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Date:   June 5, 2017

To:        Faculty and staff, School of Journalism and Communication

From:  Juan-Carlos Molleda, PhD, Edwin L. Artzt Dean and Professor

Re:        Tenure-track faculty searches

I am writing to let you know that the Provost’s Office has recently approved searches for five tenure-track faculty (TTF) positions within the SOJC through the UO’s new Institutional Hiring Plan.

I want to acknowledge that the timing of these searches adds complexity to the ongoing discussions around revisions to the non-tenure-track-faculty workload policy. However, I am heartened by the way our faculty is deliberating these issues within the established process, and I have no doubt we will continue to move forward together to improve the future of the SOJC.

Under the new TTF hiring policy, the Provost’s Office—in consultation with vice presidents, deans, and a university-wide faculty task force—now has decision-making authority over which schools and departments can hire TTFs, and it will begin to centrally manage the budgets for these positions in FY 2018. This represents a major shift in UO process and culture that is intended to support the president and provost’s priorities with a comprehensive strategic focus on the university’s research and teaching mission. However, the provost plans to leave creative control over faculty searches to the schools and departments while helping to streamline the process. 

The five approved SOJC TTF positions (out of 65 positions approved across the university) include:

  • Media and Intersectionality Assistant Professor
  • Media Studies—Games Studies Assistant Professor (specialization open for further discussion)
  • Media Studies—Global Media, Technology, and Social Justice Assistant Professor (specialization open for further discussion)
  • Science/Environment Communication Assistant Professor
  • Social Media Data Analytics Assistant Professor

These proposals were developed based on the provost’s guiding criteria of enhancing academic quality; promoting interdisciplinary excellence; supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion; increasing external support; and growing graduate education. We had very little time to submit them, and I regret that the time constraint did not allow for broad discussion. However, we did notify area directors, who provided feedback in consultation with their faculty, and we will be continuing the discussion regarding the media studies hires later this week. Now that the hiring process has been institutionalized, we will make sure that we directly involve all faculty in identifying and crafting potential positions for AY 2018–19.

Within the SOJC, our next steps are to assemble search committees for each approved position and to refine job descriptions. We hope to accomplish these tasks by the end of spring term so we can launch the searches in June/July.

I will provide more information about this process and the individual searches as it becomes available.