Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Adopted and Approved by the Faculty 12/02/2022
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion aligns with the College of Information and Communications and University of South Carolina diversity plan goals: To cultivate a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus culture, where every individual, regardless of background, has the full opportunity to flourish and thrive. The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender identity, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
Our plan is also consistent with the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Diversity and Inclusiveness Standard 4: The unit demonstrates it has a diverse and inclusive program that embodies domestic and global diversity and that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexual orientation.
HOW WE DEFINE DIVERSITY
The SJMC recognizes the importance of diversity in its various forms and embraces the ACEJMC definition of diversity as all of the differences that exist within people, with the recognition that some elements of diversity are linked to the disenfranchisement of people.
Consistent with University, ACEJMC and US census designations, and based on the population of the area the university serves, we define under-represented populations for recruitment purposes as being students, faculty and staff who are African American/Black, Hispanic/Latina/o, Native American, and Asian Americans. Many of our initiatives also target first-generation students, as noted in the strategic plan.
The SJMC’s strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion incorporates the College and University’s Strategic Priority 4’s three goals: Diverse, Equity, and Inclusion.
GOAL ONE: DIVERSE: IMPROVE THE RELATIVE RACIAL/ETHNIC AND GENDER REPRESENTATION OF OUR SJMC STUDENTS, STAFF AND FACULTY.
The SJMC values diversity in the composition of our students, faculty and staff and will fulfill the following objectives:
Objective 1.1: Bring the SJMC’s undergraduate and graduate underrepresented student population into closer alignment with the racial/ethnic and gender representation of South Carolina.
- Program 1.1.1: Develop and expand pipeline programs targeting middle and high schools
in South Carolina to attract and enroll underrepresented students in the SJMC.
- Metric: By 2025, undergraduate underrepresented student enrollment in the SJMC will increase to 28% in alignment with the state’s underrepresented population.
Progress toward completion:
- Since 2016, the SJMC’s underrepresented student enrollment has improved to 22%, including 10% Black, 5% Hispanic/Latino/a, and 1.4% Asian. Like most programs and universities, the SJMC’s overall enrollment experienced a post-pandemic decline
- During the fall 2022 semester, the CIC launched the Careers in Information and Communications Roadshow, a recruitment pipeline to attract and recruit underrepresented high school students from local communities.
- Program 1.1.2: Develop a targeted recruitment campaign centering pipeline/pathway programs with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and other institutions domestic and global to attract underrepresented students to the graduate program.
- Metric: By 2025, the SJMC graduate underrepresented student enrollment will increase to 28%, in alignment with the state’s underrepresented population.
Progress toward completion:
- The SJMC ‘s Fall 2021 graduate underrepresented student enrollment improved to 25%, including 15% Black, 3% Hispanic/Latino/a, and .03% Asian.
- Metric: Support and expand existing pipeline/pathway programs for attracting underrepresented students, such as the Digital Media Academy/Experience and the Inclusive Excellence Graduate Program Open House.
Progress toward completion:
- Since 2018, the Digital Media Experience (formerly Digital Media Academy, has attracted more than 50 underrepresented students from local HBCUs and other universities throughout the nation.
- The Inclusive Excellence Graduate Program Open House has attracted nearly 150 students from local HBCUs from 2018 to 2021. In 2022, the Inclusive Excellence Graduate Program Open House became the model for a newer, more expansive university-wide Inclusive Excellence Graduate Education Open House, joined by four other academic units.
- Program 1.1.3: Increase the number of scholarships and fellowships to support underrepresented
student enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs in the SJMC.
- Metric: By 2025, increase the number of scholarships and fellowships awarded to underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students.
Progress toward completion:
- The SJMC has 12 undergraduate and graduate scholarships to support underrepresented students.
- In fall 2021, the unit awarded its first Rising Star Fellowship to support the inaugural 4+1 graduate student. To date, more than $60,000 in Rising Star Fellowships have been awarded to the 4+1 participants.
- Program 1.1.4: Increase the number of Bachelor’s/Master’s accelerated programs in collaboration with in-state Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and global institutions.
- Metric 1.1.4a: By 2021, implement the CIC 4+1 Memorandum of Agreement with Claflin University for the Master of Mass Communications and the Master of Library and Information Science degrees, the first such dual-degree program in the country.
Progress toward completion: The SJMC enrolled its first full-time graduate student in the 4+1 program in fall 2021.
- Metric 1.1.4b: By 2021, establish an international dual master’s program.
Progress toward completion: The SJMC graduated in August 2022 the first class of National Chengchi University, Taiwan dual master’s program.
Objective 1.2: Transform the CIC population of professional/administrative staff at all levels (including senior leadership) to be in alignment with the racial/ethnic and gender representation of the state.
