Mayborn School of Journalism Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026 | Mayborn School of Journalism

Mayborn School of Journalism Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026

Mission

To prepare students with ethical values, life-time communication and intellectual skills, as well as for successful careers in the professions represented by the school's undergraduate areas and graduate degree programs.

Vision Statement

To be the first-choice destination in the state of Texas for the most innovative professional and academic journalism, strategic communication and media-related training.

We educate and train the next generation of diverse communication professionals. We serve and provide the North Texas industries and communities with accurate information, leading-edge research and well-trained communication graduates.

Research Context and Background

This plan is based on faculty, staff, alumni and student surveys, a student focus group, the Mayborn Diversity Plan (approved Feb. 2021), the Mayborn Research Roadmap (created April 2021), the school's prior strategic plan, faculty meeting workshopping, and one-on-one conversations with faculty and staff in 2020 and 2021. It is also patterned after both the UNT plan and the new CLASS strategic plan.

The Plan - Four Big Goals: Curriculum, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Research & Student Success

The Mayborn School of Journalism Strategic plan will span the next five years and contain four areas of focus: 1) creating an innovative and dynamic curriculum, 2) the embracing, expanding and celebrating of diversity, equity and inclusion, 3) enhancing and building leading-edge research and 4) enhancing and building student and graduate success.

Goals and Strategies to Develop an Innovative and Dynamic Curriculum

Context and Background

Journalism is a profession that constantly makes use of new technology. Students need to learn how to use this new technology in order to be able to succeed in the workplace. Faculty also need continuous training to teach the latest skills, and the school needs up-to-date labs, equipment and student media/agency facilities to give students the best experience. The use of new technology, such as podcasting, cell phones, and VR-AR, has also driven the creation of new forms of communication whether they be in news stories or in advertisements.

We surveyed our students and asked them to name three things about Mayborn that make them feel unique. The most prominent answers were the professors, classes, and extracurricular activities. Phrases like, "the professors are very talented and willing to help" came up numerous times when looking at the open-ended question on the survey response. Following that were repeated mentions about the individual programs within the school and extracurricular activities. A specific program that was mentioned was "Swoop," our student advertising agency. The survey showed that students appreciate the hands-on experience gained from participating in our program. Other factors that were mentioned were class size and accessibility. Both seem to be defining characteristics of students' time at Mayborn.

It's clear that hands-on teaching in professional practices in the classroom and in student media/agencies are at the crux of what Mayborn students' value and what they need to succeed after graduation.

The following goals surrounding curriculum will help the Mayborn to continue to improve its delivery of the best journalism and mass communication education for our students.

Curriculum General Goal 1: The Mayborn will continue to update facilities and equipment to facilitate learning the use of current media technology.

Rationale: Because journalism and mass communication rely heavily on technology to deliver product, students must be well-trained in the use of various technologies in order to succeed in the workforce.

Only about half of our alumni surveyed about the school believed that Mayborn graduates' skills reflect current industry technologies and that the Mayborn equips graduates to address industry changes and challenges. These results were mitigated somewhat by the fact that about half of the respondents weren't sure about the level of Mayborn preparation of students. Nevertheless, the survey indicates the school should strive for improvement in this area.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1A: The Mayborn will evaluate our equipment and technology needs on an annual basis based on growing use in the industries. The equipment committee will create a plan for acquisition and training each year based on strategic goals. Examples could include AR, VR and drone technologies.

Responsible party: Equipment Committee, Curriculum Committee
Certain technologies now allow for an immersive user experience be it in a story or shopping. This goal could be part of Mayborn's Innovation Lab that will be discussed later in the goals for research. The NBCU Academy equipment grant must be included in the plan for acquisition and training. Discussions for equipment purchases will begin in spring 2022.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1B: The Mayborn will expand the use of studio space for all classes with visual communication components. Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, Media Manager, Faculty.
The renovation of studio, classroom complex and offices in Chilton Hall will allow the Mayborn to not only improve broadcast and visual education, but it will allow for an expansion of the creation of other visual and digital elements in advertising and public relations. This goal will include a Phase II renovation and equipment acquisition for the Chilton Hall Studio & Suite in 2022-2023. This will also allow for growth in Mayborn-created offerings on DCTV, additional Student Media collaborations (NTTV, KNTU, NT Daily), as well as ventures into podcasting and streaming/OTT/on-demand content creation.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1C: The Mayborn will develop the use of the Mean Green Mobile Media production truck to improve broadcast and digital media education.

Responsible party: Media Manager, Faculty
The Mayborn and Media Arts have received funding for a truck and/or trailer that will allow students to cover live news events. This will give students invaluable experience in the latest technology as well as the production of stories and the coverage of events. The first phase is to purchase the trailer/truck in 2022 with the hopes of the first course offering in 2023. Also in 2023, the programs will hire a media manager to supervise the use of the truck/trailer and will create an advanced class tied to the use of the truck.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1D: The Mayborn will cultivate alumni and industry connections and resources in order for the Mayborn School's curriculum to continue to reflect professional practice and technology.

Responsible parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Development Officer, Media Director, Faculty
The Mayborn will create and sustain relationships with alumni and with media and strategic communication companies to not only inform use of technology in our classes, but to help with funding for equipment and facilities. Media companies that cannot fund new equipment for the Mayborn might be willing to donate used equipment.

