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A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Strategic Plan


(Approved by the faculty on November 27, 2018)


Mission Statement

The mission of the school is to: (1) Pursue knowledge through creative works, research and innovative teaching; (2) Encourage professional competencies, critical thinking, ethical decision-making and social responsibility; and (3) Serve our constituents as defenders of free expression in a dynamic, multicultural society.


Vision Statement

In keeping with the intent, text and meanings of the mission, the school faculty have a vision that is anchored in service, compassion and competence. The vision remains sensitive to the storied, 119-year-old instructional heritage of the school and its pursuit of excellence in pedagogy, as it meets, but also anticipates, emerging needs within disciplines and professions of journalism and strategic communications.

Over the next six years, professional communications workplaces that demand skills and knowledge in journalism and strategic communications will expand exponentially. The A.Q. Miller School shall be the premier destination in the Midwest to pursue applied learning in emerging technologies in public relations, advertising, audience and data analytics, community media and relations, and news and storytelling, especially drone journalism and audio and video streaming.[1]


Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan, detailed below, is designed to realize this vision by identifying six-year goals (CY2019-2024) that the school executive committee will measure annually via one or more “action items.” The plan is focused in process rather than outcome. It aims to reveal core values of the school by removing barriers and enabling incentives. It is sensitive to benchmarks of the strategic plan of the K-State College of Arts and Sciences,[2] which, in turn, is a nod to the evolving K-State 2025 Plan.[3] It is structured to coincide with the nine standards of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), which accredits the undergraduate program of the school. This plan is subject to contingencies, including availability of resources.


1. Governance and administration

Pursue shared governance through committees that reflect evolving landscapes of the professions we serve.

Action items:

(1) Invest human resources in surveying emerging needs of media operation and performing a market analysis to identify our target student population

(2) Invest increasing financial resources in professional development of faculty members

(3) Review administrative structures to ensure efficiency and relevance 

(4) Review governance documents related to by-laws, promotion and tenure, and policies 

(5) Review work climate relevant to enhancing productivity and job satisfaction

(6) Actively involve students in governance and setting school priorities


2. Curriculum and instruction

Maintain a curriculum that is rigorous, relevant and accessible.

Action items:

(1) Review curriculum to reflect emerging needs of media operation

(2) Review curriculum for compliance with ACEJMC values and competencies and university guidelines

(3) Review curriculum for competitiveness with peer institutions

(4) Review how well we are integrating available technologies and facilities into our curriculum

(5) Actively involve students in evaluating curriculum for rigor, relevance and accessibility

(6) Review entry gateway and graduation requirements


3. Diversity and inclusiveness

Maintain a welcoming environment with a vibrant student and faculty body that reflects multiple orientations and priorities.

Action items:

(1) Review racial and ethnic compositions of students and faculty as well as their strategic recruitment

(2) Review international initiatives at the school

(3) Invest financial and human resources to recruit and retain a diverse population, especially Hispanics, African-American males, nontraditional students and Internationals

(4) Review school-supported student and faculty activities for diversity and inclusivity

(5) Review curriculum for diversity

(6) Maintain a diversity plan on the shared university server


4. Full-time and part-time faculty

Maintain a balanced distribution of faculty across sequences to meet student needs consistent with ACEJMC standards.

Action items:

  • Seek commitment from the office of the dean to hire more faculty in strategic communications sequence
  • Review faculty composition to ensure balance between tenured, tenure-track and professional and adjunct faculty
  • Invest in professional development for all of our faculty
  • Develop and maintain a reliable pool of potential adjuncts
  • Work towards establishing a teaching excellence award at the school level
  • Invest resources to enable faculty to pursue innovative instructional collaborations across disciplines


5. Scholarship: Research, creative and professional activity

Invest in incentives to strengthen quality and productivity of faculty engagement in traditional research and professional activities.

Action items:

  • Encourage faculty to seek grants
  • Review research productivity of graduate students in coursework
  • Encourage faculty presentations at national conferences
  • Encourage non-tenure track faculty to pursue creative interests
  • Encourage faculty to pursue inter-disciplinary research collaborations
  • Create opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to work with faculty on research and creative projects in accordance with K-State 2025 goals


6. Student services

Offer students best-possible educational opportunities in an open and welcoming environment.

Action items:

  • Strengthen current study abroad opportunities and create new ones
  • Maintain our strong system of academic and career advising
  • Invest more resources toward career advising and preparation efforts, such as the recently launched Job Ready program, an alumni speaker series, a student strategic communications agency, and a social media monitoring lab
  • Maintain excellent extracurricular clubs, organizations, and experiences, and a symbiotic relationship with campus media, to prepare students for future jobs
  • Increase awareness of scholarships available and encourage applications
  • Continue to seek funding for Honors Program recruitment and expansion


7. Resources, facilities and equipment

Enhance effective instruction through effective, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

Action items:

  • Continue plans to launch fundraising to bring all or most JMC resources under one roof
  • Pursue a research, production and ideation lab in Kedzie Hall
  • Enhance current study and lounge locations and pursue new ones
  • Review state-of-the-art equipment available for students to check out
  • Continue fundraising efforts among alumni and possible constituents and friends of the school
  • Review software, web presence, and faculty and lab needs and continue fundraising to secure software licenses


8. Professional and public service

Raise the profile of the A.Q. Miller School through meaningful engagements across Kansas and in neighboring states.

Action items:

  • Expand the teaching, research and outreach mission of the Huck Boyd Center for Community Media
  • Pursue a strengthening of the endowments for current JMC endowed chairs (Beach Chair and Seaton Chair)
  • Establish new colloquia and workshops for professional organizations and the larger public through the Seaton endowment and other program opportunities
  • Review school-supported faculty and student activities of outreach, compassion, social responsibility, and community-building
  • Pursue engagements with advisory council, alumni, and constituents in the school curriculum, research, and projects
  • Encourage faculty involvement and leadership in national academic organizations


9. Assessment of learning outcomes

Continue to monitor the ability of the curriculum to meet professional and academic standards important to ACEJMC.

Action items:

  • Enhance direct assessment of student interns in the workspace
  • Work with university assessment office to broaden feedback provided by alumni of our programs
  • Pursue active involvement of area employers in assessing strengths of our graduates
  • Review direct measures of individual student success in their respective programs of study
  • Launch a program of exit interviews of graduating seniors to evaluate perceived strengths and weaknesses of our curriculum and student services
  • Review faculty implementation of curriculum enhancements based on assessment reports


[1] “Applied learning” refers to theory, skills and criticism that are directly useful in a profession of journalism or mass communications. In addition, students also receive an education in civic virtues and other values of the liberal arts, as mandated by the Accrediting Council in Journalism and Mass Communications.

[2]“College Strategic Plan,” https://artsci.k-state.edu/about/planning/2025/ (accessed 17 October 2018)

[3] “2025: A Visionary Plan for Kansas State University,” http://www.k-state.edu/2025/ (accessed 17 October 2018)