- Program 1.2.1: Develop a diverse and inclusive staff recruitment plan to ensure a diverse and inclusive applicant pool.
- Metric 1.2.1: By 2021, all staff recruitment announcements, promotional materials and search committees will be diverse and inclusive.
Progress toward completion: Since 2021, the CIC HR manager works with all search committees to ensure a diverse and inclusive process for all searches. Effective in 2022, each search committee has an HR representative and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advocate as non- voting members.
- Program 1.2.2: Develop and enforce a policy that requires diversity training for all members of professional and administrative staff search committees in the College.
- Metric 1.2.2: By 2022, implement a diversity training requirement for all professional and administrative staff search committees in the CIC.
- Program 1.2.3: Require diversity, equity and inclusion statements of all applicants for senior administrative positions and as part of the annual review process.
- Metric 2.1.3: As of 2022, a diversity, equity and inclusion statement will be required of all applicants for senior administrative positions and as part of the annual review process.
- Program 1.2.4: Nominate underrepresented staff to participate in leadership pipeline programs (e.g., the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and the Pipeline for Academic Leaders (PAL).
- Metric 1.2.4: Yearly increases in the number of nominated underrepresented staff in the professional and administrative pipeline programs.
- Program 1.2.5: Develop and implement a structured and systematic exit interview process for staff.
- Metric 1.2.5: By 2023, implement a structured and systematic exit-interview process.
Objective 3: Embed inclusive excellence into our faculty hiring and advancement policies and practices.
- Metric 1.2.5: By 2023, implement a structured and systematic exit-interview process.
- Program 1.3.1: Develop a diverse and inclusive faculty recruitment plan to ensure a diverse and inclusive applicant pool.
- Metric 1.3.1: By 2023, all faculty recruitment announcements, promotional materials and search committees will be diverse and inclusive.
Progress toward completion: The SJMC has policies and procedures in close alignment with the university to ensure a diverse and inclusive recruitment process. The unit is encouraged to complete a Diversification Gap Analysis and create action plans to close the gaps between actual faculty diversity and desired faculty diversity.
- Program 1.3.2: Develop and appropriately fund a comprehensive hiring program to support post-doctoral fellows, cluster hires, spousal hires, and other opportunity hires.
- Metric 1.3.2: By 2023, acquire supplemental funding support to implement college level hiring programs.
Progress toward completion: In 2021, the college secured funding to support a race and social justice cluster hiring, netting four new diverse tenure-track hires, including three Black faculty in the SJMC.
In Fall 2022, the USC provost for academic affairs and the vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion jointly announced the establishment of a new post-doctoral program, Bridge to Faculty (B2F), to enhance recruitment of women and underrepresented groups for faculty positions —professional and tenure-track.
- Program 1.3.3: Develop a policy requiring diversity training of all search committee members and of faculty who perform tenure and promotion reviews.
- Metric 1.3.3a: By 2023, diversity training will be required and provided for all faculty who serve on search committees.
Progress toward completion: In 2020, the unit participated in the CIC’S first diversity search committee training. In 2022, all search committees were provided the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium Search Committee Training Toolkit to supplement search committee diversity training.
- Metric 1.3.3b: By 2023, diversity training will be required of all faculty who vote on tenure and promotion in the School.
- Program 1.3.4: Incorporate DEI into the initial review, interview, and selection processes for faculty and academic administrative positions.
- Metric 1.3.4: By 2023, a diversity, equity and inclusion statement will be required
of all applicants for faculty and
senior administrative positions and as part of the faculty review process.
- Metric 1.3.4: By 2023, a diversity, equity and inclusion statement will be required of all applicants for faculty and
Progress toward completion: Since 2021, the college has provided sample DEI-related interview questions for search committee use.
- Program 1.3.5: Increase nominations of underrepresented faculty for participation in leadership pipeline programs (e.g., the Pipeline for Academic Leaders (PAL) and the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP).
- Metric: By 2025, increase the nominations of underrepresented faculty in leadership pipeline/pathway programs by paying attention to patterns of underrepresented faculty in terms of race/ethnicity and gender.
Progress toward completion: Four SJMC women faculty at the rank of associate professor or professor have completed a leadership program since 2016.
- Program 1.3.6: Create and promote partnerships with local and regional institutions (including SEC
and other regional R1 schools) to recruit and hire underrepresented doctoral recipients.
- Metric 1.3.6a: By 2025, secure funding to establish a faculty pathway program in the SJMC.
- Metric 1.3.6b: By 2025, collaborate with other SEC doctoral-granting programs to create a faculty pipeline.
Progress toward completion: The SJMC participated in the university’s 2021 Emerging Scholars program, an SEC program to attract doctoral recipients as faculty members in SEC institutions.