Curriculum General Goal 2: The Mayborn will expand training and professional development opportunities for current faculty and strive to hire innovative faculty and staff skilled in the latest technology.

Rationale: The best equipment and labs will not ensure students will learn. Excellent professors skilled in the latest technology are needed for the classroom and to supervise student media and agencies. The Mayborn faculty is a vital strength of the school. Mayborn alumni in a school survey raved about the esteemed professors who taught them. A survey of Mayborn students showed that a majority thought they were prepared for the job market. Mayborn faculty members mentioned a variety of topics when asked in an opened-ended survey about teaching priorities, but several instructors commented on the need to emphasize teaching the latest technology. Mayborn staff, too, mentioned the need to ensure that faculty were up-to-date on various platforms like Canvas.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2A: The Mayborn ensure all faculty are trained in the latest technologies for their area and are up-to-date on industry practices.

Responsible parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Equipment Committee, Curriculum Committee, Personnel Affairs Committee (PAC)
The plan developed for acquisition of the equipment will also include a plan for training. The school will provide funding for training and professional development for faculty and encourage faculty members to take training provided by UNT. The training needs will be assessed on an annual basis. Additionally, the PAC will examine the promotion and annual evaluation documents to ensure faculty members get sufficient credit for maintaining their expertise in technology.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2B: The Mayborn will recruit adjunct instructors and guest speakers who have current experience in new technology.

Responsible parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Media Director, Faculty
The Mayborn will use alumni, advisory board and faculty connections to recruit instructors and guest speakers who can teach the use of new technology and media platforms. Mayborn adjunct faculty are generally quite popular with students, and many of these faculty members have taught for the school for a number of years. However, additional faculty will be needed to teach an updated curriculum.

Curriculum General Goal 3: The Mayborn will update its curriculum to reflect changes in industry practices.

Rationale: In addition to changes in technology, the industry has undergone changes in professional practices. The Mayborn staff survey succinctly states the needs facing the school: It should provide "career-ready graduates" and update its curriculum to reflect how news is covered in the digital age. A survey of Mayborn alumni also indicated the need to update curriculum. Only a little more than 50 percent of respondents thought Mayborn graduates' skills reflected current industry practices and workflow.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3A: The Mayborn will expand the use of instruction in new platforms and technologies such as podcasting, mobile journalism, virtual reality, on-demand streaming, drone journalism and artificial intelligence.

Responsible parties: Associate Dean, Media Manager, Faculty
A Mayborn faculty member recently developed a course in mobile journalism, and other faculty members are exploring topics like drone journalism within their classes. More such classes should be developed, and faculty members should revise existing courses to include these new topics.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3B: The Mayborn will explore new degrees.

Responsible parties: Curriculum Committee
The Mayborn will develop a separate degree for advertising, which is needed to address changes in the profession. The curriculum committee will explore revisions to other programs within the major including the establishment of more distinct degrees. The plan is for the degree to launch in fall 2023.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3C: The Mayborn will examine the internship requirements and processes as well as explore ways to help students acquire internships.

Responsible parties: Associate Dean, Assistant to the Associate Dean, Faculty internship advisers
Students are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain good internships since companies have cut back during the pandemic. In addition, a number of students feel constrained by the types of internships they are required to obtain. The Mayborn will explore creating an internship coordinator who could help facilitate the hiring process, improve consistency in practices across sequences, and oversee internship policies. We also need to forge strong relationships with alumni and media companies to facilitate internship placement.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3D: The Mayborn faculty will review prerequisites for all classes and examine the course-mapping for all sequences.

Responsible parties: Undergraduate and Graduate curriculum committees
A number of classes have prerequisites that no longer are appropriate and are preventing both majors and non-majors from taking courses that they could handle. This delays progress through the degree for majors and prevents non-majors from taking selected classes and potentially changing majors to journalism. Course-mapping the path for majors through the degree is necessary to ensure students can complete their degrees without scheduling roadblocks and will get the skills required for success in the workplace, even if those skills are in courses outside of their sequences in the school.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3E: The Mayborn will create more stand-alone graduate classes.

Responsible parties: Graduate Director, Graduate Committee, Graduate Coordinator.
The Mayborn currently has a limited set of courses specific for graduate students, particularly in advertising and public relations. Many graduate students take meets-with courses to fulfill their requirements. With the current and expected growth of the graduate program, more stand-alone graduate classes are needed.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3F: The Mayborn will work to continue its relationship with the NBCU Academy and its focus of supporting diverse students by leveraging its grant resources to expand innovative curricular ideas, technology and equipment and guest speaker talent.

Responsible party: Grant PIs, Dean

Specific Goals and Strategies 3G: The Mayborn will examine its current course offerings to identify how to continue to incorporate classes and expand the number of classes that contribute to the Mayborn Nonfiction Literary Conference.

Responsible party: Curriculum Committee, Conference Co-Directors
The Mayborn Conference is one of our signature events that attracts talented journalists and writers. With more faculty and class participation, our students can better take advantage of the conference to learn and network as well as participate in the coverage of the guests and events.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3H: The Mayborn will examine its current offerings at the Frisco campus and determine whether to expand or reduce its presence.

