Tenure and Promotion Portfolio
Kenneth R. Pybus Fall 2009
Tenure and Promotion Portfolio Kenneth R. Pybus Fall 2009
Sept. 9, 2009 Dear Colleagues, This fall marks the beginning of my seventh year with the university. Under agreement with the provost at my hiring, I am applying six of those years toward tenure and promotion. In compliance with the universityâ€™s Tenure and Promotion Policy, I have prepared this Tenure and Promotion Portfolio and make this formal application for a grant of tenure and for promotion to associate professor in the fall of 2010. I believe I qualify for tenure and promotion under the university guidelines because of my commitment to the mission of the university, because I can evidence accomplishment in teaching scholarly activity, service and collegiality. Finally, those activities evidence that I am a â€œgood fitâ€? with the university. I have great love and respect for the Abilene Christian University because I am committed to the direction of the university and because I believe no other university fills the specific niche ACU does. Thank you for your participation in this process. I look forward to working with you in this matter. Warmest Regards,
Kenneth R. Pybus, J.D. Assistant Professor Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
Abilene Christian University ACU Box 27892 Abilene, Texas 79699 325-674-2553 firstname.lastname@example.org
The mission of Abilene Christian University is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.
The mission of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication is to plan, organize and implement an undergraduate journalism and mass communication teaching program that reflects commitment to the education of an effective graduate who will appreciate the interaction of spiritual, academic, societal and professional values within the context of the university and college missions.
Table of Contents
11 Curriculum Vita 19 Introduction 21 Teaching Effectiveness 37 Scholarship, Creativity and Their Equivalents 43 Service 51 Collegiality Appendices
Tenure Track Appointment
Letter from Pre-Tenure Committee
Annual Evaluations by Departmental Chair
Student Evaluations Quantitative Summaries
Student Evaluations Qualitative Comments
Letters from Faculty Members and Colleagues • Dr. Mark Riggs • Mike Wiggins • George Saltsman • Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker • Dr. Paul Fabrizio, McMurry University
Letters from Former Students • April Ward Farris, J.D. • Adriane Jewett • Jonathan Smith • Mallory Sherwood Schlabach
Letters from University Constituents • Judge Lee Hamilton • Judge Len Wade
Student Media Coverage of Newsroom Development
Student Media Awards
Freelance Writing • “My Brother’s Keeper” • Letters in Response to “My Brother’s Keeper”
Examples of Service as Expert in Local Media • “Bridging Church and Politics” • “First Amendment has limits, local experts agree” • “Shield law Protects Journalists”
Syllabi • Communication Law • Reporting • Publication Design • Broadcast News • Basic News
Exams, Quizzes and Miscellany
Scholarship: “Dialing up coverage: The Implications of a iPhoneenabled Readership on Online News”
Scholarship: “Convergence or Divergence: The Impact of Redesign on Large-Circulation Magazine Covers”
Scholarship: “Black, White and Viewed All Over: The Practical Challenges of Expanding College Newspaper into Online Video”
Scholarship: “Courting Coverage: A Content Analysis of the News Reporting of Supreme Court of Texas Cases”
Education August 1992
Juris Doctor, Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas.
Bachelor of Science, Journalism and Mass Communication, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas.
In progress (18 hours complete)
Candidate for Doctor of Philosophy, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Academic Experience 2003 to present
Assistant Professor, Abilene Christian University Teaching specialties include Communication Law, Reporting and Publication Design. Specific areas of interest include the First Amendment protection of emerging media, magazine design and typography and mobile news readership. Advise the JMC Network, ACUâ€™s student media operation, in the production of the award-winning student newspaper, the Optimist, and its online counterpart, acuoptimist.com, in addition to The Chris Thomsen Show, a weekly sports television show airing on KRBCTV in Abilene and on KUF7.
Courses Taught Fall/Spring 2003-2009; Maymester 2005; Summer 2006
JMC 488 Communication Law Course Description: Freedom and responsibility of print and broadcast media ethically and legally. First Amendment principles and legal philosophy affecting the media and employees.
Fall/Spring 2003-2008 (except Spring 2008); Maymester 2008
JMC 342 Publication Design Course Description: Principles and practice of typography, graphic journalism and newspaper and magazine design. The course is designed primarily for JMC majors and is a JMC core requirement, but the course is also open to others who qualify.
JMC 324 Reporting Course Description: A study of newspaper journalism with an emphasis on public affairs reporting, computer assisted reports, in-depth reporting, ethics, and laboratory work on the student newspaper.
JMC 440 Perspectives in Mass Communication: A Comparison of Multiple Media Systems Course Description: An investigation of theories and principles of mass communication through a comparison of European and American media. This course satisfies a JMC elective but is open to all who qualify. (Co-taught with Dr. Susan Lewis)
HCOL 461 Prayers, Politics and the Pledge: The Boundaries of “Freedom of Religion” and “The Wall of Separation,” Honors Colloquium Course Description: An introduction to the complex relationship between religion and government through an in-depth analysis of the nation’s founding documents and the subsequent series of First Amendment church-state decisions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Through the use of primary documents and the interpretation of Supreme Court First Amendment religion decisions, explored the genesis, history and current legal presuppositions guiding disputes over religious freedom. Through a historical approach, examined the impact of the Establishment Clause and the challenge of the Free Exercise Clause on American religious culture. This provided the backdrop for discussions of current legal issues of religious freedom.
JMC 223: Basic News Course Description: A study of the nature of news; the reporter’s three-fold role of reporting, researching, and writing; and the basic news forms for print and broadcast media.
JMC 438: Broadcast News Course Description: An examination of electronic media principles, covering such topics as history, technology, regulation, news, advertising, programming, audience research, business practices,
social impact, ethics, and careers.
Independent Studies Spring 2006
JMC 440 Perspectives in Mass Communication: A Comparison of British and American Media Systems Course Description: An investigation of theories and principles of mass communication through a comparison of European and American media. This course satisfies a JMC elective but is open to all who qualify.
JMC 440 Advanced Publication Design Course Description: Advanced principles and practice of graphic journalism, typography and newspaper and magazine design.
JMC 440 Issues in College Media Course Description: Advanced principles and practice of distributing college media with a focus on use of social networks.
Advising Fall 2005-present
Adviser, JMC Network, ACUâ€™s student media operation. As a one-course reduction per semester, advise student staff members on all aspects of the production of the Optimist, ACUâ€™s twice-weekly newspaper, including story selection and reporting, page design and headline writing, opinion crafting and editorial writing and distribution with a goal of professional competence and product. Also serve as primary adviser of student media online operations, and co-advise online video news operations. Also initiated the development of and serve as primary news adviser to The Chris Thomsen Show, a weekly, 30-minute sports talk show that promotes and covers ACU athletics.
Co-adviser, Society of Professional Journalist/Sigma Delta Chi, Marler Chapter. Advise in the production of the annual Hello Book campus directory and in planning for and scheduling regular events that promote an understanding of the media industries.
Graduate Assistantship Law clerk and classroom assistant to Professor David Guinn, Louis L. Morrison Professor of Constitutional Law and Master Teacher. Assisted in legal research and class planning for Constitutional, First Amendment and local government liability law classes.
Fall 1991-Summer 1992
Professional Experience Editor, Nashville Business Journal Managed reporting staff, including print and broadcast reporters, photojournalists, graphic designers, researchers and a managing editor. Coordinated coverage of business in the Nashville metropolitan area for weekly publication with readership of more than 25,000. Nashville Business Journal is owned by American City Business Journals Inc., the nationâ€™s largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers, serving 41 of the countryâ€™s top markets. It employs more than 300 business journalists, second only to Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal. For print, edited stories, wrote headlines and designed pages. Wrote editorials, columns and occasional news stories. Interviewed and hired. Planned annual sections, including Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Deals, the Health Care 100, profiles of the 100 most influential players in Nashville health care, Small Business Awards and the Book of Lists. On the Web, edited online content, which included breaking news stories throughout the day and a daily push e-mail feature to more than 6,000 Nashville business executives. Produced daily radio spot on local news station that promoted the newspaper and provided information on breaking news to listeners.
