Diversity Statement

Stony Brook University School of Journalism
(Voted on and approved by the faculty on May 14, 2014)

Stony Brook University is home to the first and only School of Journalism in the SUNY system of 64 colleges and universities. Stony Brook itself is a highly diverse campus in terms of faculty, staff and students, and the School strives to reflect that diversity and to help shape the future of a profession that will operate in a nation even more diverse than it is today.

Of the university’s 16,000 undergraduates, about 40% are considered minority. The university’s gender breakdown is 54% male and 46% female.  The racial, ethnic and gender breakdown of the School of Journalism is 36 percent nonwhite and 62 percent female.

The School of Journalism is committed to delivering high quality education in a multicultural, discrimination-free environment where faculty members create their own pedagogy aimed at diversity and support student reporting in a challenging and experience-rich curriculum. Under the leadership of Dean Howard Schneider and the school’s leaders, the school is committed to producing smart, well-educated, well-rounded journalists who understand and can communicate with the diverse communities they serve in local, national and global spheres.

This includes developing the curriculum and recruiting and retaining faculty and students of diverse ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds who are dedicated to the premise that journalism must exist to serve the greater public interest in our increasingly interconnected world.

A Diverse Faculty and Staff

By the 2014-15 academic year, the School will adopt a plan to recruit and retain a strong academic and professional faculty and staff that reflect the diversity of the Stony Brook community.

The goal is that by the 2015-16 academic year, the School will increase its faculty and staff from 11 to 15 fulltime, and at least three of them will be women and minorities who are tenure-track ready.

This plan commits to the following no later than fall 2015:

  • Maintain a Journalism Diversity Committee to oversee programs and plans that address issues relevant to a diverse faculty, staff and student body.  The committee will report on diversity issues at faculty meetings at least twice per academic year
  • The diversity director will continue to direct the diversity committee and implement the overall plan.   The director will report directly to the dean.
  • Remain committed to our tenure requirement that faculty must “enrich diversity in university life.”
  • Adhere to all non-discrimination federal and state laws and university policies.
  • Include minorities and women on search committees.
  • Continue to follow rubrics for faculty and staff searches that emphasize a commitment to diversity.
  • Advertise job openings in publications and online sites targeting minority candidates.
  • Work with organizations including NABJ, NAHJ, and AAJA, among others, to identify potential candidates and encourage applications.
  • Maintain an active list of prospective minority candidates for faculty and staff positions.
  • Enlist the help of the School’s faculty, alumni and its Professional Advisory Boards (current and former journalists), educators, and professionals from other areas of interest related to journalism to help identify and spread the word to potential minority candidates.
  • Diversify the School’s 15-member Professional Advisory Board from three to at least six minority members.
  • Work closely with faculty members to ensure representation and meet diversity concerns across the racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, sexual, age and socio-economic platforms.

 

A Diverse Student Body and High Minority Retention Rate

By the 2015-16 academic year, the School will strengthen its minority student enrollment and retention rates through the following methods:

  • Work with the university’s admissions office on the recruitment and evaluation of applicants who have expressed an interest in journalism to ensure that a vibrant cross-section of ethnic, minority, economically challenged and disabled backgrounds, are encouraged to attend Stony Brook.
  • Market the affordability of the school and communicate the range of student aid that is available.
  • Actively recruit students from Long Island high schools for the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Students and provide those students with recruiting materials to attend Stony Brook.
  • Create a marketing package to recruit at regional community colleges for students that reflect the school’s under-represented populations.
  • Encourage the formation of student campus chapters of national women’s and minority journalism associations with individual faculty members as advisors.
  • Encourage students to join regional and national women’s and minority journalism associations and attend their national conventions where recruiting and networking takes place.
  • Work to retain a diverse student body through continual review of the students’ academic records, extra-curricular activities, including participation in student media.
  • Assign at risk students a faculty or alumni mentor who will serve as career advisor.

 

An Inclusive and Relevant Curriculum

The School is dedicated to providing an enriching academic and experiential curriculum that creates an atmosphere in which diverse ideas and opinions are encouraged and diverse cultures are embraced.  By the 2014-15 academic year, the school will:

  • Include minorities and women on curriculum committees.
  • Ensure curriculum development committees create syllabuses whose content encourages diversity in opinion, perspectives and discussion.  Create and maintain an inventory of syllabus language and course assignments that help achieve this diversity.
  • Invite media professionals from diverse backgrounds to speak to students in journalism classes and at special events, thus serving as role models to the students.
  • Work with minority students to help secure internships and employment in professional media organizations under the leadership of the Internship Coordinator, and with the help of faculty contacts.
  • Develop course proposals on subjects aimed at attracting and retaining male students.
  • Develop a content audit assessment tool to aid faculty in ensuring that students use critical thinking in selecting stories and seeking out sources that are inclusive across racial, cultural, ethnic, religious, class, gender, sexual orientation and economic class.
  • Sponsor annual mandatory all-school workshops and seminars on diversity topics to promote discussion.  This should include one orientation session for incoming freshmen.
  • Mandate faculty reports on course outcomes regarding diversity in topics, resources, speakers and sources.
  • Provide “best practice” models in texts, assignments and case studies to educate faculty on how to diversify syllabuses.