Responsible parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant to the Associate Dean, Advising Director
The Mayborn currently offers several public relations classes at Frisco. These courses were established with the expectation that enrollment growth would lead to a degree being offered completely at Frisco. However, enrollment has been disappointing. The Mayborn faculty will closely examine the current PR offerings as well as other potential classes such as those in the sports certificate classes, stand-alone certificates, and those that could contribute to the BAAS. The school will examine the consistency of content of courses offered at Frisco and Denton.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3I: The Mayborn will explore establishing a bilingual Latino/a/x Hispanic Media Collaborative Program with partners in UNT and the community.

Responsible parties: Dean, Development Officer, Media Manager, Diversity Committee
As part of a Hispanic-serving institution, opportunities for collaboration with UNT departments such as Media Arts, Spanish languages and with local Spanish-language media and will be explored by the Mayborn.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3J: Achieve re-accreditation for undergraduate and graduate programs by ACEJMC after site visit in fall 2022.

Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, Dir. of Graduate Studies, Standard Leads, entire Faculty and Staff
The Mayborn is currently writing its self-study for delivery to our outside accrediting body, ACEJMC, at the end of summer 2022. The site team will visit in October 2022.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3K: Achieve successful UNT Academic Program Review in 2022-2023.

Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, Dir. of Graduate Studies, Area Leads, entire Faculty and Staff
In the next year and a half, the Mayborn will be constantly assessing. Our UNT program review is scheduled for the 2022-2023 academic year and overlaps somewhat with our accreditation year. An external site team will visit in spring of 2023.

Curriculum General Goal 4 (this section mirrors Diversity, Equity and Inclusion General Goal 3): The Mayborn will examine its curriculum to ensure its diversity and inclusion.

Rationale: The Mayborn is committed to ensuring every class includes a diversity element and that some classes (e.g., Race, Gender and Media: A Methods Approach and Comparative International Media Systems) focus primarily on diversity. Reporting classes will identify topics with a focus on diversity and strategic communication class projects will work to include multicultural elements.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4A: The Mayborn will make available resources for faculty to ensure diversity and inclusion elements are in their classes.

Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, Faculty
In 2022, the Mayborn will begin to create a SharePoint/Teams/database of materials related to subjects about diversity, equity and inclusion that will be accessible to all faculty members. These materials could include a pool of lesson modules for faculty to embed in their classes, case studies, access to databases, and a directory of a diverse group of presenters and speakers.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4B: The Mayborn faculty will create and lead an annual multi-media reporting project that would chronicle stories about diverse communities in DFW.

Responsible party: Faculty
This project will include stories about and by underrepresented or minoritized communities and individuals. Many of our students are bilingual and could publish the community stories in English and Spanish or other languages to reach a broader audience.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4C: The Mayborn Faculty will continue to explore making Race, Gender and the Media a required class for all Mayborn Students.

Responsible party: Curriculum Committee, Faculty
These discussions have already begun and will be put on the Curriculum Committee's agenda in 2022-2023.

Goals and Strategies to Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Context and Background
In February 2014, the UNT Opportunity Analysis Committee released a report named "The University of North Texas: A University of Equitable Opportunities for Faculty?"

This report concluded, among other findings, that while the diversity of UNT's students has increased in recent years, the university faculty remains predominantly white and male (Middlemiss, et al., 2014, p. 5).

This report recommended that the university increase women, black and Hispanic/Latino faculty "to meet the needs of its diverse student body, to engage in quality teaching and scholarly activities, mentor students, and engage in community partnerships" (p. 5).

The University of North Texas's diversity policy reads as follows: "The University of North Texas System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political affiliation, disability, marital status, ancestry, genetic information, citizenship, or veteran status in its application and admission process, educational programs and activities, employment policies and use of university facilities."

To this end, the Mayborn School of Journalism adopts a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan in 2014. The faculty significantly revised the plan in 2021 in the wake of the country's renewed awareness of diversity issues. The faculty emphasized its commitment to diversity and anti-racism and its commitment to a plan that serves as a roadmap for creating a more inclusive environment.

As part of its ongoing mission to ensure that the Mayborn School of Journalism is aligned with the University and this increasingly diverse and globally connected world, we are committed to ethnic, sexual orientation and gender diversity, reflecting all socioeconomic levels and in all aspects of our administration, faculty, staff and students.

The following goals are adapted from the School's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan that is currently in place.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion General Goal 1: The leadership of the school is committed to addressing issues of race, gender, culture and ethnicity.

Rationale: As a critical tenet to any diversity, equity and inclusion plan, leadership in all forms--from the board chair of the Advisory Council through the Dean, Associate Dean and other department heads--must embrace racial, gender, cultural and ethnic differences.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1A: The Mayborn will embed Diversity and Inclusion as a required component of the advisory board and its subcommittees and for the school.

Responsible parties: Dean, Advisory Board Chair and Subcommittee Chairs
The school will examine all bylaws and other documents for board and committees to ensure diversity and inclusion are embedded in the text.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1B: The Mayborn will establish budgetary commitments to diversity and inclusion efforts for faculty, staff and students.