April 2001 to July 2003
April 2002-July 2003
Producer, Nashville Business This Week Produced and hosted a weekly television show on the cable arm of Nashville CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5, Nashvilleâ€™s top-rated news station. Nashville Business This Week provides information supplementary to the weekly newspaper, showcases Middle Tennessee executives and serves to promote the newspaper. Guests included the mayor of Nashville, several public company CEOs, university and bank presidents and law firm managing partners.
March 1997-April 2001
Managing editor, Houston Business Journal Managed editing, reporting and support staff of and coordinated coverage by weekly newspaper of business in the Houston area, the fourth largest city in the country and the sixth largest media market. Edited stories, wrote headlines and designed pages. Wrote editorials, news stories and occasional columns. Managed broadcast relationship with News 2 Houston, the local NBC affiliate, and directly supervised an HBJ broadcast reporter. Coordinated weekly small business section. Organized regular training programs on reporting, business and libel issues.
February 1993-March 1997
May 1989-February 1990
News reporter, Houston Business Journal Covered securities, public companies, banking and finance as well as law firms and legal issues. Wrote a weekly securities and finance column and occasional editorials. Edited news and television copy. Reporter, The Brazosport Facts Covered news in the city of Lake Jackson, Texas, local petroleum and chemical industry and the local school district. Several stories were picked up by Associated Press wire services and published in other newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News and the Galveston Daily News.
Scholarship “Going Mobile: The Challenges and Best Practices of Formatting News Content for an iPhone-enabled Readership,” Kenneth R. Pybus and Cade White. Presented at The Academic Innovation Exchange Conference, National Religious Broadcasters, Feb. 6, 2009, Nashville, Tennessee. “Dialing up coverage: The Implications of a iPhone-enabled Readership on Online News ,” Kenneth Pybus and Cade White. Presented at Convergence and Society: The Participatory Web, October 8-11, 2008, Columbia, South Carolina. “Convergence or Divergence: The Impact of Redesign on LargeCirculation Magazine Covers,” Kenneth R. Pybus. Research presentation as part of Contemporary Magazine Design, a panel at the 2008 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual convention, Aug. 5, 2008, Chicago, Illinois. “Black, White and Viewed All Over: The Practical Challenges of Expanding College Newspaper into Online Video,” Kenneth Pybus and Cade White. Convergence and Society: Ethics, Religion and New Media, October 19-21, 2006, Columbia, South Carolina.
Conferences and Seminars Digital Trek: To Boldly Explore Copyright in Teaching and Learning, a conference including presentations on the copyright concerns of Fair Use, The TEACH Act, a group case study, Google, and iTunes University. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
April 11-13, 2007
First Amendment Institute 2008 Seminar, Fort Worth. During the institute, a faculty of experts work with a select group of applicants to study the importance of the First Amendment. Participants explore the history and philosophical concepts
June 8-13, 2008
protected by the First Amendment and how they relate to current issues.
Professional Awards 2008
Honorable Mention, Council for Advancement and Support of Education Circle of Excellence Awards Program for Alumni Relations Programs, for “Brother’s Keeper” in ACU Today.
Gutenberg Award from Abilene Christian University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication for outstanding professional accomplishment.
Second Place, Editorial Writing, Press Club of Houston Awards.
Second Place, Editorial Writing, Press Club of Houston Awards.
Achievement Award, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Southwest District IV, General Feature Writing, for a feature on the Impact Church of Christ inner city ministry in Houston.
Second Place, Column Writing, Press Club of Houston Awards.
First Place, Investigative Reporting, Press Club of Houston Awards.
First Place, Business Story, Press Club of Houston Awards.
Professional Memberships Society of Professional Journalists Society of News Design State Bar of Texas, Inducted, 1992 (inactive 1998-2006) Member of Copyright Committee, Intellectual Property Division
hope through this document to illustrate my qualifications for a grant of tenure and promotion to associate professor. But I want to emphasize this portfolio is more than just a plea for job security and a promotion. Rather, I hope also to communicate my love for the university and why I see Abilene and ACU as my long-term home. My grandfather first enrolled in ACU in the fall of 1938. He met my grandmother here and was baptized at the University Church of Christ by Dr. Paul Southern. Two of their children attended ACU, and ten of their grandchildren (I was the first) graduated from the university. I highlight those facts not to emphasize any family credentials but rather humbly to show how long and how deep my connections to the university lie and to evidence just how much ACU has already done for me â€“ just how much I owe those who have gone on before me. Teaching is a second career for me, but I chose to leave the journalism profession full-time and teach at ACU not because of those family connections and not because of my own college experience. Instead, I came to teach at ACU because I believe in its mission and I believe in the mission of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. I believe students should be able to choose the unique Christian education ACU offers. I believe the world needs more Christian journalists. And I believe the university and the department are uniquely innovative among Christian universities to train students for Christian service. I have been incredibly blessed to work with great and godly people in the past six years, and I have loved teaching far more than I anticipated. ACU and Abilene offer a unique community, and I hope to be a part of that community for many years. Attached under this tab for reference are the ACU Promotion, Tenure and Post Tenure Review Guidelines and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communicationâ€™s Expansion of Criteria and Examples for Tenure and Promotion. Specific references to these documents will be in italics throughout this portfolio.
n the spring of 1989, I was driving a van packed with aspiring journalists to a student competition somewhere north of Texas when faculty adviser Dr. Charles Marler turned and – with none of the transition he demanded from our newswriting – suggested I go on to law school as I planned, go get a Ph.D. in journalism afterward and return to teach at Abilene Christian University, where I then was two months away from graduation with a B.S. in journalism. It was the first time anyone ever had suggested I go into teaching, and it was the first time I rejected it outright. At the time, I would have explained that I was unqualified to teach because I had no experience. I hadn’t worked at a major metropolitan daily. I hadn’t covered high-profile political races. I hadn’t earned a Pulitzer for in-depth coverage of a Supreme Court nomination fight. To me, education was all about experience – especially in the arena of mass communication, where students are as apt to learn how to write a news story by reading a newspaper as they are by reading a textbook. But were I honest to myself and to Dr. Marler in that northbound van 20 years ago, I would have explained that I never would be qualified to teach. I never would have the academic gravitas, the commitment to scholarly endeavors or the ability to resonate with and energize students just starting out on a career in mass communication. To invoke the Apostle Paul, I did not believe I was apt to teach. Obviously, those perceptions have changed in the past two decades, and six years ago I transitioned from newspaper editor to educator. In part, this section will describe my shift in thinking as a professional journalist before accepting a teaching position, and it will describe my evolution in thinking about how to educate students in mass communication. In addition, it will describe the areas in which I have sought to develop my skills toward improvement in my craft and in my teaching. The challenge in producing this document has not been the selfexamination and self-awareness it is designed to elicit. Those are the natural by-products of a mid-life career change and have continued over the past several years. I am constantly reevaluating
course material, examples and assignments to better explain my subjects to my students. Over the past five years, I have learned several important lessons from teaching about the process. I have learned my job is not to simply transfer data from my head into the heads of students. My job is to hold them accountable. I have discovered the more I learn, the less satisfied I am with my teaching. And I can attest to the truth that the class meeting is no longer the center of learning, if it ever were. Those are truths of the mass communication industry, as well. Reporters donâ€™t get their work done in the daily budget meeting; mass communication professionals constantly need to improve their craft. And these truths apply to the responsibilities I have in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. The courses I generally teach are disparate in several ways: Communication Law is more theoretical; Reporting and Publication Design are more practical. Comm Law and Reporting are verbal; Pub Design is visual. Each takes a unique approach to encourage learning. In addition, advising student media is in its own league. In each, we are constantly dealing with the everchanging nature of mass communication.
