The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) voted in April 2022 to provisionally reaccredit the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
UNC Hussman was found compliant in eight of nine ACEJMC standards and remains accredited. It will be reviewed again in 2024 to assess progress on the standard for diversity and inclusiveness. The school is committed to the work ahead that will require the focus and effort of our entire community.
This site includes several documents related to the accreditation process so that our community is informed and can contribute in our efforts to address them.
- UNC Hussman Accreditation Self Study
The school’s self-study was completed and submitted to ACEJMC in September 2020 as originally planned. The self-study was subsequently updated to reflect activity and changes during the site visit pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was resubmitted to ACEJMC in September 2021 in advance of the rescheduled site visit in October 2021.
- ACEJMC Site Team Report
In October 2021, an ACEJMC site team visited the school and found it compliant in eight of its nine standards and recommended reaccreditation (without provision). The site team found the school out of compliance with its diversity and inclusiveness standard.
- ACEJMC Accrediting Committee Letter
In March 2022, the Accrediting Committee voted unanimously 12-0 to affirm the site team’s assessment and recommendation.
- ACEJMC Accrediting Council Letter
In April 2022, the Accrediting Council reversed the determination of the site team and the Accrediting Committee by a 5-7 vote. The Accrediting Council then voted to provisionally reaccredit the school by a 10-2 vote.
- DEI Plan of Action
In October 2022, the school ratified a new DEI Plan of Action after its faculty, staff and administration worked deliberatively and collaboratively to develop the plan that addresses ACEJMC’s concerns, and more importantly, that helps fulfill our own commitment to an exemplary school culture that is welcoming and inclusive and that embraces diversity as a strength of the school.
The challenges with achieving a model culture of diversity and inclusion are not unique to our school, but we are a highly visible leader in our field, and we must embrace this as an opportunity for leadership in ensuring a diverse, inclusive and welcoming experience at our school, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and throughout higher education.
That leadership includes Trevy McDonald, the school’s first chief diversity officer and member of the school’s Executive Leadership team, and Nori Comello, who chairs our ABIDE committee charged with helping to embed access, belonging, inclusion, diversity and equity throughout the school. Under their leadership, the ABIDE committee’s role, activity and reach has expanded significantly.
We will continue to grow and expand programs initiated prior to the accreditation ruling that have included listening sessions and opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage directly with our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; revising promotion and tenure guidelines to specifically recognize and value creative and scholarly work, mentoring and service focused on improving diversity, equity and inclusion; and an assessment of the school’s culture.
We expect to be held accountable as we continue our journey. The ACEJMC site team recognized our achievements in serving our students and our state throughout their report, which should help ignite our commitment to meet this challenge. Under the leadership of a new dean, Raul Reis — who joined the school on July 1 — the school has established a DEI Plan of Action for the work ahead. The school is developing a DEI-focused website to share our ongoing efforts and report on our progress.