faced more challenges in terms of hiring minority faculty. The 2014-2015 ACEJMC study noted that we needed to emphasize hiring domestic minority faculty members, particular African Americans. Since then, we have hired four white female faculty members and one female African American faculty member. At the time of writing this plan, our 26-member faculty now includes 13 women (half the faculty), two Korean-American faculty members, one Indian-American faculty member, one African American faculty member, one Latino faculty member, and one Korean faculty member (about a quarter of the faculty are non-white faculty).
We acknowledge that continued effort needs to take place to increase ethnic and racial diversity, particularly domestic diversity. The Media School Action Plan for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty outlines specific steps and accountability tactics for ensuring a diverse pool of applicants for open searches. This includes the creation of a school-wide diversity committee with representatives from each unit, strategic efforts to craft and share job listings in a manner that encourages a wide pool of candidates, and oversight by the university’s Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to ensure diverse candidates are given equal opportunity by the committee. Additionally, targeted hires may be conducted. The Action Plan also addresses retention through a proposal to establish a formal mentoring program for new faculty, dedicated assistance for underrepresented faculty to fund or obtain funding for research and creative activities, and the establishment of events and career development opportunities that are welcoming to diverse faculty. In addition to endorsing these proposed measures, the Journalism Unit outlines the following objectives:
- The Journalism Unit Director will work with The Media School Dean and the Associate Dean to facilitate active participation in the AEJMC’s job placement services to identify promising minority candidates and ensure early outreach to these candidates.
- Journalism faculty representatives on The Media School Diversity Committee will ensure attention to ongoing diversity issues within the unit and take these concerns wherever appropriate to The Media School level.
- Journalism faculty representatives on The Media School search committees will encourage colleagues in the unit to contribute diverse candidate names to the candidate pool and proactively contact diverse candidates to apply.
- The Journalism Unit and The Media School will support faculty initiatives on diversity in the areas of research and creative activity, teaching, and service.
- The Journalism Unit will support minority faculty in the tenure process by acknowledging that minority faculty often carry heavier service burdens related to their identification as members of underrepresented populations and by alleviating such service loads whenever possible.
Background: Indiana University has a commitment to supporting students regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, religion, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and other forms of difference so that all students may have a positive and fruitful intellectual and cultural experience on campus. It is well-documented that students from underrepresented groups benefit from the presence of faculty members who are also from underrepresented groups. Thus, a diverse student body is tied to a diverse faculty, and Journalism’s success in recruiting and retaining diverse faculty is key to student success as well.
Journalism continues its commitment to attracting a diverse student body through its annual High School Journalism Institute, now in its 73rd year, for which minority students receive scholarships to attend. In addition, we host a Speaker Series that often features well-known professionals of varying backgrounds, including NPR media critic Eric Deggans and NBA Countdown cohost Sage Steele. The Speaker Series has also brought many accomplished women from varied media professions to speak and interact with students. Lastly, Journalism is home to several student groups for minority students, including National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the LGBTQ Journalists Association at IU.
- We will continue to promote our long-running High School Journalism Institute, which serves as a recruitment tool to introduce diverse students to Indiana University and the Journalism Unit. (The Institute attracts a multicultural group of students who can receive grants to attend.)
- Faculty will support and participate in School-wide undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts focused on diversity, including visiting targeted high schools and fostering relationships with teachers with a particular emphasis on schools serving a diverse student body.
- The Journalism faculty will work with the School’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) to establish and maintain student groups that foster community and connect underrepresented students with professional organizations. This includes providing adequate funding for travel to national conferences and providing faculty advisors to help with organizing the groups’ leadership and with recruitment. Those in our present program include local chapters of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists as well as the LGBTQ Journalists Association.
- We will work to increase diversity in the Ernie Pyle Scholars Honors Program, our four-year cohort program that recruits high-achieving high school students to join The Media School.
- Faculty will support and participate in School-wide graduate recruitment and retention efforts focused on diversity, including outreach to minority students attending major national and international professional and academic conferences with emphasis on diversifying students in the PhD, MA and MS in Media (Journalism & Public Relations concentrations) programs.
- We will ensure that, whenever possible and appropriate, diverse graduate students are nominated to serve on Media School search committees.
- We will work with the Director of Development and Alumni Relations to (1) develop scholarship support and new funding opportunities for under-represented minority students and (2) expand existing scholarship support for students with financial need.
- Journalism faculty and faculty advisers of student organizations will nominate minority students for positions on The Media School’s Student Advisory Committee. Representatives from each student media outlet and student organization, as well as the two representatives chosen in a student body election comprise the committee.