Announcements

November 14, 2019

Dear colleagues,

Below is a summary of the All Leadership Team (ALT) meeting, which took place on Wednesday, November 12.

Members in attendance: Andra Brichacek, Josh Buetow, Chris Chavez, Pat Curtin, Donna Davis (virtually), Andrew DeVigal (virtually), Maria Fisher-Boothe, Scott Maier, Todd Milbourn, Juan-Carlos Molleda (moderator), Sung Park, Leslie Steeves, Gretchen Soderlund, and Angie Whittington (notetaker)

Guest(s): Ellen Peters

Observer(s): Gabriela Martinez

Dear colleagues,

Below is a summary of the All Leadership Team (ALT) meeting, which took place on Wednesday, November 12.

Members in attendance: Andra Brichacek, Josh Buetow, Chris Chavez, Pat Curtin, Donna Davis (virtually), Andrew DeVigal (virtually), Maria Fisher-Boothe, Scott Maier, Todd Milbourn, Juan-Carlos Molleda (moderator), Sung Park, Leslie Steeves, Gretchen Soderlund, and Angie Whittington (notetaker)

Guest(s): Ellen Peters

Observer(s): Gabriela Martinez

• Incentivizing Eugene faculty teaching in Portland – Donna Davis proposed counting one class in Portland as 1.5 classes. Others argued that we cannot spare an essentially .5 release for Eugene classes. It was alternatively suggested that faculty teaching in Portland be paid a stipend for course overload. Next Steps: Josh recommended a course assessment of core Portland classes that should be taught by Eugene-based faculty. Options to incentivize Eugene-based faculty participation in Portland-based professional master’s programs will be further explored and presented to the faculty for consideration.

• Speaker nominations – Andra Brichacek explained that we have time and resources to do something special with the Ruhl Lecture this year to amplify the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. Next steps: The Journalism area ideally will own the event and discuss it. Tim, Juan-Carlos, and Andra will attend the next journalism sequence meeting. We will seek speakers with connections to SOJC networks. The preference will be to find someone who is relevant to students. The communications team will continue to handle logistics, but ideally the event would be endorsed by the journalism sequence. A call for nominations will be sent out soon.

• MSCT Associate Program – Ellen Peters. The MCST team will open applications for an Associate Program on Friday, November 15. The goal is to foster deeper faculty involvement and cross collaboration among disciplines. Ellen also explained the center’s winter-spring programs and activities (attached). She briefly discussed the rationale and process for the potential name change for MCST. The primary mission of the center is research and teaching in science communication, and the proposed new name will reflect this. Next steps: We will communicate clearly that the mission of the center has not changed. Consultation about the name change will require broader conversations with the President and Provost office because this is a presidential initiative. The MCST team will present at the faculty staff meeting on Friday.

• Action Plan Update – Open forum
Scott appreciated that multiple issues from the climate survey and retreat have been addressed. He supported creating a mobile newsroom. He also said the idea of an optional seven-course teaching load for career faculty raises questions, but he is glad to see the conversation started. Juan-Carlos reported that the ‘Oregon Story’ project is still under collaborative discussion and requires significant funds. Andrew suggested leveraging Snowden or OPB networks to build the project. Next steps: We need to converse further about the implications of reducing course loads. Josh, Juan-Carlos, and others will do an analysis in preparation for the quarterly financial meeting with Central Administration on December 20. Josh and Juan-Carlos will report back to the ALT and faculty and staff in January.

November 11, 2019

I have had insightful conversations with this passionate and concerned student. Let’s support Cynthia Aguilar-Arizmendi in this significant moment of her life.

https://www.registerguard.com/news/20191111/dreamer-stands-up-to-emphasize-dacas-importance

November 11, 2019

Dear faculty and staff,
I would like to share with you an update of the Action Plan in response to the Climate Survey. The activities (decision, actions) are reported for the following categories included in the plan: strategic vision, resource management, and leadership.
Strategic Vision
• Faculty and staff, with the guidance and moderation of Damian, contributed to a SWOT analysis at our annual retreat.
• A summary of the retreat with a draft vision and goals was sent to all faculty and staff on Monday, September 30.
• My annual self-evaluation performance that I submitted to the Office of the Provost included similar goals for AY 2019-2020 as those that emerged from the retreat:

1. To improve the morale of our career faculty and overall climate of the school by supporting plans for a better understanding and empathy for each other’s work and responsibilities, especially the increased tasks staff and faculty have taken on.
2. To take full advantage of the 25th Anniversary of the PhD Program in Media Studies and help consolidate the role and activities of the Media Center for Science and Technology (new name under consideration to better communicate the mission of the center) as a cross-disciplinary research center that amplifies the scholarly profile of the school, to promote research excellence and attract PhD students who will help advance the research agenda of SOJC scholars and support the teaching needs of the school.
3. To achieve the full potential of the new production facilities of the Experience Hub and the OR Lab in Portland by providing internal grants to faculty for special hands-on and research projects and continuing to forge industry partnerships and offer media and research services across the university.
4. To seek and secure donor and/or foundation funds for the creation of a mobile newsroom, tentatively named Oregon Story, that will connect the dots with all journalism programs, such as Agora, Track Bureau, and Catalyst.
5. To bring SOJC faculty and staff together by securing additional space in or close to Allen Hall and improving connectivity and programs between Eugene and Portland.
6. To take advantage of the 20th Anniversary of the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and the 25th Anniversary of the Snowden Program to reaffirm our commitment to ethical practices and the sustainability of local news operations.
7. To encourage the sharpening of the goals and curricula of each sequence (area of specialization) to ensure it supports the vision of the school as an innovative and entrepreneurial leader and provides a more coherent pathway for student success.

• At the faculty meeting on Friday, November 15, Deb and Gretchen will moderate a discussion of our academic vision in light of the 2020 IHP process. (My email sent 11/05/2019 explains the nature and purpose of the exercise. I have also shared additional insights with the moderators, to be shared on Friday).
• I will use the insights of both the retreat and academic visioning exercise to complete a template that will soon be sent by the Office of the Provost to all deans. Further consultation with the various SOJC areas and programs will continue throughout that process.
Resource Management
• SOJC leadership is mindful that any effort requires resources across all levels.
• The list of SOJC committees is developed in consultation with faculty and shared with all. We are conscious of the need to reduce unnecessary duplication of service assignments.
• During the summer, staff workflow and responsibilities have been revised, including supervisory lines and space allocation. We hired a human resources manager, Maria Fischer-Boothe, and a new director of communication, Andra Brichacek. The business office now has a new director, Josh Buetow, who is working more closely with the dean and associate deans on systems to improve financial operations and transparent decision making.
• We will continue striving for faculty and staff meetings that are more participatory and engaging.
• A separate staff meeting was eliminated. Together faculty and staff actively participated in the fall retreat.
• The DAC has provided clear feedback to the dean and requested immediate actions on sensitive items (e.g., building maintenance, plan for a potential GTTF strike, reclassification of instructors to professor of practice), which were all addressed and communicated. The next DAC meeting is on Tuesday, November 12.
• Talent analysis and retention continue to be a priority for the dean, associate deans, and area heads. The dean, in consultation with associate deans and area heads, have handled retention strategies and offers for individual faculty and staff members.
• The undergraduate affairs office continues to work with area heads and program directors in teaching assignments and scheduling. For the AY 2020-21, we could try allowing career faculty to opt for seven instead of eight courses based on the flexibility provided by our NTTF policy. This can only be achieved with the cooperation of faculty, area heads, program directors, and the undergraduate affairs office. These are some of the essential conditions for this proposed action to be implemented:

  1. Cooperation across sequences and programs to ensure we can cover student needs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  2. Required courses of the curriculum are covered.
  3. Specialized, elective courses are limited or eliminated.
  4. Class sizes are enlarged to accreditation limits (e.g., 20 students per lab class, with a minimum of 16 students needed for the course to make).
  5. Additional GE support is available as needed.
  6. Area heads and directors submit teaching assignments on time, respecting SOJC and university requirements and deadlines.
  7. Course release guidelines are strictly enforced.
  8. Greater accountability for service and research/creative/professional work (for those choosing a seven-course load)

I will discuss the above considerations further when I meet with DAC on Tuesday November 12.
Experiential learning is an SOJC priority, and administration will continue providing resources for faculty and students to accomplish transformational activities at Allen Hall or anywhere in the nation or the world. For this to continue happening, we need to fairly and consistently manage the limited resources we have. That is, discrepancies across sequences as to how experiential learning programs are managed and supported need to be minimized. While academic areas each have some unique needs and do not need to mirror each other precisely, the current wide range of practices and particularly the wider issue of how such work is compensated deserves more discussion. Consequently, the Experiential Trips Committee will be charged with this task.

