Strategic Plan

Department of Journalism and Mass Communications Strategic Plan
Adopted by Unanimous Vote of the Faculty, September 12, 2014
Amended and approved April 17, 2015

There are four elements to the department strategic plan, as defined by the strategies below. They are academic excellence; student success; research, scholarship and creative thought; and community engagement. Each strategy corresponds to one of the nine accrediting standards set by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

Strategies and tactics are reviewed according to the following three categories:

  • Achievement – What the program accomplishes

  • Endeavor – What we are doing to improve

  • Hope – What our vision of the future is

In addition, the mission of Murray State University as a regional comprehensive university with an 18-county service area in Kentucky demands that we pay special attention to access, quality, and what our programs cost students and their families.

Academic Excellence Strategies

  1. Tactic 1. The department provides a balance among theoretical and conceptual courses, professional skills courses, and courses that integrate theory and skills to achieve the range of student competencies listed in the Mission Statement. (Hope)

  2. Tactic 2. Instruction, whether on-site or online, is demanding and current, and is responsive to professional expectations of digital, technological and multimedia competencies. Achievements in teaching and learning are recognized and valued. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. The department advocates and encourages opportunities for internship and other professional experiences outside the classroom and supervises and evaluates them when it awards academic credit. (Endeavor)

  4. Tactic 4. Student-faculty classroom ratios facilitate effective teaching and learning in all courses. (Achievement)

  5. Tactic 5. The department requires that students take a minimum of 72 semester credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree outside of journalism and mass communications and meet the liberal arts and sciences-general education requirements of the institution. (Achievement)

  1. Tactic 1. The department has a written diversity plan for achieving an inclusive curriculum, a diverse faculty and student population, and a supportive climate for working and learning and for assessing progress toward achievement of the plan. (Achievement)

  2. Tactic 2. The department’s curriculum fosters understanding of issues and perspectives that are inclusive in terms of domestic concerns about gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. The department’s curriculum includes instruction in issues and perspectives relating to mass communications across diverse cultures in a global society. (Endeavor)

  3. Tactic 3. The department demonstrates effective efforts to recruit women and domestic minority faculty and professional staff and, where feasible, recruits international faculty and professional staff. (Achievement)

  4. Tactic 4. The department demonstrates effective efforts to help recruit and retain a student population reflecting the diversity of the population eligible to enroll in institutions of higher education in the region or population it serves, with special attention to recruiting under-represented groups. (Endeavor)

  5. Tactic 5. The department has a climate that is free of harassment and all forms of discrimination, in keeping with the acceptable cultural practices of the population it serves, accommodates the needs of those with disabilities, and values the contributions of all forms of diversity. (Hope)

  1. Tactic 1. The department has a detailed annual budget for the allocation of its resources that is related to its long-range, strategic plan. (Achievement)

  2. Tactic 2. The resources that the institution provides are adequate to achieve the department’s mission. The resources are fair in relation to those provided other departments. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. The facilities of the department enable and promote effective scholarship, teaching and learning. (Achievement)

  4. Tactic 4. The institution and the department provide faculty and students with equipment or access to equipment to support its curriculum and the research, creative and professional activities of the faculty. (Endeavor)

  5. Tactic 5. The institution and the department provide sufficient library and information resources to support faculty and student research and professional development. (Endeavor)

  1. Tactic 1. The department defines the goals for learning that students must achieve, based on the Values and Learning Objectives in the Mission Statement. (Hope)

  2. Tactic 2. The department has a written assessment plan that uses multiple direct and indirect measures to assess student learning. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. The department collects and reports data from its assessment activities and applies the data to improve curriculum and instruction. (Achievement)

  4. Tactic 4. The department maintains contact with its alumni to assess their experiences in the professions and to provide suggestions for improving curriculum and instruction. (Achievement)

  5. Tactic 5. The department includes members of journalism and mass communication professions in its assessment process. (Achievement)

Student Success Strategies

  1. Tactic 1. The department has a written mission statement and a written strategic or long-range plan that provides vision and direction for its future, identifies needs and resources for its mission and goals and is supported by university administration outside the unit. (Hope)

  2. Tactic 2. The department has policies and procedures for substantive faculty governance that ensure faculty oversight of educational policy and curriculum. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. The department's administration provides effective leadership within the department and effectively represents it in dealings with university administration outside the department and constituencies external to the university. (Endeavor)

  4. Tactic 4. The institution defines and uses a process for selecting and evaluating its administrators. (Achievement)

  5. Tactic 5. Faculty, staff and students have avenues to express concerns and have them addressed. (Achievement)

  1. Tactic 1. Faculty advisers ensure that students are aware of unit and institutional requirements for graduation and receive career and academic advising. (Achievement)

  2. Tactic 2. Faculty are available and accessible to students. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. The department keeps students informed about the activities, requirements and policies of the unit. (Achievement)

  4. Tactic 4. The department and the institution provide students with extra-curricular activities and opportunities that are relevant to the curriculum and develop their professional as well as intellectual abilities and interests. (Achievement)

  5. Tactic 5. The department gathers, maintains and analyzes enrollment, retention, graduation rates and other aggregate information for improving student services and reducing barriers to student success. The department annually publishes retention and graduation information on its website. (Achievement)

Research, Scholarship and Creative Thought Strategies

  1. Tactic 1. The department has written criteria for selecting and evaluating the performance of all full-time and part-time faculty and instructional staff. (Achievement)

  2. Tactic 2. Full-time faculty have primary responsibility for teaching, research/creative activity and service. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. Credentials of the department’s faculty represent a balance of professional and scholarly experience and expertise kept current through faculty development opportunities, relationships with professional and scholarly associations, and appropriate supplementation of part-time and visiting faculty. (Achievement)

  4. Tactic 4. The department regularly evaluates instruction, whether on-site or online, using multiple measures that include student input. (Achievement)

  5. Tactic 5. The faculty has respect on campus for its university citizenship and the quality of education that the department provides. (Endeavor)

  1. Tactic 1. The department requires, supports and rewards faculty research, creative activity and/or professional activity. (Achievement)

  2. Tactic 2. The department specifies expectations for research, creative activity and professional activity in criteria for hiring, promotion and tenure. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. Evaluation criteria for promotion, tenure and merit recognition account for and acknowledge activities appropriate to faculty members’ professional as well as scholarly specializations. (Achievement)

  4. Tactic 4. Faculty members communicate the results of research, creative and professional activity to other scholars, educators and practitioners through presentations, productions, exhibitions, workshops and publications. (Achievement)

  5. Tactic 5. The department fosters a climate that supports intellectual curiosity, critical analysis and the expression of differing points of view. (Hope)

Community Engagement Strategies

  1. Tactic 1. The department consults and communicates regularly with its alumni and is actively engaged with alumni, professionals and professional associations to keep curriculum and teaching, whether on site or online, current and to promote the exchange of ideas. (Achievement)

  2. Tactic 2. The department provides leadership in the development of high standards of professional practice through such activities as offering continuing education, promoting professional ethics, evaluating professional performance, and addressing communication issues of public consequence and concern. (Achievement)

  3. Tactic 3. The department contributes to the improvement of journalism and mass communication as academic disciplines by supporting the faculty’s involvement in academic associations and related activities. (Endeavor)

  4. Tactic 4. The department contributes to its communities through department-based service projects and events, service learning of its students and civic engagement of its faculty. (Endeavor)

  5. Tactic 5. The department supports scholastic journalism through such activities as faculty workshops, visiting lectures and critiques of student work. (Achievement)

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