Responsible parties: Dean, Development Officer
The school leadership will seek to include funding for diversity and inclusion initiatives in the budget. The Colegrove Research Grant was established as a grant for research in D, E & I and the media. This was established shortly after the approval of the new diversity plan. More such initiatives are needed such as programming, workshops, scholarship efforts and seminars/training. Additionally, communication that celebrates the results of initiatives must be created, distributed widely and consistent.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1C: The Mayborn will evaluate and measure diversity and inclusion efforts on an annual basis.

Diversity Committee
The school Diversity Committee will gather data and report annually on diversity and inclusion.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion General Goal 2: The Mayborn will maintain a climate where all are welcomed.

Rationale: The Mayborn is committed to having faculty and staff work in a culturally inclusive environment and to providing a culturally inclusive environment for students. We are committed to creating an environment for all aspects of our administration, faculty, staff and students that is open, accepting of all members of its community regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender diversity, reflecting all socioeconomic levels.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2A: The Mayborn will consistently measure the climate of faculty, staff and students and seek improvement in the school environment.

Responsible parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Accreditation and Assessment Committee
The Mayborn will encourage full participation in the university-wide climate survey and will develop a student climate survey to analyze the school's learning environment. It will analyze data from the surveys to learn, assess and change patterns where there are negative factors in the work and classroom environments. Identify opportunities to celebrate the successes of our diversity including sharing positive data, profiles and stories as well as highlighting programs such as Mayborn Mentors. The school will conduct training and listening sessions for students, faculty, and staff to better understand each other, identify differences and work toward improving communication.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2B: The Mayborn is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse student body.

Responsible parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Development Officer, Marketing Manager, Faculty, Advising Staff, Student & Program Specialist
The Mayborn will expand relationships with high schools and community colleges with high percentages of diverse student populations by contacting, visiting and recruiting. The Mayborn will increase the number and dollar amount of scholarships and ensure they are promoted to diverse students and that there is a diverse pool of applicants. The Mayborn will assist student media in recruiting and hiring diverse staff members. The Mayborn will support student chapters of professional organizations such as the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The Mayborn will provide students with the mentorship and resources to succeed such as access to an alumni directory, invitations to alumni webinars and Lunch & Learn meetings with faculty, staff, and alumni. The Mayborn will expand job recruiting efforts specifically for minority students and will expand partnerships with media organizations. The Mayborn will encourage students to write about diversity in stories and other projects they produce in classes and student media.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2C: The Mayborn is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty so that by 2026 its faculty is as diverse as its student population.

Responsible Parties: Dean, Associate Dean, Development Officer, Faculty, Student & Program Specialist
The Mayborn will diversify search committees and search pools and will extend job description advertising to various professional groups and venues, including those that represent ethnically, sexual orientation and gender diverse groups. The school will establish a running database of faculty resumes that will serve as a resource for search committees to identify potential candidates. The faculty will also consider a Professor of Practice and other non-traditional hiring categories in order to expand opportunities for experienced, diverse candidates to apply for openings. In order to retain diverse faculty, the school will offer diversity micro-grants, such as the Colegrove Grants, for projects devoted to issues of diversity. The school will develop several one-credit courses on career planning and development with a special emphasis on dealing with microaggressions and unconscious bias in the workplace. The school will ensure faculty get credit for this work on their annual merit evaluations.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion General Goal 3 (this section mirrors Curriculum General Goal 4): The Mayborn will examine its curriculum to ensure its diversity and inclusion.

Rationale: The Mayborn is committed to ensuring every class includes a diversity element and that some classes (e.g., Race, Gender and Media: A Methods Approach and Comparative International Media Systems) focus primarily on diversity. Reporting classes will identify topics with a focus on diversity and strategic communication class projects will work to include multicultural elements.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3A: The Mayborn will make available resources for faculty to ensure diversity and inclusion elements are in their classes.

Dean, Associate Dean, Faculty
The Mayborn will create a database of materials related to subjects about diversity, equity and inclusion that will be accessible to all faculty members. These materials could include a pool of lesson modules for faculty to embed in their classes, case studies, access to databases, and a directory of a diverse group of presenters and speakers.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3B: The Mayborn will create an annual multi-media reporting/social media campaign that would chronicle stories about diverse communities in DFW.

Marketing Director, Faculty
This project will include stories about communities and individuals doing great work. Many of our students are bilingual and they could publish the community stories in English and Spanish or other languages to reach a broader audience. A repository of this work, a database or a website, will be created.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion General Goal 4: The Mayborn will engage alumni and the community in its work on creating a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Rationale: The School of Journalism is committed to engaging members of its alumni and other members of the community, including national/local journalism organizations, community colleges and other civic and/or social organizations to assist in all aspects of helping to recruit and retain faculty, staff and students.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4A: The Mayborn will establish an on-going mentorship program pairing UNT/Mayborn alumni with current students.

Responsible parties, Dean, Faculty
The Mayborn has begun a mentorship program and has a strong alumni base to harness for this effort.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4B: The Mayborn will recruit donors to underwrite internships, diversity field trips such as attending professional conferences, and other activities.

Dean, Development Officer
Activities involving professionals, especially Mayborn alumni, is an excellent method for retaining diverse students.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion General Goal 5: The Mayborn will recognize the success of diverse students, faculty and staff.

