Project Overview

Project Overview

The JMC Innovation Project began in 2016 with a conversation about innovation in schools of journalism, media and communication (JMC). We were two decades into the digital era and millions of dollars had been invested by universities and foundations in innovation initiatives, including media innovation labs and centers aimed at understanding and creating new forms of communication. Yet, no one had assessed the scope and status – or impact – of these initiatives, especially in the smaller programs.

We wanted to find out how JMC schools and colleges across the country have adapted to the new communication environment.  Are they developing cultures of innovation that advance new ideas and practices for a new time? And who better to answer that question than JMC deans and directors?

So, we asked them.

Our intent was not to rate or rank individual schools or programs as most or least innovative or to compare innovation efforts between or among schools. Rather, the overarching goal of the JMC Innovation Project was to gauge progress made in developing cultures of innovation in JMC schools and colleges. Additionally, the Project sought to showcase and share innovation efforts and to identify gaps in innovation and areas of opportunity for future development. The hope was that this first step in assessing the scope and status of innovation at JMC schools would help to inform future directions and investments in journalism, media and communication education.

JMC Innovation Project Website

The JMC Innovation Project is not a traditional report. This website is filled with quotes and examples that provide readers a unique perspective on how JMC deans and directors view and approach innovation—in their own words. In keeping with the spirit of innovation, the site provides non-linear access to the Project’s findings through multiple points of entry and different vantage points from which to absorb the content.


This self-funded Project was completed over a 12-month period from August 2016 to August 2017. Deans and directors from the 91 schools and colleges that are members of the Association for Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC) and the Association of American Universities (AAU) and those with programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) were invited to share information about their programs.

During September 2016 to January 2017, telephone interviews were completed with 70 JMC leaders, reflecting a participation rate of 78 percent. Additional information was gathered in February 2017 during the ASJMC winter meeting.


Participating JMC schools and leaders

Below is a list of JMC schools and leaders who participated in the interview process.

JMC Leaders


University Name Dean/Director School/College Name
American University Jeffrey Rutenbeck School of Communication
Arizona State University Christopher Callahan School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Ball State University Roger Lavery College of Communication, Information, & Media
Brigham Young University Edward  Carter School of Communication
California State University-Fullerton Scott Paynton College of Communications
City University of New York Sarah Bartlett Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University Steve Coll Graduate School of Journalism
Drake University Kathleen Richardson School of Journalism & Mass Communication
East Carolina University Linda Kean School of Communication
Elon University Paul Parsons School of Communications
Emerson College (Boston) Raul Reis School of Communication
Florida International University Brian Schriner College of Communication, Architecture+Arts
Georgia Institute of Technology Jacqueline Royster School of Literature, Media, & Communication
High Point University Wilfred Tremblay School of Communication
Hofstra University Evan Cornog School of Communication
Howard University Gracie Lawson-Borders School of Communications
Illinois State University Steve Hunt School of Communication
Indiana University James  Shanahan The Media School
Iowa State University Michael Bugeja School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Ithaca College Diane  Gayeski School of Communications
Kennesaw State University Barbara Gainey School of Communication & Media
Kent State University Thor  Wasbotten School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Louisiana State University Jerry  Ceppos School of Mass Communication
Loyola University Chicago Don Heider School of Communication
Loyola University New Orleans Sonya Forte Duhe’ School of Mass Communication
Marquette University Kimo Ah Yun College of Communication
Michigan State University Prabu David College of Communication Arts & Sciences
Middle Tennessee State University Ken  Paulson College of Media & Entertainment
Northwestern University Bradley J. Hamm School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Comm
Ohio State University Dan McDonald School of Communication
Ohio University Robert  Stewart School of Journalism
Pennsylvania State University Marie Hardin College of Communications
Point Park University Thom Baggerman School of Communication
Purdue University Marifran Mattson School of Communication
Quinnipiac University Lee Kamlet School of Communications
Rutgers University Jonathan Potter School of Communication & Information
San Diego State University Bey-Ling  Sha School of Journalism & Media Studies
Southern Illinois University Deborah Tudor College of Mass Communication & Media Arts
St. Bonaventure University Pauline Hoffmann School of Communication
Stony Brook University Howard Schneider School of Journalism
Syracuse University Lorraine  Branham School of Public Communications
Temple University David Boardman School of Media & Communication
Texas State University – San Marcos Judy  Oskam School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Texas Tech University David Perlmutter College of Media & Communication
University of Alabama Mark Nelson College of Communication & Information Sciences
University of Arizona David Cullier School of Journalism
University of California, Berkeley Edward Wasserman Graduate School of Journalism
University of Florida Diane McFarlin College of Journalism & Communications
University of Georgia Charles Davis College of Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Illinois Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko College of Media
University of Iowa David Ryfe School of Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Kansas Ann Brill School of Journalism & Mass Communications
University of Kentucky Dan O’Hair College of Communication & Information
University of Maryland Lucy Dalglish College of Journalism
University of Mississippi Will Norton School of Journalism & New Media
University of Missouri David Kurpius School of Journalism
University of Nebraska Maria Marron College of Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Nevada-Reno Alan G. Stavitsky School of Journalism
University of North Carolina Susan  King School of Media & Journalism
University of North Texas Dorothy Bland School of Journalism
University of Oregon Juan-Carlos Molleda School of Journalism & Communication
University of Pennsylvania Michael X. Delli Carpini School for Communication
University of Southern California Willow Bay School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern Mississippi David R. Davies School of Mass Communication & Journalism
University of Tennessee – Knoxville Michael  Wirth College of Communication & Information
University of Texas at Austin Jay Bernhardt College of Communication
University of Wisconsin Hemant Shah School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Virginia Commonwealth University Hong  Cheng School of Media & Culture
Washington State University Bruce Pinkleton College of Communication
West Virginia University Maryanne Reed College of Media


Backgrounds of Deans and Directors

A gender breakdown of the 91 deans and directors affiliated with ASJMC, AAU and ACEJMC programs showed that two-thirds are male and one-third female. In addition, self-reported biographies indicated a heavy concentration of professional backgrounds in journalism and media.


Female Deans & Directors


Male Deans & Directors

Journalism 48%
Public Relations 2%
Media Scholars 19%
Public Relations / Advertising Scholars 8%
Communication Scholars 21%
Other 2%