Leadership
• The Executive Leadership Team, All Leadership Team meeting, and UAC meetings are being announced in advance, are open to interested faculty and staff, and meeting summaries are shared with faculty and staff.
• Administration continues to closely follow the UO Institutional Hiring Plan (IHP), which includes stages and specific steps on a tight timeline. We will be diligent in sharing information about each step in that annual process and will continue to create time for discussion about the hiring process at faculty meetings. On November 15, two motions will be presented for consideration: the motion from the search committee on the public relations instructor hire and the slate of proposed finalists for the Immersive Media Psychology position.
• Faculty (as guaranteed by the CBA), classified staff (as guaranteed by SEIU), and officers of administration are entitled to their own opinions and are encouraged to express them in private and in school, area, and committee meetings. The dean ratifies the paramount role of free expression and respect for multiple views in this community. Faculty and staff are encouraged to inform the dean about any behaviors they experience or perceive as suppressing free speech. The dean’s office prioritizes free speech and the expression of opinions and is committed to do everything possible to encourage open and respectful discussion of controversial topics.
• More regularly (without abusing channels), emails updates and announcements are sent by the Dean’s Office, dean himself, and associated deans.
• The dean and associate deans have an open policy for meetings with faculty, staff, and students. We have engaged with faculty and staff in a variety of ways. Moreover, casual and formal meetings between administration and members of the SOJC community can happen in a variety of fora, such as behind closed doors, in hallways, and sometimes over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. We are active listeners and are working to respond to pressing issues in a consultative and timely manner.

The strengthening and progress of our community will only be achieved with the participation and cooperation of all of its members.

Onward,

Juan-Carlos

November 7, 2019

Dear colleagues,

Here is a summary of the meeting I had with associate deans (Executive Leadership Team) on Monday.

• Overview on What’s Information? Conference – Janet Wasko. Document attached. Janet is working on funding, facilities, reception, and is open to suggestions about possible keynote speakers for the event. Doctoral students that are excited to work with this conference. We would like to include this with the 25th Anniversary of the PhD celebration as a way to “continue celebrating”. Janet was invited to present the update to the ELT because we don’t want the conference to be a missed opportunity, and we would like to be more involved in the planning and execution. The provost office has approved of the event and sponsored it at a 4k level.
• Career Faculty hiring discussion – Pat Curtin. We talked about making sure current and future career faculty searches are managed similar to research faculty searches. In addition, we talked about pressing needs to explore hiring career faculty (if E&G budget permits) to fill the gap in television/broadcast instruction, as well as alleviate the pressure of class size in Media Studies. Nothing will be moved forward without consultation with the faculty. The academic vision exercise during the next faculty and staff meeting, as well as the potential IHP proposals will be used as part of the needed analysis on this ongoing teaching capacity and curriculum-need challenge.

• Summary of event in PDX – Regina Lawrence: Communicating about White Nationalism: Challenges & Opportunities for Media. Nearly everyone attended who RSVP’d. The full attendance spoke to how important this topic is. We are working with four potential partnering institutions and the next meeting with them will take place on Thursday.
• Immersive Media Psychology position – Regina Lawrence. Search Committee: Regina Lawrence (chair), Donna Davis, Dave Markowitz, Waseq Ramen (PhD student), & Autumn Schafer. We have received 52 applications, eight semi-finalists, first round of Skype interviews has taken place (second round was happening this afternoon). The university asked the committee to be proactive in reaching out to networks and expanding the applicant pool to more diverse candidates. We would like to bring the candidates not only to Portland but also to Eugene, which is going to be extra challenging. The committee hopes to be able to announce finalists at the Nov. 15th faculty meeting.