Rationale: The Mayborn is committed to sharing its story, celebrating the success of all of its students and ensuring that such recognition is diverse and inclusive.

Specific Goals and Strategies 5A: The Mayborn will use its media platforms to feature students, faculty and staff who do diversity-related work.

Dean, Associate Dean, Marketing Director, Faculty.
The Mayborn has a website, newsletter, social media accounts and other platforms that are ideal for promoting the school's achievements in the area of diversity and inclusion. Marketing materials such as annual reports and brochures will reflect the full diversity of the Mayborn community.
Other efforts could include:

  • Maintain diversity, equity, and inclusion statement on our website.
  • Add demographic datapoints about Mayborn's diversity to website accreditation numbers.
  • Consider creating an award to alumni, companies, nonprofits or other entities who best promotes diversity/equity/inclusion

Goals and Strategies to Enhance and Build Leading-Edge Research

Context and Background
As mass communication scholars, creatives and professionals, we seek to understand the complex and evolving relationship between media and society, inform the industries and serve our communities and professions with leading-edge research.

In spring of 2021, the university embarked on an exercise to enhance and coordinate our scholarly endeavors called "The Research Roadmap." Each department, school and college were asked to create a roadmap for the next five years that identifies research strengths, reputation, areas of expansion and what is needed to grow these endeavors that include support of scholars, creative work, technology and graduate education.

The Mayborn School of Journalism is best known regionally and nationally for its research on the relationship between media and society. We are historians, social scientists, practitioners and critical cultural scholars that focus on media and society. When reflecting on influences and issues surrounding society today, mass media are at the center. The work of the faculty on the research roadmap found that in supporting our study of media and society, there are five key research areas where we have well-published scholarly and creative faculty.

  1. Health Information
  2. Race, Gender and the Media
  3. Storytelling - Narrative Non-fiction, Persuasion and Engagement
  4. Media History
  5. Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Many of the goals and strategies for research growth and support found in this strategic plan come from the faculty's collective work on the research roadmap.

Research General Goal 1: The Mayborn School will continue to update lab endeavors and expand initiatives to grow the collaboration, diversity, reach and scope of our research efforts.

Rationale: The media is at the core of society and influences and is studied in many other disciplines. Therefore, the Mayborn Research Roadmap identified potential areas for collaboration across campus that can lead to growth including expanding our existing Innovation Lab that contains eye-tracking and physio measures, as well as partnerships for possible centers to enhance our inclusive communication research.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1A: Grow the Innovation Lab in scope and size over the next five years.

Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, Development Officer (DO), Lab director, Research Committee

In the next five years, the School will:

  • Designate a director to manage and lead expansion in the next two years
  • Seek UNT and industry partnerships for sustainability and growth
  • Seek industry funding to update and expand technology
  • Seek industry partnerships for research projects
  • Reassess space needs with an eye on growth

Specific Goals and Strategies 1B: Explore partnerships with other units (Media Arts, CVAD, UNeTe, etc.) at UNT to create research centers, including, but not limited to the areas of Hispanic/Latinx Media and/or Narrative Journalism.
In 2022, host meetings to determine interest and narrow collaborations with the goal of establishing one center/hub/initiative by the end of this strategic plan.

Research General Goal 2: Increase internal and external funding to support scholarly and creative endeavors.

Rationale: In the faculty survey as well as in the research roadmap, a need for "seed" or "micro" grants was highlighted. The faculty see these smaller internal grants, such as the aforementioned Colegrove Research grants, as an aid to develop initial projects that can be used as launching points to seek larger, external grant proposals. Additionally, as an R1 university, securing external research grants are part of our mission.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2A: Increase the number of external funding grant proposals threefold in the next five years. Work with Office of Research, Corporate and Foundation Relations, as well as the yet-to-be-named CLASS Special Assistant to the Executive Dean for Research to identify grant/funding opportunities to triple the number of external proposals in the next five years.

Responsible party: Research faculty, Dean, Associate Dean, Class Special Assistant to the Executive Dean for Research

Specific Goals and Strategies 2B: Create realistic incentives in 2022 - 2023 to allow faculty to embark on grant work.

Responsible party: Research Committee, Dean

Specific Goals and Strategies 2C: Update School Promotion and Tenure documents in 2022 - 2023 to ensure grant work, whether successful or unsuccessful, is valued in the review process.

Responsible party: PAC, Dean, Associate Dean (AD)

Specific Goals and Strategies 2D: Fundraise for additional internal "micro-grants" for support of faculty research - to support research endeavors such as exploratory projects, travel, and equipment.

Responsible party: Dean, DO

Research General Goal 3: Replace and increase tenure-track faculty lines in the next five years.

Rationale: While we are a professional school, our non-tenured faculty far outnumber our tenured faculty. UNT's R1 designation dictates what we increase our tenure track lines in order to increase our research output in support of that designation.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3A: In the next two years (2022-23 & 2023-24) we have immediate need for two tenure-track lines:

  • Immediate Need: Tenure-track line in Advertising to support new degree scheduled for launch in 2023 (replaces a tenure-track retirement).
  • Immediate Need: Tenure-track line in Broadcast/Visual Communication - in the growing research environment that is rich in visuals, scholarly output in this area is a must for any mass communication school (broadcast area has not had TT line in more than a decade).