o be sure, success in mass communication education most easily can be observed through its results. Foremost, educated mass communication practitioners are equipped for productive careers as professionals. At a minimum, they have learned the basics of their discipline and enter the workforce employable and able to support themselves. Moreover, they understand that their profession is about more than just the acquisition and dissemination of information. Well-educated professionals work to find meaning in the data they sift through every day. They understand and believe in the principles that drive the practices of mass communication and strive to adhere to them daily. Mass communication professionals eschew the arrogance that often comes from the power of media but genuinely seek service to
Media and mass communication professionals develop habits of learning and continually adapt to change in their professions.
others as their primary goal. They know that relationships – with sources, clients, coworkers – drive their profession. Media and mass communication professionals develop habits of learning and continually adapt to change in their professions. They thrive on inherent competition and, at the same time, are able to work in team settings. In all disciplines of mass communication, they are able to tell stories that impact people’s lives. They recognize the benefits of their work to their various constituencies – readers, advertisers, the media and others.
ach individual is endowed with a unique set of abilities, and the educator’s role is to develop strengths while shoring up weaknesses. Educators have the responsibilities of discovering where each student is on the continuum of learning and developing ways to get them where they need to be. They have the opportunity and the challenge of communicating to students the passions of the profession – getting the scoop, negotiating a sticky public relations crisis, writing inspired prose with meaningful content. They must pound home the unbending principles of mass communication and help develop those skills because in the end, teachers have responsibilities not only to the student but also to his future employers, coworkers, customers, clients, readers, viewers and the profession itself. The greater challenge is recognizing whether students are being trained for the future, whether their ability to work in today’s marketplace will translate into success 30 years from now. The only way to do that is to constantly focus on process. That is a dramatic shift from the results-based thinking of my newsroom days, but it is crucial to the success of students. Principles and Practice My editor in Houston, a product of an earlier age in journalism, loves to say about a host of issues, “Well, it works in practice, now we have to see if it works in theory.” The underlying premise of his refreshened metaphor is that theory is irrelevant – that the process of producing anything, be it news or an educated student, is driven
“His ‘real world’ experience makes class more interesting and informative.” Spring 2004
solely by the product itself. That “whatever works” is not only the best policy but it is the only policy. To be sure, my experience – even sans the Pulitzer and national play – has proved invaluable during my six years as a teacher. And while I vowed to friends never to be the grizzled faculty member steeped in war stories about newsroom drama and little else, students consistently cite my description of hands-on experience in the newsroom as a key element of my classes. (See Appendix E.) But I also have learned in the interim a far greater respect for theory and process and a far better understanding that the theoretical and the practical are not two separate paths. They aren’t even two sides of the same coin. They are weaved together in an indivisible way. From my experience as a reporter and editor, I have recognized how, while few mass communication professionals articulate it on a given day, each is operating from a theoretical framework, often without knowing it, every time their fingers hit the keyboard and every time they switch on the camera.
n the classroom and the lab, mass communication educators must balance the twin challenges of principles and practice. Educators must help students answer the question of “why” while students are learning “how.” Mass communication is founded upon core principles so profound, some are embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Mass communication students must understand and respect the concept of a marketplace of ideas. They must see the truths of intellectual honesty, fundamental fairness and accuracy. Those concepts can most thoroughly be communicated through lecture and guided class discussion. Students can learn the importance of these principles only by examining them from all angles, and they can only be prepared for the dilemmas they will face as professionals by addressing them in the education setting and applying their principles as early and as often as possible. To stimulate these discussions, educators should draw not only on the textbook but also on their professional experience, on current events and historical incidents and on the students’ own experiences. At the same time, the mass communication professions involve skills that can be developed only through constant repetition and
“Has background experience in field and can teach it well. Knows what he’s talking about.” Spring 2005 “He has extensive professional experience, so he presented us with the most current and relevant course material.” Fall 2004
Mass communication employers do not want employees who know all the answers. They want employees who know where to find the answers.
correction. Lab-learning experience is vital to proper development as a professional journalist, public relations account manager or ad firm staffer. Students learn to write by writing. They learn to edit by editing. Regardless of their field of specialization, mass communication professionals must learn by constantly studying the work of others – by reading ad copy, news releases, newspapers, broadcast scripts. Obviously, the type of class dictates the proper mix of lab, lecture and interactive teaching. In most disciplines, the trend is moving away from simple lecture and Socratic method and more toward experiential learning and case-based learning in a group setting. I see the benefits of both. However, regardless of the teaching method, I see setting clear standards the true key to educational success. Students learn what they are tested on and what they are held accountable for, and the educator’s responsibility is to ensure his priorities are reflected in that process. Learning and Adaptability
ass communication is a collection of professions that involves constant learning. For every story, a reporter must learn something new and communicate it to readers. For every writing assignment or speech, a public relations professional must grasp new concepts and apply them in interesting ways. For every advertisement, the ad professional must digest images and desired outcomes and factor them into the final product. Educators must put students in the habit of learning – not just about the profession, but about the world around them. They must become life-long students of human behavior. Mass communication employers do not want employees who know all the answers. They want employees who know where to find the answers. Students raised in an online culture must recognize that not everything worth knowing can be found on the World Wide Web. Students must be prepared for these ever-changing tools and technologies – changes in how news and information are accessed or distributed. But they must know the limits of these tools and
recognize that the underlying principles do not change. I fully support the concept of mass media convergence – the idea that the lines between print, broadcast and online media are blurring. Students who expect to be a feature newswriter may end up hosting a newspaper’s cable show. Broadcast journalists must be prepared to write for their radio station’s Web site. In class and lab settings, the educator must raise these possibilities. Values
y interest in teaching is in passing on a passion for the art and craft of mass communication. Far too many mass media professionals lose sight of the pleasure of accomplishment, the joys of learning, the satisfaction of the pursuit of truth. Moreover, the mass media professions are desperately in need of Christian professionals who hold fast to the concept of an inherent truth and a standard for right and wrong. Educators have the opportunity to not only be the light of the world but to spread that light to others to have an even greater impact.
But that realization alone would not have convinced me that I had the ability to perform as a teacher and college professor. Even with a proper understanding of theory and practice, I still was forced to overcome my concern that I didn’t have the ability to teach. Surprisingly, my conversion experience in that area was working as a newspaper editor, which as a reporter I would have described as the antithesis of the educator. Most editors are like mine in Houston – little regard for theory, little regard for process. Quick, barked-out decisions over reasoned, drawn-out debate. A harsh word of rebuke over extensive critique. The neighborhood bar over the cloistered columns of academia. But during my six years as an editor in Houston and Nashville, I realized my main strength in that job was not shouting out assignments to lazy reporters or fixing bad copy or even pitching the newspaper to the local Kiwanis. Rather, I was at my best when I was working one-on-one, side-by-side with a reporter to craft a story that best would explain our subject to our readers.
I was at my best when I was working one-onone, sideby-side with a reporter to craft a story that best would explain our subject to our readers.