• Strategic/ Action plan update – Juan-Carlos. Damian provided recommendations and offered some online resources for the continuation of the strategic planning process. Juan-Carlos consolidated the SWOT analysis resulted from the fall retreat, as well as a great deal of feedback from leadership teams. The second half of the next faculty and staff meeting will be devoted to a discussion on the SOJC academic vision. The Dean’s Office is working with potential moderators, providing insights both from previous dean’s updates, as well as a draft template under development by the Office of the Provost, which includes coordination with communication and development efforts. The dean will craft and send to all an update on the action plan, which includes a more systematic way to handle Dean’s Funds and other SOJC resources.

I would like to remind you that meetings of the ELT and ALT (All Leadership Team, associate deans, area heads, and directors) are open to all. For future reference, the Communication Team will upload summary/minutes of meetings and Dean’s Updates and relevant official announcements on the Dean’s Page of the SOJC site.

 

September 30, 2019

From: Juan-Carlos Molleda, Edwin L. Artzt Dean and Professor
To: SOJC Faculty and Staff
Reference: Retreat Summary and Actionable Items
Date: September 30, 2019

Dear faculty and staff,
As promised, here are my main takeaways of the retreat discussions, actionable responses, and suggested five-year vision and specific priorities for the school for the following three years, which I hope we will continue to discuss and refine with your input. Thank you again for your active participation in the retreat, and feel free to reach out with additional comments. This is an ongoing process and ideally a dialogue among administration, faculty, and staff.
What I believe I heard you say at the retreat was as follows:
• Want a clear course release policy and transparency around the process.
• Want differential compensation for different types of classes, depending on class size, etc.
• Are concerned about too much invisible time and want to be compensated or to have a clear understanding of the compensation for service work: advising, experiential learning, etc.
• Need to develop a better understanding and empathy for each other’s work and responsibilities, especially the increased tasks staff have taken on. You suggested several ways we could do this, including brief profiles at our regular faculty/staff meetings, “mystery lunches,” etc. (See below).
• Need to foster culture of courtesy and empower people to be able to say “no” as well as “yes.”
• Want consistency and continuity in GE assignments and training.
• Need clear communication directly from top leadership and transparency about the agenda and discussions within leadership meetings to enhance trust in administrative decisions and processes.
• Need e-space for shared knowledge repositories.
I would like to offer some clarifications and initial responses to your concerns. The following information and ideas may be helpful in contributing to our ongoing discussion:
Workload
• The business office, human resources, and administration will continue to analyze workflows and responsibilities of Eugene and Portland staff that began this past summer. New and incoming hires (such as the Experience Hub Coordinator and the Fiscal and Grant Coordinator) should help in reducing the amount of extended duties across the SOJC. Staff members will also be profiled in faculty and staff meetings to increase our understanding of the significant contributions they make to the school’s operations and student success.
• Our course release guidelines are posted on the Office of the Provost’s (OtP) website; there is a process for requesting and approval for each course release.
o Dean’s course release guidelines, as approved by OtP, can be found here: https://bit.ly/2mdgUQY
o Current career faculty workload policy here: https://bit.ly/2mWl8N3
Since the policy was approved two years ago, Leslie has mailed all full-time career faculty in winter term (late Jan, early Feb) and invited requests for course releases, referencing the policy. Once received, the DAC evaluates these requests and relays their recommendations to the dean. Almost all the DAC’s recommendations have been enacted.
• I think it would be helpful for area heads, in consultation with faculty in their areas, and the Undergraduate Affairs Committee to analyze their curricula, especially advanced classes that require intense advising and grading, and how class size and changing technology affect the quality of instruction and student experience. This analysis, in the form of a written report, would ideally include development of a coherent curriculum in line with university guidelines.
• Better defining experiential learning would allow us to decide which initiatives to support and which are discretionary. Perhaps certain experiential learning activities are of limited comparative value to students and should be a lower priority for SOJC resources.
• The SOJC Graduate Office and Graduate Affairs Committee should evaluate how GEs are assigned and trained and see if there are better ways to improve continuity and class fit. It may be possible to hire professional master’s or advanced undergraduate students to serve multiple classes and assist GEs and students (e.g., on software programs used across several classes), thereby saving valuable instructor time.