Responsible party: Dean, CLASS Executive Dean

Specific Goals and Strategies 3B: Explore the creation/funding of Endowed Chairs.
Seek the funding to create at least one Endowed Chair, for example in Race, Gender & the Media or in Advertising/PR/Strategic Communication, in the next five years. A chair would grow our number of tenure-track lines and allow for the hiring of a senior scholar to lead research and grant efforts. Responsible party: Dean, DO

Specific Goals and Strategies 3C: Explore fundraising for the creation of Research Professorships that would support scholarly activities.

Responsible party: Dean, Development Officer

Research General Goal 4: Celebrate Research/Creative work

Rationale: The faculty survey and reinforced in discussions and conversations, showed that the School does not celebrate research successes appropriately or uphold an environment for scholarly collaboration. Key to creating a culture of research is to recognize and celebrate our research work through communication and programming. This next set of goals sets out strategies to highlight research and cultivate collaboration.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4A: Create a monthly Research Spotlight (also Alumni Spotlight, Industry Spotlight, Student Spotlight) shared on all social channels.

Responsible party: Comm/Mkt Director

Specific Goals and Strategies 4B: Host a bi-semester Research Roundtable/Lunch & Learn for faculty and graduate students.

Responsible party: Research Committee, Graduate Committee

Specific Goals and Strategies 4C: Increase the number of nominations of faculty for research awards.

Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, yet-to-be-named CLASS Special Assistant to the Executive Dean for Research

Specific Goals and Strategies 4D: Increase Alumni and Board exposure to our research successes (beyond social) by highlighting activities in board meetings, newsletters, monthly emails, annual reports and fundraising initiatives.

Responsible party: Dean, Comm/Mkt Director, DO

Research General Goal 5: Continue to recruit and retain a diverse, global pool of graduate students

Rationale: With the university's increased focus on research output, faculty need the support of stellar, diverse graduate students who may serve as teaching and research assistants to meet growing research needs. The need for qualified graduate students was also stressed in the faculty survey. The Director of Graduate Studies has done an outstanding job of recruiting graduate students which manifested into the School's first ever graduate enrollment of more than 100 in fall 2021. This growth needs to be maintained in order to meet the needs of an expanding school research agenda.

Specific Goals and Strategies 5A: Continue to offer competitive scholarships via the Mayborn Scholars endowment.

Responsible party: Graduate selection committee

Specific Goals and Strategies 5B: Increase grad-track (GTP) program recruiting targeting current top Mayborn undergraduate students. Work to recruit and retain at least 10 GTP students each year.

Responsible party: Graduate ambassadors, Dir. of Grad Studies, Advising team, AD, faculty

Specific Goals and Strategies 5C: Create a plan in the next two years for external recruiting of graduate students.

Responsible party: Graduate Committee, Dir. of Graduate Studies

Specific Goals and Strategies 5D: Create a plan in the next two years to increase research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students (also as part of Innovation Lab expansion).

Responsible party: Research Committee

Goals and Strategies to Enhance and Build Student and Graduate Success

Context and Background
The School seeks to holistically support students through their entire tenure at Mayborn - from recruiting and retention to graduation and finally placement in their chosen careers. This section is divided into five main goals supporting this progression - enrollment and recruiting, retention, graduation, placement and a specific area for graduate student advances. The goals of this area are aggregated from results of our staff and faculty surveys, but mainly from our student survey. The students praised our award-winning advising team. In fact, they said that the team, solely serving Mayborn students, was an integral part of their successes. An exclusive advising team is also a marker of our uniqueness as a separate, named school. The team already leads our recruiting efforts by participating in all orientations, spring and fall preview days, transfer fairs and spearheading School tours. However, participation of our advising team must be augmented by faculty participation, in order to reach the student successes and Mayborn growth outlined below.

Additionally, the students surveyed praised our student media and student organizations. The School cannot stress enough the importance of these groups in retention. These entities allow for the students to graduate with not only practical experience, but leadership and professional skills. The shortage of internships during this COVID time period has reinforced the importance of these extracurricular paths to supplement classroom education. We are proud of our media and organizations that include the NT Daily, NT Daily TV, SWOOP, AGenZ as well as NABJ, NAHJ and SPJ.

Student Success General Goal 1: Recruiting & Enrollment Growth
Stabilize undergraduate enrollment and work to grow to 1,000 undergraduate students or approximately 15 percent over the next five years.

Rationale: Beginning in fall 2017, and spurred by a number of factors, the Mayborn School has seen declining undergraduate enrollment each year from the peak of more than 1,200 in 2016. All of the specific goals below (as well as goals in other areas - curriculum, diversity, research) will contribute to enrollment growth.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1A: Create a Recruitment Committee (fall 2022) that includes faculty from all sequences to develop plans to reach diverse prospective students that includes targeted high school recruiting.

Responsible Party: Recruitment Committee, Advising team, Program Coordinator, faculty.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1B: Continue external high school recruiting initiative, Adopt-A-School, with a more focused recruitment effort using data to target diverse and feeder schools.

Responsible party: Advising Director, Program Coordinator, Faculty

Specific Goals and Strategies 1C: Continue the Scripps Howard Emerging Journalists Program as the manifestation of the School's High School Journalism Workshop.