“To say Mr. Pybus was enthusiastic about (Communication Law) would be an incredible understatement.” Fall 2003
I don’t recall any “eureka moment,” but I do know eventually I began to function as a teacher – sometimes helping reporters unlearn bad writing habits, sometimes engaging in Socratic discussion to help reporters flesh out their sourcing. I don’t know if any reporters would describe me as the best editor they ever had, but I know several who would say I was the most patient. While I enjoy the Socratic method, the class discussion, even the occasional lecture, I have found I am at my best as an educator when I am helping a single student work through a single challenge, and I find the greatest joy when I see the subtle signs of their recognition.
Reflections on Teaching (This section contains evidence of knowledge of the subject matter, the ability to communicate, self-reflection and improvement and interest in the student as described in the university tenure and promotion Guidelines and Procedures. It is supported in the appendices by documentation) (This section contains documentation of superior use of digital media usage, documentation of superior innovation in the classroom and documentation of superior mentoring, as described in the JMC Expansion of Criteria and Examples for tenure and Promotion.)
“He was very passionate about the subject, and that made us want to learn.” Spring 2006
As I have described previously, I teach at poles of the academic spectrum within the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. I generally teach three separate courses – Communication Law, Reporting and Publication Design – in addition to duties advising the student media operation, the JMC Network. And all four of those primary teaching responsibilities include different challenges and have required me to adapt in different ways. I have learned through course evaluations and student interaction some strengths and weaknesses that were foreign or unrevealed to me before I made the leap to teaching. In general, I am most pleased with course evaluations that refer to my teaching style as enthusiastic and passionate. I have been pleased that students understand that I care about their
understanding of the material and their application of their knowledge in practical ways. I also recognize chronic frustrations my students have regarding the speed of grading and formal feedback, which I will address below. (See Appendix E for a more comprehensive presentation of qualitative comments from student evaluations.) In my classes, I have strived to take advantage of all types of technological advancements, beyond just the occasional video, and course evaluations show students appreciate that. All three of my courses are iTunes U courses, meaning students can access all audio-visual materials from class through the iTunes U interface.
“This rates as one of the top 5 classes at ACU that I have taken. I am amazed at the professor’s tests and quizzes, the time and thought he put into making and grading them. This professor is one of the best at ACU, and I’m not just saying that.” Fall 2005
Communication Law (This sub-section contains documentation of superior use of digital media usage, documentation of superior innovation in the classroom and documentation of superior mentoring, as described in the JMC Expansion of Criteria and Examples for tenure and Promotion.) My biggest concern when I first began to teach Communication Law was maintaining the rigor that had been applied for so many years by Dr. Charles Marler. Students have feared the course for several decades, and it is the most likely adversary in the JMC department to a 4.0 grade point average. But I quickly realized the difficulty was not in Dr. Marler’s instruction but rather in the volume and nature of the subject matter itself. The rigor of the course takes care of itself as long as I keep expectations high. After the first semester, based on feedback that we did not have enough time in class to discuss the subject matter, I reduced the number of exams to four from five and reduced the number of briefs to four from five. The effect did not diminish the difficulty of the course but gave students an opportunity for deeper understanding of their cases. I have gradually moved away from a formal recitation model to a greater emphasis on each student being prepared to participate in classroom discussion. Students still are required to stand to
“This class made you think.” Spring 2008
“Used Web, iTunes and other non-traditional media.” Fall 2008
“The degree of study and organization that Dr. Pybus’s course required proved to be a realistic introduction to the level of intense study that my courses at Harvard Law School would require.” April Ward ’06
present information on some of their assigned cases, but the class discussion is now more truly Socratic. Some students don’t like the possibility of being called on by name each class period to offer their opinion or perspective, but it’s a practice that encourages reading of the material and digesting the subject matter. This course has probably experienced the most dramatic changes in the past few years related to the use of technology. When I began teaching the course, I produced a 200-page syllabus/study guide for students to work from. After a few semesters of posting daily current events readings to Blackboard, I created a blog to post links to reading assignments. My goal throughout each semester is to post at least one current event reading per day and to quiz the students on those readings at the beginning of each class period. And I learned early on that students would not read the blog unless they were quizzed over the contents. About three years ago, I moved the syllabus and study guide online as I gradually learned more about Web publication. Finally, this fall, I have combined the blog and the syllabus Web site to a single Web location, thanks to the university’s new blog initiative. Because I have been operating the blog for more than four years, the site at http://blogs.acu.edu/ commlaw has more than 600 current event links, which offers students some good starting points for research papers linked to topics with current event connections. (Under the JMC Expansion of Criteria and Examples for Tenure and Promotion, evidence of teaching effectiveness may include “(c) reation of original PowerPoint, HyperCard, video, CD, Web, etc., presentations to enhance classroom instruction” and “(c) Creation of comprehensive course study guides,” both of which are met through the creation of the Comm Law Web site.) In addition to moving all course material online, I have created a podcast called Vox Comm Law, which I use to relay practical information to students outside of class. One example is a podcast I produced to explain how to read a legal case. Requiring them to listen to it outside of class frees up more time for class discussion. And I have sought ways to use pop culture and technology to emphasize certain concepts. For example, in Communication Law
“Thanks. Now I know I don’t want to go to law school.” Spring 2008
several semesters ago, I began to show short segments, specifically of Law & Order, which often tackles the topics related to free speech and First Amendment law. I call the segment Comm Law & Order. That segment itself is not referenced often on course evaluations, but the overall idea of using technology beyond Powerpoint and an occasional video in class appears to resonate with students. Comm Law remains the course in which I receive the most consistently high quantitative student evaluations. (See Appendix D.) Only four times has a student evaluation average on a specific question dropped below 4 out of 5. Two of those came in a single semester in response to the questions “Was accessible to me” and “Was interested in students.” During that semester, the Don Morris Building was undergoing substantial renovation, my office was in Chambers, I taught classes in Don Morris, Chambers and the Brown Library and advised the Optimist staff in the Ad Building. My evaluations related to “was enthusiastic about the subject” consistently score above 4.6 with students. Comm Law is the course in which I have the most success keeping up with grading. Some semesters are better than others, but typically I return exams after a week and quizzes the next period. I still struggle with the challenge of grading research papers before the end of the semester, despite instituting staggered due dates. Students who want the possibility of an A on their research paper have one due date; and students who turn in their paper by a later due date can receive at most a B, and so forth. One of the pleasures of teaching Comm Law is that I often serve as a non-official pre-law adviser to students interested in attending law school. During the past four years I have served in that role for several students, including April Ward, who graduated from Harvard Law School in May and will clerk for a federal judge in Houston, Jennie Martin, who attended Texas Tech law school and now practices in Lubbock, Jordan Isom, who attended University of Tulsa Law School and is employed by a law firm in Houston, and Kelline Linton, who entered Pepperdine Law School this fall. (See Appendix G to read a letter of recommendation from Ms. Ward.)
“He guided me through the behind-the-scenes teaching responsibilities and gave me the freedom to be creative in my classroom. Because of his trust and support, I am now in graduate school pursuing a teaching career.” Adriane Jewett ’05 Publication Design Of the three main courses I teach, the one that has shown the best trendline of improvement in student evaluations is Publication Design. During the course, as they are learning design principles and mastering typography, students produce a publication prototype. Considering this is the course in which I have the least professional experience, the positive responses by students on semester evaluations has been surprising. The trendline evidences my own improving mastery of the subject. “Explained the course material clearly” and “Was well prepared” dipped below 4 in quantitative evaluation during 2004 but have showed steady improvement since. Early in the course, I made several changes in response to student evaluations. At first I allowed students to choose whether they wanted to produce a newspaper or magazine prototype. However, that proved unworkable in the first few semesters because students who chose newspapers felt like their work was being graded more harshly, which was probably true. Most significantly, I have changed the way in which student work is evaluated – adopting a model more common in the Department of Art and Design. Beginning two years ago, I instituted a class critique process in which fellow students rank weekly assignments. And at the end of the semester, for the final, each student must stand to present and defend their magazine prototype to the class, which provides a final critique that supplements my own.