Communication
• Given the support expressed for the mystery lunch idea, we will pursue establishing this on a trial basis.
• I will consult with the DAC whether they would like to conduct faculty and staff meetings to enhance faculty governance. The meeting agenda would be coordinated with the Dean’s Office and will include opportunities for deliberation and debate.
• We have an SOJC employee blog (https://sojcemployee.uoregon.edu/), which needs updating, improving, and better use. I am instructing the Communications Team to work on the upgrades and develop, in conjunction with me, an internal communication plan. Similarly, we will work on a better system to archive our institutional memory, such as meeting minutes, records of events, “Around the O” stories, and more.
• We also have an SOJC events blog (https://journalism.uoregon.edu/about/events). We will make sure that is also up to date, so you don’t miss important school’s events.
• To clarify, all communication coming from the Dean’s Office or myself is vetted and approved by me. I assume full responsibility for all communications written by me or others on my behalf. The tone of these communications may vary somewhat, but the official nature of those communications should not be in question. I’m also available to talk to you in person; please feel free to set up an appointment with Angie.
• A channel or box for anonymous questions and suggestions is a great idea that we can implement immediately! We will put something in faculty services and let you know once it is ready to use. I will check it regularly.
You asked me for a vision and a set of more specific priorities. Here is a draft of my five-year vision for your consideration and a group of priorities for the following three years to be discussed at the faculty and staff meeting on Friday, October 11.
Draft Vision
The UO School of Journalism and Communication will become the leading international, entrepreneurial-focused, communication program for civic-minded students who reflect our increasingly complex, diverse, multi-cultural society. Driven by world-class innovation, we will teach, mentor, graduate, and place resilient, adaptable, and skillful professionals and scholars who will shape the future of journalism and creative media industries, and transform the landscape of higher education.
Recognizing that we are challenged by workload and resource constraints, in the following three years, I believe the SOJC should focus on:
• Taking advantage of the 25th Anniversary of the PhD Program in Media Studies to promote research excellence and attract PhD students that will help advance the research agenda of SOJC scholars and support the teaching needs of the school. This will be achieved, in part, with curricular and degree requirement changes, promoting the profile of research faculty and doctoral students, and illustrating the synergy between scholarship, teaching, and practice.
• Achieving the full potential of the production facilities of the Experience Hub and the OR Lab in Portland by providing internal grants to faculty for special hands-on and research projects and continuing to forge industry partnerships and offer media and research services across the university.
• Maintaining the support and work toward the sustainability of experiential learning programs.
• Consolidating the role and activities of the Media Center for Science and Technology (new name under consideration to better communicate the mission of the center) under the leadership of Ellen Peters and Mark Blaine as a cross-disciplinary research center that amplifies the scholarly profile of the school.
• Maintaining support and work toward sustainable growth for key innovation centers and initiatives across the SOJC, including the Agora Journalism Center.
• Supporting all efforts to sustain the quality and size of the professional master’s based in Eugene and Portland. And with faculty involvement, develop new residential and/or professional master’s or 4+1 programs in areas such as sports or science communication.
• Securing funds for the creation of a mobile newsroom tentatively named Oregon Story that will connect the dots with all journalism programs, such as Agora, Track Bureau, and Catalyst.
• Bring SOJC faculty and staff together by securing additional space in or close to Allen Hall and improving connectivity and programs between Eugene and Portland.
• Taking advantage of the 20th Anniversary of the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and the 25th Anniversary of the Snowden Program to reaffirm our commitment to ethical practices and the sustainability of local news operations.
• Reviewing the goals and curricula of each sequence to ensure it supports the vision of the school as an innovative and entrepreneurial leader and provides a coherent pathway for students
• Co-sponsoring and help with the content of Fall Media Day with the Oregon Chapter of the Journalism Education Association (OJEA).
• Taking full advantage of our involvement in the 2021 World Athletics Championships.
• Looking ahead, we need to establish a smooth succession plan for key leadership positions within the SOJC, such as associate deans, area heads, and program directors to provide continuity.
I look forward to discussing this suggested priority list, which I believe has the potential of advancing the visibility and preeminence of the school across campus and beyond.

Thank you in advance for your feedback,

Juan-Carlos