J-School Deans on How Accreditation Helps, Hurts Programs

When Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications said it would forgo reaccreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Dean Bradley Hamm told the Chicago Tribune on May 1 that the rules stifle curriculum innovation. “Our goal is always to be the best in the world, and this process doesn’t get us there,” Hamm told the Tribune. ACEJMC responded to Hamm’s claims on its website: “The accreditation process is reviewed by the Council each year, with changes implemented regularly…in a fast-changing digital environment.” Who’s right? Deans from communication schools across the country say accreditation can be both beneficial and limiting. “It works for some programs and isn’t as helpful for others,” says David Perlmutter, Dean of the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University, a program not accredited by ACEJMC. Before Texas Tech, Perlmutter served as the director of the School
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