“Loved the class! Learned more (in Pub Design) than any other JMC class.” Fall 2007
A final challenge in the course has been finding the right lab instructor to teach use of software and assist with design projects and the prototype assignment. Course evaluations vary based on who is in that position dealing with students on a regular basis in lab. For three of the first four semesters I taught the course, Adriane Jewett served as lab instructor and went on to work as a professional graphic designer. Ms. Jewett now is earning her MFA at the University of Kansas in advertising and graphic design. (See Appendix G to read a letter of recommendation from Ms. Jewett.)
The class field trips were educational and helped me get a grasp on the things we were discussing in class. Fall 2007
Reporting Reporting has been the most difficult course to develop. The course requires students to build on a knowledge of newswriting learned in JMC 223 Basic News, but it also requires students to unlearn several of the elementary writing techniques employed in that prerequisite. The most glaring challenge has been the grading and evaluation of completed stories. While I early on began meeting with students one-on-one during lab to discuss stories and provide feedback on the writing structure and reporting problems with their stories, I still typically fall behind returning stories with grades. That inconsistency, I believe, has manifested itself in spotty qualitative student evaluations for the question “Made me aware of the grading system,” which, as often as not, falls below the 4.0 mark. (See Appendix D.) Other than that indicator, responses generally remain well above 4. One of the ways I have tried to improve on that grading challenge has been gradually to move away from lecture to focus more on critiques of student work in class, making the story grading process less time-intensive. One of the most successful innovations in Reporting in recent years has been the Ethics Roundtable. About four times during the semester, at the beginning of the class, I will take the class to the library for group discussion of some knotty ethical issue in journalism – often spurred on by a current event. This is a unique opportunity to address the contrasts between traditional journalism ethics and the Christian perspective. A particular assignment (reproduced in Appendix M) calls upon students in a group setting to agree upon what information they will release to the public regarding a missing member of the media. Their journalistic and Christian responsibilities often are put at odds as the group discusses such topics as public figures, the right to privacy, gossip and the public’s right to know. Another favorite activity I have incorporated into the class has been field trips to the Taylor County Courthouse and Abilene City Hall. Some students who have never been to a courtroom will one day have the professional responsibility of covering high-profile trials and need to understand the workings of the court system. On
“The ethics discussions were so much fun, and I felt like I learned quite a bit.” Spring 2007 “I loved the roundtable ethics discussion. It was great hearing what others had to say.” Fall 2006
Most recently, the Optimist earned statewide recognition in spring 2009 from the Texas intercollegiate Press Association as the best student newspaper in Texas.
several occasions, Judge Lee Hamilton and Judge Thomas Wheeler have served as guest lecturers to the students from the bench in their courtrooms, and on one visit, students heard testimony from a co-conspirator in the trial of a woman convicted of capital murder. Because of the popularity of the field trips in this class, i recently have made overtures to the Taylor County sheriff to take students to visit the county jail and have contacted the warden of the Texas Department of Correctionsâ€™ Robertson Unit to schedule a field trip there. The course was canceled this fall, but I plan to implement that in the spring. JMC Network The most challenging, time-consuming and rewarding part of my responsibilities on the JMC faculty is easily my role as primary adviser to the JMC Network, the student media operation that produces the Optimist, acuoptimist.com and, most recently, The Chris Thomsen Show. My job is to encourage two dozen students to produce professional-quality journalism on a daily basis. Dr. Cheryl Bacon, my predecessor as student media adviser, aptly described the frustrations of that challenge by comparing the role to that a football coach â€“ youâ€™re judged every week not by your own performance but by that of a group of 18- to 22-year-olds. But the Optimist is where our journalism students truly shine. During the four yours I have served as adviser, students working on the media staff have won dozens of awards in feature writing, news writing, sports writing, opinion writing, sportscasting and page designing. Most recently, the Optimist earned statewide recognition in spring 2009 from the Texas intercollegiate Press Association as the best student newspaper in Texas. TIPA includes as its members, and the ACU student media staff competed last spring against such schools as the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Texas. TIPA is the largest statewide intercollegiate student media organization and annually hosts competitions attended by more than 600 Texas journalism students. (See Appendix J for a complete list of awards won by the student media staff under my direct supervision.) Last fall, Jared Fields, 2007-08 editor of the Optimist won national
“Despite being one of the most demanding advising jobs on campus, I know advising the staff is an opportunity he looked forward to from the moment he was hired. And we were a better staff because of him.” Jonathan Smith ’06 recognition for a feature I assisted him with in the Society of Professional Journalists mark of Excellence Awards. His third-place national finish beat out competition from several other nationally recognized universities. I have needed to develop an advising style as adviser that best matches my own leadership style. The changing nature of the industry and the student media products means how I interact with students has had to change. Students who worked under former adviser Dr. Marler became familiar with his complex system of colored dots on newspaper pages, and former adviser Dr. Bacon provided more pre-press, in-the-newsroom instruction. My own style has been closer to Dr. Bacon’s but probably more one-onone with staff members on specific news stories. Occasionally, the educational challenge of working to mold students into professional journalists is eclipsed by the challenge of dealing with an audience that does not completely understand concepts of free speech and free exchange of ideas. Not only must the adviser defend his students in those situations, he also must defend the very notion of the marketplace of ideas and the values of intellectual discovery. In that regard, the JMC Network adviser must serve a role as campus defender of First Amendment freedoms, explaining to skeptics that the freedom of speech we recognize in the First Amendment has its roots in Genesis. Our founding fathers believed freedom of speech was among the Creator-endowed rights granted to a people created in His own image. The Adviser-Editor Relationship The relationship between the adviser of the student media and the student media editor has always been a crucial one. And in the four yours I have advised the Optimist and the JMC Network, I have struggled to fit that advising to the particular strengths and weaknesses of the individual who has served in the job. The role involves daily side-by-side counseling and instruction, much akin to that of a chemistry professor and her lab instructor or a football coach and his quarterback. It also is the greatest opportunity I
“He was always willing to open his home for a holiday meal or invite me and my husband over for dinner during a particularly long week. If there was one person I looked up to while at ACU, it was Kenneth. He is relatable, sincere and dependable. I truly felt that he was my friend as well as professor.” Mallory Sherwood Schlabach ’07
Our founding fathers believed freedom of speech was among the Creator-endowed rights granted to a people created in His own image.