Responsible party: Dean, Program Principal Investigator (PI), DO

  • Continue HS student internship placement and track conversion of high school student program participants to enrollment in Mayborn
  • Continue to promote program to high school and community college instructors for potential prospects for workshop as well as undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Prioritize funding the program beyond the 3-year SHF commitment

Specific Goals and Strategies 1D: Increase Internal Recruiting within UNT

Responsible party: Comm/Mkt Director, Dean, Associate Dean

  • Form partnership with CVAD as option for unsuccessful portfolio students
  • Form partnerships with COB and MRTS
  • Promote certificates and minor options across campus (revisit majors-only)
  • Promote our graduate programs and GTP to undergrads
  • Buy digital/print Ads in the Daily/KNTU to reach UNT at large

Specific Goals and Strategies 1E: Expand Transfers/Community College Outreach -Ensure recruitment team (including advisers, faculty and/or student ambassadors) visits targeted, diverse junior colleges each year to recruit students.

Responsible party: Advising team, faculty, student ambassadors

Specific Goals and Strategies 1F: Increase external outreach and engagement communication targeting prospective/accepted students and their parents and high school teachers/counselors via website and social. Record results annually.

Responsible party: Comm/Mkt Director, Dean, Advising team, Student Agencies, Director of Grad. Studies, Faculty
This includes:

  • An annual targeted social media recruiting campaign
  • By the end of this year, the creation of a dynamic form to request speakers and tours, and posting recorded content on our website for teacher use.
  • Continue to build and refresh current web pages that promote current student work and awards won
  • Enlist AgenZ and SWOOP on an as needed basis to aid in creation of materials and recruiting
  • Promote certificates and minor options
  • Promote our graduate programs and GTP to undergrads
  • Target high performing students with an interest in journalism as identified through Texas high school journalism awards and through relationships with advisors and teachers congratulatory letters and emails and social media posts.
  • Continue handwritten post cards to all interested students as well as letters to all accepted students.
  • Work with university for smooth transition to new, Omni web platform in 2022-2023.

Specific Goals and Strategies 1G: Continue to support the Advisory Board's creation of scholarships for FTIC and transfer students (established in 2019 for 75th anniversary of Journalism at UNT) in order to target recruit to the Mayborn School. With one award annually, work to build endowment to support at least five students annually in the next five years.

Responsible party: Dean, DO

Specific Goals and Strategies 1H: Reinstate Mayborn Student Ambassador Program to help in recruiting efforts - with scholarship and clear requirements. Also aids in retention of chosen students.

Responsible party: Director of Advising, Dean

Student Success General Goal 2: Retention
Maintain one, two and three-year retention rates for both first-time in college students and transfer students above the university average.

Rationale: The Mayborn School has consistently retained students above the UNT average. However, with students faced with continuing physical and financial uncertainties from COVID-19, the School is concerned about the semester over semester retention of students. Our efforts will work to alleviate/lessen those concerns. Additionally, a welcoming environment and involvement in the life of the school are also key to retention.

Specific Goals and Strategies 2A: Track retention rates and hold school rates above university average. Record the results by Aug. 15 online for the previous year, per ACEJMC requirements.

Responsible party: Director of Advising

Specific Goals and Strategies 2B: Grow Board of Advisors Mayborn Mentors Initiative with help of UNT Career Center initiatives.

Responsible party: Dean, Mayborn Career Counselor

Specific Goals and Strategies 2C: Utilize new Mayborn-specific Career Coach to create new and expand Mayborn Mentor programming and career-readiness/internship counseling/programming. Create/host/support four large events each semester along with one-on-one coaching.

Responsible party: Mayborn Career Counselor

Specific Goals and Strategies 2D: Expand the efforts of STUCO - the Mayborn Student Council - made up of student organization/media leaders - to recruit more students to get involved into student organizations/media and create a STUCO signature/sponsored event once a year beginning in 2022-2023.

Responsible party: Director of Advising, Faculty Advisors

Specific Goals and Strategies 2E: Continue to grow student involvement in the student-run SWOOP advertising/public relations firm, AgenZ public relations firm, the Hatch Visuals agency, NT Daily in print/online and TV, as well as student-led organizations PRSSA, SPJ, and NABJ by hosting a "student organization fair" every semester.

Responsible party: Dean's office, Faculty Advisors

Specific Goals and Strategies 2F: Continue to support the NT Daily. Because the Daily is funded by limited and stagnant Student Services Fees, the School will partner with other UNT student media entities to hire an advertising sales position to allow for an alternative funding source for the Daily. This will enhance this important student experience by allowing for funds to pay for training, equipment and travel. The School will continue to support the Daily, the award-winning student newspaper and voice of UNT students, staff and faculty for more than 100 years, by financially supplementing needs and student experiences.

Responsible party: Dean, Daily Advisor

Specific Goals and Strategies 2G: Recognize current student successes via website, social media, e-newsletters, annual report, annual Celebrate Mayborn, Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, etc.

Responsible party: Comm/Mkt Director

Specific Goals and Strategies 2H: Conduct annual student survey for feedback on curriculum, advising, climate, placement, etc., and share results with faculty/staff.