GOAL 2: EQUITABLE: ENSURE EQUITABLE ACCESS FOR ALL SJMC STUDENTS, STAFF AND FACULTY ACROSS KEY MEASURES OF SUCCESS
Objective 2.1: Improve the academic outcomes for underrepresented students.
- Program 2.1.1: Continue to create culturally proficient communicators capable of learning with, working on and advancing the value of diverse teams, and provide instruction on issues and perspectives related to culturally competent communication across diverse cultures in compliance with ACEJMC Standard 4: Diversity and Inclusiveness.
- Metric 2.1.1a: By 2023, all SJMC course syllabi will include learning outcomes and course content consistent with ACEJMC’s professional values and competencies.
- Metric 1.1.1b: By 2024, at least one diversity course will be part of the major core requirement.
Progress toward completion: Since 2018, course mapping is conducted annually to ensure course syllabi reflect learning outcomes and course content related to diversity, equity and inclusion, both domestically and internationally. The unit curriculum committee is considering additional diversity, equity and inclusion courses, and annually offers new DEI courses as electives. The unit’s Women, Minorities and the Media course is one of the first DEI courses to be offered nationally.
- Program 2.1.2: Increase underrepresented undergraduate student participation in internships, study
abroad, research, professional student organizations, professional development, and
other experiential learning opportunities.
- Metric 2.1.2: Track annual increase in percentage of underrepresented students in experiential learning opportunities.
Progress toward completion: Since 2016, the college has established several scholarships and funds to support study abroad opportunities for all interested students, and improved efforts to attract and recruit first generation and underrepresented students.
The SJMC PRSSA student chapter won second place in the 2018-19 national Bateman Team competition with its entry, “Commit 2 Connect,” a diversity and inclusion tool kit for organizations.
- Program 2.1.3: Increase nominations for participation in the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program
(GJMPP) and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Program for underrepresented
doctoral students, and other doctoral programs such as the AEJMC Presidential Diversity
& Inclusion Career Development Fellowship.
- Metric 2.1.2: Track annual increase in number of doctoral student participants nominated in each fellowship program.
Progress toward completion: In the past three years, two underrepresented doctoral students have participated in the GJMPP, the SREB, and the AEJMC fellowship.
- Program 2.1.4: Develop and support new professional development programs for underrepresented students
in master’s degree programs.
- Metric 2.1.4: Track underrepresented graduate student participation in USC’s graduate
programs such as the
Inclusive Education Program, “The Grad Cohort” Podcast Series, among others, and the Black Graduate Student Association.
- Metric 2.1.4: Track underrepresented graduate student participation in USC’s graduate programs such as the
Progress toward completion: The SJMC professional master’s degree, the MMC with concentrations in Strategic Communication and Multimedia Journalism, was awarded one of the university’s first Rising Star Fellowships to support underrepresented students enrolled in the USC/CIC-Claflin University 4+1 dual degree master’s degree program. To date, the program has attracted 10 student participants, including one graduate, six currently enrolled, and three students in the pipeline.
Objective 2.2: Ensure transparent, better and more equitable outcomes for all SJMC staff.
- Program 2.2.1: Develop and enforce policies that provide “protected time” for staff members to participate in professional development training.
- Metric 2.2.1: By 2025, implement a professional “protected time” policy for staff.
- Program 2.2.2: Create a staff council to ensure staff participation in governance and other college decision making.
- Metric 2.2.2: The CIC created one of the university’s first staff councils in 2019.
Progress toward completion: The staff council creates goals and objectives and annually updates staff policy manuals.
- Program 2.2.3: Conduct across the board unit-level reviews of promotion criteria and evaluation processes to identify and eliminate any elements of systemic bias.
- By 2025, complete unit-level reviews and make recommendations for improvement as needed.
Objective 2.3: Ensure transparent, better, and more equitable outcomes for all faculty members.
- Program 2.3.1: Create a peer-led leadership development program to increase the proportion of faculty from underrepresented groups (URGs), including race, ethnicity, gender identity, and disability status, in academic administration positions.
- Metric 2.3.1: By 2025, the peer leadership development program has been created.
- Program 2.3.2. Create more transparency and equity in faculty workloads, paying particular attention to faculty who perform excessive service.
- Metric 2.3.2: By 2025, create a mechanism to identify and rectify patters of excessive service, particularly as they impact underrepresented faculty.
- Program 2.3.3: Conduct across-the-board unit-level reviews of T&P criteria and evaluation processes
to identify any elements of systemic bias paying attention to patterns of excessive
service and narrowly defined parameters for scholarship.
- Metric 2.3.3: By 2025, complete unit-level reviews and make recommendations for improvement where needed.