have for Christian mentoring. I work with these students during what can be the most stressed time in their lives, and to be sure, I am the cause of much of that stress. But I have to balance the high expectations to which we hold our student media with a level of calm Christian reassurance. Those editors have been: • Jonathan Smith, Page Designer, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, Texas • Mallory Sherwood Schlabach, Chief Customer Officer, Marketing & Advertising/Graphic Design Chief, Sherware Inc., Ohio • Jared Fields, Reporter, Abilene Reporter-News, Abilene, Texas • Daniel Johnson-Kim, Graduate Student, Columbia School of Journalism, New York, New York Each of those students provided their own unique challenges, but each produced work the university should be proud of. And I developed a close bond with each that gave me an opportunity to mentor spiritually in a way that isn’t possible with every student. I counseled with these students and prayed with each of these students, and I have a connection with each that will last a lifetime. (See Appendix G to read letters of recommendation from Mr. Smith and Ms. Schlabach.) Student Media Innovation Finally, serving as adviser to the JMC Network has given me the opportunity to participate in one of the university’s most innovative endeavors. ACU’s commitment to innovation is evident in some obvious ways – the recent iPhone initiative, which seeks to teach students in ways in which they learn best, the reconstructed library, in which information is not simply housed. But most important has been the innovative and forward-looking philosophy that has driven my department. The Student Media News Lab constructed 18 months ago is a tangible example of that innovation, but it is only part of a philosophical change that began even as I was a student. Only now are members of the professional media tackling topics and trends that I learned about as a member of the JMC
department’s Visiting Committee more than a dozen years ago. The lines between media are blurring, the industry’s economic models are crumbling and students cannot anticipate traditional career paths. No journalism and mass communication department has recognized that more readily and reacted more decisively than ACU’s. The Student Media News Lab puts print-oriented students side-by-side with video-oriented ones. It forces cooperation. This year students are working on the production of the newspaper just as they are producing segments for the Chris Thomsen Show, a sports show that the JMC Network now produces to air weekly on KRBC-TV in Abilene. During my time as adviser, I have worked with Cade White to expand our online news distribution to include video news reports and, last year, regular sportscasts and newscasts. This year we developed an in-house Web interface, which will give students greater experience in Web design and presentation. Last year we produced the first iPhone interface for the Optimist and improved on it this summer for greater access to stories, images and video. I have participated in the university’s iPhone initiative primarily as a way to learn how student media can be adapted to that format and to learn how young people will consume news in the future. Mass communication is in an increasing state of flux. Students face a far different climate than two decades ago. Many will be in jobs just five years from now that don’t even exist today. Changing technology is driving changes in news consumption habits. That puts a greater responsibility on educators to train students for the long term, to teach how the theories of the industry and the Christian principles will merge with new mass media distribution methods that haven’t been invented yet.
Scholarship, Creativity and Their Equivalents
cholarship is crucial to intellectual growth, to the stature of the university and its departments among their peers and even to the credibility faculty members have with their students. To be effective, educators must constantly improve and grow in their understanding of their field and of the teaching methods that reach their students. Mass communication is a unique field in the sense that it is an odd blending of art and science. For that reason it requires a unique skill set and approach to scholarship. Like the arts, it requires scholarship that shows an understanding of the functions of mass communication (and in my case, the law of mass communication). And like the sciences, it requires scholarship that advances the understanding of the role mass communication plays in the world. (Evidence of Scholarship, Creativity and their Equivalents, at described in the university tenure and portfolio Guidelines and Procedures, such as papers presented at conferences and presentations are referred to in this section and included as appendices to this portfolio.) (Under the JMC Expansion of Criteria and Examples for Tenure and Promotion, this section includes â€œat least six activities from this area, ideally two each from the areas of scholarship, creativity and professional equivalency. However, two additional creative or equivalency activities may be substituted for the two scholarship activities.â€?) I have sought to develop at least one academic research interest in each of the three primary areas in which I teach â€“ law, reporting and design. And in some cases, those interests have overlapped. One of the challenges of developing research has been to focus on a single one of those areas. Some of my initial research was conducted with Cade White in relation to the development of video on newspaper Web sites. Because one of our JMC graduates, David Leeson, was a pioneer in that area and because we were seeking to expand our own student media operations into that arena, we studied the similarities and differences between television news and video journalism on newspaper sites. The results of that research was presented at Convergence and Society,
an annual conference at the University of South Carolina that is the oldest and most established academic venue focused on media convergence. (See Appendix O for that paper.) The addition of the iPhone to ACU’s campus afforded a second opportunity to study media convergence – particularly the way in which news outlets were using the iPhone and similar devices to distribute news. Our research, presented at the University of South Carolina Convergence and Society conference and at a conference of the National Religious Broadcasters convention, indicated the iPhone and similar devices were blossoming into media outlet for news distribution separate and distinct from the Web. (See Appendix P for that paper.) In the area of magazine design, I was invited to present alongside Dr. Gerald Grow of Florida A&M University, one of the leading scholars in magazine design, on my research into the trends in magazine cover design, particularly addressing the question of whether magazines have begun to look more or less like one another as they are more constantly redesigned. (See Appendix Q for that presentation.) The presentation was at the national convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the largest mass communication organization. One of the challenges of focusing efforts on the iPhone initiative has been that other research has taken a back seat. My current research focuses on two legal topics that I have been interested in studying for some time. First, during the past school year, I worked with student Kelline Linton as chair of her Honors thesis committee to study the way newspapers in Texas cover the Texas Supreme Court. The paper Kelline produced with my assistance won first place in the university’s first Undergraduate Research Festival. I expanded on that research to produce a paper that has been accepted for presentation at the 2009 Southwest Educators Council on Journalism and Mass Communication Southwest Symposium in November and is under consideration for publication in that organization’s Southwestern Mass Communication Journal. SWECJMC is a regional affiliate
of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. (See Appendix S for a copy of that paper.) I am pleased with the university’s efforts to broaden the undergraduate research experience, and the acceptance of that paper shows the university’s efforts have paid off for me. I continue to support that emphasis. I am serving a single semester on the university’s new Undergraduate Research Council, and during the past few years, I have served as chair of three other Honors thesis committees, and believe the university’s emphasis on research will continue to raise the level of quality at the institution. In addition, I have been conducting legal research into the question of the First Amendment protection of video games – particularly when governmental entities seek to regulate their violent and sexual content, though that research has not yet produced a paper accepted for publication or presentation. Last summer, I served as a pre-publication reviewer for a forthcoming book by Dr. Charles Davis of the University of Missouri.
(An example of Scholarship, Creativity and Their Equivalents identified by the JMC Expansion of Criteria is “Pre-publication review of manuscripts of books relevant to JMC,” and the Expansion notes “(i)n the JMC field, being selected to do a pre-publication review is the result of earned respect in the field for editorial ability and should not be viewed differently than serving as a juror for journal articles or convention papers.”)
BY KENNETH R. PYBUS
Royce and Lee Money are bound by an uncommon upbringing and reliance upon one another
Because maintaining practical skills in journalism and mass communication is so crucial to effective classroom instruction and student media advising, I have sought to balance traditional scholarship with creativity. I continue to provide media consulting and freelance writing services to several clients. In 2007, I authored a feature for ACU Today focusing on the relationship between ACU President Royce Money and his mentally handicapped brother, Lee. The feature earned an honorable mention recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education,
oyce Money stayed home the week his mother, his father and his baby brother took the trip to Galveston. When they returned to Temple, Royce knew the news wasn’t good.
He knew his mother cried. He knew his father, characteristically stoic, swallowed bitter disappointment. And he knew his brother, Lee Money, wasn’t any different – and apparently never would be. Afflicted at birth with a host of physical and mental disabilities, Lee was diagnosed as mentally retarded at age 2. He did not respond to any of the battery of treatments and therapies doctors in Central Texas had recommended. But Marian Winter 2007
a national organization that recognizes excellence in alumni magazines. (In the JMC Expansion document, evidence of accomplishment in the field includes “(a)wards from regional or national organizations, e.g. ... Council for the Advancement and Support of Education...”) JMC Network My role as adviser to the student media offers regular opportunities for the scholarship of application and creativity in addition to the research we have conducted into the newspaper video and iPhone news readership. For example, I created a logo for the JMC Network that now is being used on signage and on products of the JMC Network Student Media News Lab. in addition, I created a new logo for The Chris Thomsen Show when the JMC Network took over responsibility for producing that show. The Professors Radio Show For the past two years I have served as a guest host every Monday on The Professors, a public affairs call-in show on KWKC-AM 1340 with Dr. Paul Fabrizio, professor of political science at McMurry University and dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion. The program’s topics run the gamut from political strategy to law to arts, and we often interview guests on those wide range of topics and others. The radio program is an opportunity for scholarship and professional creativity in two ways: • The craft of broadcast interviewing requires constant honing and use to maintain. Through the show I am able to refine my abilities and apply interviewing techniques on a weekly basis that I discuss with students in class. • The topics discussed often revolve around my areas of expertise and call for me to discuss the topics I teach. We have discussed changes in journalism, media ethics, media law, freedom of religion and other free speech topics over the past two years.
