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 the following policies:
- Mayborn School of Journalism Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plan
- Adopted 12/5/14 by the Mayborn School of Journalism faculty
- Revised 2/12/21 by the Mayborn School of Journalism faculty
We, the faculty of the Mayborn School of Journalism, stand against racism and any other form of discrimination. To emphasize our commitment to diversity and anti-racism and to our diverse, multicultural group of students, faculty, and staff, we are committed to a plan that serves as a roadmap to creating a more inclusive environment.
As part of our 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.
As a critical tenet to any diversity, equity and inclusion plan, the leadership in all forms - from the board chair of the Advisory Council through the Dean, Associate Dean and other department heads - embrace racial, gender, cultural and ethnic differences. The plan affirms the following
- Embed "Diversity & Inclusion" as a required component of activities of the advisory board and its subcommittees and for the School of Journalism
- Establish budgetary commitments to diversity and inclusion efforts for faculty, staff and students
- Evaluate and measure diversity and inclusion activities on an annual basis
Climate and Culture
The School of Journalism is committed to having faculty and staff work in a discrimination-free environment and to providing a discrimination-free 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.
- Encourage full participation in university-wide climate survey
- Develop a student climate survey to provide an on-going assessment of student sentiment about the School of Journalism's learning environment
- Analyze data specific to the School of Journalism to learn, assess and change patterns where there are negative factors in the work and classroom environments
- Conduct training and listening sessions for faculty, staff and students to better understand each other, identify differences and work toward improving communication
The School of Journalism acknowledges that as a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and is committed to, as well as
- Recruit a diverse student body, in part by contacting and visiting various high schools and community colleges in our service area and offering scholarships to talented students
- Expand relationships with high schools and community colleges with high percentages of diverse student populations by contacting and visiting them
- Increase the number and dollar amount of available scholarships to ensure they are well promoted to diverse students and that there is a diverse pool of applicants
- Assist student media, including the North Texas Daily, NT Daily TV, KNTU, SWOOP, HATCH, Agen_Z, in recruiting, selecting and/or hiring diverse staff members in order to help reflect various perspectives across campus
- Offer advice, support and partnerships with student chapters of professional organizations such as the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists
- Provide students with the mentorship and resources to succeed. For example:
- Access to alumni directory
- Invitations to alumni webinars
- Lunch & Learn meetings with faculty, staff and alumni
- Expand job recruiting efforts specifically for minority students/partnerships with media organizations, PR firms, nonprofits, ad agencies
- The School of Journalism encourages students to write about diversity issues in their classes, internships, projects and other programs
- In an effort to make the ethnic and gender profile of the faculty as similar as possible to the student body, The School of Journalism is committed to recruiting a diverse faculty and staff. The school is committed to diversifying search committees and search pools and to extending job description advertising to various professional groups and venues, including those that represent ethnically, sexual orientation and gender diverse groups
- Establish a running database of faculty resumes that will serve as a resource for search committees to identify potential candidates
- Offer diversity micro-grants for faculty to research/professional/creative work (e.g. Colegrove Grants). This could include reporting, visual, PR, or advertising projects devoted to issues of diversity and including, or formal academic research focusing on diversity and equity. This could be a cross-campus/interdisciplinary research opportunity
- Develop several one-credit courses on career planning and development with a special emphasis on dealing with microaggressions and unconscious bias in the workplace. Ensure faculty get credit for this work on their annual merit evaluations
The School of Journalism 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.
- Create a database of materials related to subjects about diversity, equity and inclusion accessible by all faculty members
- Create a pool of "modules" for faculty to embed in their classes, including recommending lesson plans, readings/videos and suggested assignments
- Create a directory of diverse group of presenters and speakers accessible by all faculty
- Coordinate an annual Mayborn-wide multimedia reporting/social media campaign, a project that would chronicle stories about the diverse communities in DFW. This would include stories about communities, individuals doing great work. Many of our students are bilingual and they could publish the community stories in English and Spanish/other languages to reach a broader audience
Alumni and Community
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.
- Establish an on-going mentorship program pairing UNT/Mayborn alumni with current students
- Recruit donors to underwrite internships, diversity field trips such as conferences (NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, NLGJA, PRSA, AAAAs, multicultural advertising, etc.), and other activities
The School of Journalism is committed to sharing its story, celebrating the success of all of its students and ensuring that such recognition is diverse and inclusive.
- Use the Mayborn home page, social media account, and newsletter to feature faculty members, staff members, or graduate students who do diversity-related work and are committed to students
- Ensure that all communication and marketing materials such as Mayborn Insider, Annual Report, websites and social media tools reflect the full diversity of the Mayborn community
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