GOAL 3 – INCLUSIVE: CREATE, PROMOTE, SUPPORT AND ASSESS A CAMPUS CULTURE/CLIMATE THAT EMBODIES THE CAROLINIAN CREED AND MAKES EVERYONE FEEL THAT THEY ARE AFFIRMED AND VALUED.
Objective 3.1: Increase the engagement of students, faculty, staff, administrators and local community members in courses, training and events that promote the awareness and understanding of equity, inclusion, justice, critical analysis and civil discourse.
- Program 3.1.1: Support, promote, and track participation in the CIC and SJMC existing programs intended to engage and inform our community such as the CIC DEI Research Symposium, Dean’s Lunch & Lead for Diversity for student leaders, Brown Bag Series and the SJMC Media and Civil Rights History Symposium. Other university training opportunities include the Inclusive Excellence Education sessions sponsored by the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the USC Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence Certificate, and the Welcome Table SC.
- Metric 3.1.1: By 2023, create fund to support the continuation of existing programs and incentivize faculty participation.
Progress toward completion: In 2021, the DEI Research Symposium and Media and Civil Rights History Symposium jointly pursued and secured funding through the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for a national thought leader in DEI and social justice as the symposia’s joint keynote speaker. The successful collaboration continued in 2022 for the joint keynote speaker and luncheon panel in 2023 and added additional sponsors. The USC Civil Rights Center is also a collaborator for this event.
The college through its development efforts secured funding under the auspices of Give4Garnet to secure funding for a number of inclusive excellence initiatives including study abroad, scholarships, student organizations, the 4+1 dual degree program, Farrar Award, and other DEI initiatives.
Faculty incentives for participation in DEI initiatives include the Inclusive Excellence Award that includes a certificate and cash award. Other incentives include grants from the CTE and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
- Program 3.1.2: Develop, implement and promote new diversity courses, training programs and events that foster engagement in topics aligned with inclusive excellence.
- Metric 3.1.2a: By 2025, require a school diversity course consistent with ACEJMC accreditation best practices.
- Metric 3.1.2b: By 2025, require civility and workplace integrity training among unit faculty and staff.
- Metric 3.1.2c: By 2025, establish a new leadership initiative for URGs to promote gender equality and provide career development as a leadership pipeline program for the academy and industry.
Objective 3.2: Improve the sense of inclusion and belonging among all SJMC community members.
- Program 3.2.1: Ensure accessibility for all students, faculty and staff.
Progress toward completion: The SJMC building, offices and labs are ADA-compliant.
- Program 3.2.2: Expand awareness of the system for reporting incidents of bias and unlawful discrimination and its role in ensuring compliance with anti-discrimination laws and policies.
Progress toward completion: The college has provided a manual that explains policies and reporting procedures for bias and unlawful discrimination
- Program 3.2.3: Perform annual college climate survey Progress toward completion: The college has
conducted a climate survey the past three years, and uses the results to improve practices,
policies and procedures based on its strategic plans, that insure a welcoming and
inclusive environment where all members are valued and affirmed.
Appendix: New ACEJMC Diversity Standard
Standard 4: Diversity and Inclusiveness
The unit demonstrates it has a diverse and inclusive program that embodies domestic and global diversity and that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, ability and sexual orientation.
ACEJMC GLOSSARY OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS TERMS
Diversity – all of the differences that exist within people, with the recognition that some elements of diversity are linked to the disenfranchisement of people.
Inclusion – feeling as if a person belongs and is a respected and valued member of the organization; proactive behaviors that make each person feel welcome and a part of an organization.
Equity – process of ensuring fairness and equal opportunity based on circumstance, especially engagement to ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop.
Domestic minorities – citizens of the unit’s nation who are from a racial or ethnic group whose population is not the majority in the nation or who have less economic or political power than the majority. (Permanent visa or temporary visa holders are not included in this domestic minority count.)
International faculty/students – faculty members or students who hold a temporary visa (non-immigrant) or a permanent visa (immigrant status) to work or study in the unit’s host country.
Culturally Proficient Communication – communication that enables students to effectively, accurately exchange information that also empowers at both verbal and nonverbal levels with diverse groups, that have been traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially along racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation and ability differences.
Curricular balance and the journalism and mass communications degree: The content and quality of a student’s entire degree program are of vital educational importance and are the responsibility of journalism and mass communications units. The Council embraces the value of a liberal arts and sciences curriculum as the essential foundation for professional education in journalism and mass communications. Professional education applies the knowledge and perspectives of arts and sciences disciplines to the understanding of the modern world and to the evolution and workings of diverse communities. The Council urges journalism and mass communications programs to advise students to acquire appropriately supervised experiences in campus media and professional internships.
Other Diversity Plans
Respectfully Submitted by Shirley S. Carter, PhD
Professor & Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Required: Faculty Review and Approval