Presentations and Panels “Courting Coverage: A Content Analysis of the News Reporting of Supreme Court of Texas Cases,” Kenneth R. Pybus and Kelline Linton, Accepted for Presentation at the Southwest Education Council for Mass Communication Southwest Symposium. Nov. 6, 2009. Arlington, Texas. “Going Mobile: The Challenges and Best Practices of Formatting News Content for an iPhone-enabled Readership,” Kenneth R. Pybus and Cade White. Presented at The Academic Innovation Exchange Conference, National Religious Broadcasters. Feb. 6, 2009, Nashville, Tennessee. “Dialing up coverage: The Implications of a iPhone-enabled Readership on Online News ,” Kenneth Pybus and Cade White. Accepted for presentation at Convergence and Society: The Participatory Web, October 8-11, 2008, Columbia, South Carolina. “Convergence or Divergence: The Impact of Redesign on LargeCirculation Magazine Covers,” Kenneth R. Pybus. Research presentation as part of Contemporary Magazine Design, a panel at the 2008 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual convention, Aug. 5, 2008, Chicago, Illinois. “Black, White and Viewed All Over: The Practical Challenges of Expanding College Newspaper into Online Video,” Kenneth Pybus and Cade White. Convergence and Society: Ethics, Religion and New Media, October 19-21, 2006, Columbia, South Carolina. Book Proposal Evaluation Served as reviewer for the proposal and sample chapters for “The Art of Access: How to Pry Government Records from the Clutches of Reluctant Public Officials” by David Cuillier (University of Arizona) and Charles Davis (University of Missouri-Columbia).
CQ Press, Washington D.C.
Professional competencies Freelance Writing “My Brother’s Keeper,” ACU Today, Winter 2007. This story is included in the appendix as well as several examples of the feedback it received. The story was a compelling one and allowed me to hone my interviewing and writing skills. I have used several of the lessons and experiences that came from the process of reporting and writing this story in my Reporting course. Recurring freelance media consulting and press release writing for Texas Heritage Bank, Boerne, Texas, and First State Bank of Abernathy, Texas, and other clients. Legal Services In the fall of 2007, I reactivated my law license with an intent to provide more thorough and useful counsel to the university’s General Counsel on matters of copyright, trademark and other intellectual property matters. Much of the services I have provided to the university and its employees have been pro bono and are described in greater detail under Service, but some has been feebased and has contributed to my coursework. Compensated legal work over the past two years has included: • Successful registration of five trademarks for the university with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: the ACU seal, “ACU,” “Abilene Christian University,” the ACU Wildcat logo and the Jacob’s Dream sculpture. • Pending registration of two trademarks for the Abilene Independent School District: the Abilene High School eagle logo and the new Cooper High School cougar logo.
ne of the joys of living in Abilene is that all parts of my life are intertwined – work, church, neighborhood, schools, even the grocery store. I’ve found the same to be true when considering service. Instead of stepping from one to another in a defined way, many areas of my service seem to overlap and intertwine. Often, service to the community is service to the University. Service to the church is often service to a student or a group of students. That is the holistic nature of teaching at ACU, and that is one of the most rewarding aspects of work at the university. (Evidence of service as described in the university’s tenure and promotion Guidelines and Procedures includes advisory and consultive positions, committee memberships and work, and student organization sponsorships, each of which is described in this section.) (The JMC Expansion document lists the following requirements, which are met by the evidence below: • Two external, academic service projects relevant to JMC, • Two internal, university service projects relevant to JMC, including chair of department (counts as two), adviser of Optimist, adviser of Prickly Pear, adviser of KNX-TV7 and ACU Video, and general manager of KACU-FM. • Two pro bono, non-profit service projects relevant to JMC)
Service to the Profession Competition Judging (The following contains examples of “(c)ritical services rendered to high school journalism through UIL competition judging and the Texas High School Press Association,” which is included as an example of service in the JMC Expansion document) During the past several years, I have coordinated judging for several high school journalism competitions. The goal of these efforts is to encourage quality students to enter the fields of journalism by rewarding good work. While the efforts have the side benefit of promoting the university and its journalism program, the
primary goal is to preserve journalism and mass communication as a viable option for strong students. Among those I have participated in over the past five years are: Journalism Contest Director, UIL Conference 2A, Region 1, Abilene, Texas.
Haskell PowWow Invitational UIL Division 1A , 2A & 3A, Haskell, Texas.
Journalism Contest Director, Texas Christian Schools Association 2008 State Convention, Abilene, Texas.
Journalism Contest Director, UIL District 16A, Abilene, Texas.
One of the side benefits of organizing the judging of those competitions is encouraging JMC students to participate in the service. To be sure, they appreciate the small bit of cash they receive as UIL judges, but they also learn the importance of encouraging younger generations to value the role journalism plays in society. Statewide Leadership Position (The following includes evidence of â€œ(o)fficer service in JMC academic and professional organizations at state, regional and national level. ) This spring, I began a two-year term as president of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. TIPA is the largest statewide student press organization in the country and has a membership of nearly 100 universities. The organization meets annually to conduct live and pre-submitted journalism competitions, job fairs and seminars for student journalists. Public Speaking I conducted brownbag session for staff members of the Abilene Reporter-News newspaper on the topic of libel and privacy. The efforts, arranged with then-ARN editor Terri Burke, were to
Fall 2005, Fall 2006
encourage reporters and editors at the local newspaper to continue to expand their knowledge of applicable laws in those areas. July 2008
This spring I addressed a gathering of hospital administrators at the Northwest Texas Hospital Association Education Conference in Abilene on ways to improve their relationships with local media outlets. Committee Positions
Member, Copyright Committee of the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Section Member, Society of Professional Journalists Centennial Celebration Planning Committee
Service To the University I have sought out several opportunities to serve the university during the past five years. I have two primary goals when seeking out committee service: • Use my talents, abilities and knowledge to assist the university. • Learn aspects of university operations I knew little about before moving into teaching. Committee Memberships 2006-present
Co-chair, Disciplinary Review Board. In the fall of 2006, the University adjusted its appeal process for students who have been disciplined for violations of the Student Guide. From then until December 2008, I served as co-chair of the committee with Dr. David Gotcher. My current co-chair is Dr. Kristina Campos. The co-chairs read appeals of students who have been disciplined and decide whether to grant a hearing before the entire board, which is made up of faculty and students. The process change was initiated to remove the President’s office from the appeals process and to remove the university counsel from the role of representing the university’s legal interests in addition to trier
of fact. As part of that process, I have developed an appeal report format, a copy of which is included in the appendix. During the past two years, we have decided on 18 disciplinary appeals. University Undergraduate Academic Council.
University Undergraduate Research Council. I am serving on this committee for one semester as a temporary replacement for Dr. Autumn Sutherlin while she teaches in Montevideo.
College of Arts and Sciences Academic Council.
Writing Across the Curriculum Committee.
Law School Scholarship Committee.
VISTA Team member. As part of this ad hoc committee, I authored recommendations to the university on setting priorities for smart classrooms.