Responsible party: Assessment, Curriculum & Diversity Committees

Student Success General Goal 3: Graduation
Maintain four, five and six-year graduation rates for both first-time in college students and transfer students above the university average.

Rationale: The Mayborn School has consistently graduated students above the UNT average. However, the data shows the first COVID-19 graduating class of transfer students saw a drop in four-year rates. With students faced with continued physical and financial uncertainties brought on by COVID-19, the School is also concerned about getting students across the graduation finish line. Financial help is both a retention and graduation issue, the plan below lays out monetary support that goes beyond Mayborn's more than $250,000 in merit scholarships awarded annually.

Specific Goals and Strategies 3A: Track the four, five and six-year graduation rates and hold school rates above university average. Record the results by Aug. 15 online for the previous year, per ACEJMC requirements.

Responsible party: Director of Advising, Webmaster

Specific Goals and Strategies 3B: Better Together Fund Growth - Continue to grow newly established fund (established during COVID, 2020) to help students with dire financial need complete their degree. One award annually on average now. Expand to support five students annually beginning by 2026.

Responsible party: Dean, DO

Specific Goals and Strategies 3C: Internship & Professional Development Fund - Continue to grow this newly established fund (established 2021) that allows students to take the required internship course credit without further burdening their finances. One award annually now. Expand to support five students annually beginning by 2026.

Responsible party: Dean, DO

Student Success General Goal 4: Placement
To give students career readiness counseling and programming beyond the classroom to prepare them for professional internships and job searches as part of the CLASS and President's Career Readiness Initiatives.

Rationale: While the Mayborn School has always prepared students for industry work in and out of the classroom, this goal expands our holistic efforts. Our efforts will be helped tremendously by a newly hired Career Counselor just for the Mayborn School.

Specific Goals and Strategies 4A: Utilize new Mayborn Career Counselor to create programming such as Mayborn-specific recruiting/career fair events. Increase the number of alumni professionals, businesses and students participating in these career fairs. Track participation.

Responsible party: Career Counselor

Specific Goals and Strategies 4B: Develop and grow the Mayborn Group that is part of the Career Center's expanding online Mentor program/CMS "Mean Green Mentors."

Responsible party: Career Counselor

Specific Goals and Strategies 4C: Offer a rotation of one-hour career readiness and skills-enhancing classes like the NBCU Academy sponsored class being offered in spring 2022.

Responsible party: Associate Dean, Faculty, Career Counselor

Specific Goals and Strategies 4D: Create a career counselor/placement program for graduate students.

Responsible Party: Grad Studies Director, Graduate Student & Program Coordinator, Career Counselor

Specific Goals and Strategies 4E: Continue and develop partnerships with professional organizations and media to create a pipeline of Mayborn graduates into the industries for both internships and jobs.

Responsible party: Dean, Associate Dean, Faculty, Career Counselor, DO

Specific Goals and Strategies 4F: Execute annual graduation survey (six months after) to gain placement data from graduates. Track and report progress.

Responsible party: Dean, Assessment Committee.

Student Success General Goal 5: Graduate Students
Maintain graduate enrollment at 100 students, with incremental growth each year, while maintaining retention and graduation rates, as well as a welcoming environment.

Rationale: All of the goals above include graduate students, however, specific goals for graduate education success are in order.

Specific Goals and Strategies 5A: Continue to maintain enrollment in all graduate programs of 100 students with the goal of adding five more students a year to reach 125 by the end of this five-year plan.

Responsible party: Dir. of Graduate Studies, Graduate Advisor, faculty

Specific Goals and Strategies 5B: Work to grow retention rates and continue graduation rates above the UNT average.

Responsible party: Dir. of Graduate Studies, Graduate Advisor, faculty.

Specific Goals and Strategies 5C: Create a more robust training for Research Assistants including IRB certification.

Responsible party: Graduate Committee, Research Committee.

Specific Goals and Strategies 5D: Explore funding research assistantships for the MSDCA student pool.

Responsible party: Dir. of Graduate Studies, Graduate Committee.

Specific Goals and Strategies 5E: Strengthen marketing of interdisciplinary doctorate program and seek to grow it to from one to five students enrolled within five years.

Responsible party: Dir. of Graduate Studies, Graduate Advisor, faculty

Specific Goals and Strategies 5F: Conduct annual student survey for feedback on curriculum, advising, climate, placement, etc., and share results with faculty/staff.

Responsible party: Assessment, Curriculum & Diversity Committees

Specific Goals and Strategies 5G: Continue to host Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference annually, enlisting graduate students to document the event, write narrative stories about speakers/panelists, help staff and attend the event.

Responsible party: Conference Co-Directors, Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Student & Program Coordinator

References:

Middlemiss, W., Lawrence, A., Moen, W., and Re Cruz, A. (2014). "The University of North Texas: A University of Equitable Opportunities for Faculty?" UNT Opportunity Analysis Committee.

Policies of the University of North Texas, 1.3.7, "Nondiscrimination/Equal opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Non-Retaliation, p. 1. http://policy.unt.edu/sites/default/files/untpolicy/1.3.7_Nondiscrimination_Equal%20Opportunity_Affirmative%20Action%20and%20Nonretaliation.pdf

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