Honors Program service. Served as chairman of Honors project committees for students Christy Gower, Amanda Van Nort, Mallory Schlabach and Kelline Linton. The committee chair helps students choose a project and guides them through the process of research and writing. The final product must be presented and used in some academic way. Pro Bono Legal Services Even before I reactivated my law license, I was providing educational consultation to the universityâ€™s General Counsel and other members of the university in the areas of intellectual property law. Since reactivation, I have been able to offer more formal pro bono legal services. While attorney-client privilege prohibits me from disclosing full details of discussions in some cases, those to whom I have provided legal services or legal counseling include: â€˘ David Wray and Suzanne Allmon. Provided direction and
trademark advice on the naming of a semi-regular retreat of faculty and staff members. • Dan McGregor. Provided copyright-related legal direction. • Jennifer Shewmaker. Helped in contract negotiations and other copyright-related issues involved in a publication agreement. • Slade Sullivan. Provided assistance in the drafting of university political activity policy. Provided opinion on the applicability of the university’s ASCAP license on Sing Song and Chapel performances. • Doug Darby and Film Fest. Provided copyright and privacy training for students involved in FilmFest for several years as well as answered questions related to specific issues. Adams Center Presentations June 2009
Class Blogs for Beginners: A New Model for Student Interaction. Presented along with Mike Wiggins and Richard Beck on my own success and challenges using blogs for student learning and interaction.
“I’ve Read That Before”: Addressing Plagiarism on Campus. Presented along with Dr. Nancy Shankle and Dr. Laura Carroll on the legal aspects of student use of other’s work.
It’s Not Fair. Presented issues related to copyright and academic fair use to faculty members.
Do the Copyright Thing. Made this presentation to faculty members on copyright and other legal issues in the classroom. This presentation is part of an ongoing effort by the university to educate faculty and students about the impact of copyright law, especially in light of changes in technology and the university’s efforts to use them for pedagogy.
Other Service KACU Pledge Drive. Each semester I host one or two hours on air as part of the radio station’s fund-raising efforts. Typically, the service includes interviewing local residents and faculty members about their interest in public radio. Copyediting services. Provide proofing and copyediting services to fellow faculty members. For example, I edited a paper related to the university’s endowment growth that Jack Rich wrote and submitted for publication to a national publication. I edited an academic paper by Jack Griggs on the valuation of banks for acquisition. Conducted interview with CBS News anchor Lester Holt as part of the university’s Centennial Speaker Series dinner.
Led invocation during the university’s spring graduation ceremonies.
Service to the Church My family and I are members of Highland Church of Christ and see service to the church as a crucial element of that membership. We have served as leaders in the children’s program, teaching several grades and sponsoring the fourth and fifth grade service projects. We also are active in the Abundant Journey Bible class, and I teach regularly. Among the topics I focus on in my teaching ministry are worship, holiness and the book of Job. This fall, I am co-chairing the Preacher Search Team and directing the efforts of Highland Church of Christ to replace former preaching minister Mike Cope. The duties include organizing and managing a 20-member selection team, which has surveyed members of the congregation and will select five finalists for the position to present to the church elders in January 2010. In addition, in the summer of 2008, I served as a sponsor for a mission trip to Impact Houston Church of Christ by 25 Highland
middle school boys. The boys fed homeless men in the name of Jesus under overpasses near downtown Houston and led worship for a group of mentally ill and mentally challenged individuals. During 2004-2005, I organized, led and taught an intensive Bible study class at Highland called Living in the Word in which we emphasized methodical hermeneutic to biblical interpretation.
Service to the Community Spring 2009 to present
Abilene Independent Ethics Committee Since the spring of 2009, I have served as a community member of the Abilene Independent Ethics Committee, an institutional research board founded by Abilene company Receptor Logic to provide outside consulting on matters related to ethics in medical research.
The Professors Radio Show My involvement in the radio show on KWKC every week has been an opportunity to educate the community on a wide range of topics â€“ from politics to international business to the law. Guests from the community have included representatives from the Abilene Opera Association, leaders of the local Daughters of the Republic of Texas and members of the staff of the local media. Several ACU faculty members have been guests on the show at my request, serving to educate the broader Abilene community about their research. More detail on them is provided under Collegiality. Media source Local print and broadcast media rely on me as an expert in free speech and freedom of religion stories. I have been quoted in the Abilene Reporter News and on KTAB, KTXS and KRBC commenting on current events in First Amendment law and regulation. (See Appendix L for examples of local media news
stories for which I have served as an expert.) Taylor Elementary School PTA My wife and I have volunteered our time to benefit Taylor Elementary School as parents and members of the Parent-Teacher Association. During 2008-2010, we are serving as co-presidents of the PTA with the goal of raising funds for the benefit of students and teachers and of encouraging other parents to be involved in their childrenâ€™s education. Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts For three years, I served as an assistant leader of a Cub Scout den sponsored by Abilene Christian Schools, hosting the boys at our home once a week, later meeting at Hillcrest Church of Christ. The duties involved organizing camping trips and other events and teaching scout ideals of patriotism, reverence and good character. I now serve as a parent leader with Boy Scout Troop 201, which is sponsored by the university, counseling and encouraging members of the troop and planning troop outings.
eing a part of the academic community is one of the great advantages of working at ACU. The opportunity to work alongside experts in a wide range of fields with an atmosphere that encourages learning, knowledge and discussion on all range of topics in an intellectually stimulating way is unparalleled. In addition, the people who work at ACU are simply good people and make me a better person when I work around them. (The university’s tenure and promotion Guidelines and Procedures include examples of collegiality that include sharing personal values and beliefs with other colleagues, being willing and open to new ideas, being considerate, sensitive and caring of others, demonstrating tolerance for opposing opinions of colleagues, volunteering to help other colleagues with common academic tasks, participating in discussions about academic issues, participating in academic decision processes, fostering a sense of community and equality and demonstrating interest and cooperation across disciplines. Satisfaction of those criteria are evidenced below.)
Department (The Department of Journalism and Mass Communications Expansion of Criteria document contains no specific additional language relating to evidence of collegiality.) During the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication’s reaccreditation process, the site team noted something striking – the nearly complete absence of turf-protection and petty battles among the faculty members who work together in the department. It’s something I had noticed long before, but I had assumed it was a feature of academia over the newspaper industry, where advertising and editorial sides of the news product are at constant odds. Rather, I since have learned the department is unique among others in the rest of the country. We don’t agree on everything, and not everyone is happy all the time, but I have found a willingness to accept that fellow faculty members are constantly looking out for what’s most important – the education of their students, and
a willingness to impute to others a good faith that transcends disagreement. Members of the department work together on a host of projects, we encourage academic growth and an atmosphere of hospitality. We lunch together, and we teach each other’s classes when necessary. In fact, I think I have taught for nearly every faculty member and most of the adjuncts.
University Research Much of my research has been collaborative, as have several of my Adams’ Center Presentations. Two of the papers I have presented at conferences have been joint research projects with my colleague in the JMC department Cade White. Class speaking During the past five years, I have taught class periods for several faculty members outside my own department. Twice I have lent my expertise in copyright law to Robert Green in his Art Marketing course. And in the fall of 2006, Department of Art and Design professor Mike Wiggins and I organized a combined class – his Basic Visual Communication and my Publication Design for a pair of guest speakers: JMC alum Alyssa Waite Reeves and her husband, Art alum Mark Reeves. Podcasting I joined with Mike Wiggins in fall 2008 to produce a podcast related to art and copyright law. The 30-minute podcast educates students in Mr. Wiggins’ class about the potential dangers of copyright violations in podcasts they are assigned to produce in their class. September 2008 ACU Bar Association
“Not only does the JMC department benefit greatly from his commitment to excellence, but I can honestly say the Art and Design program is stronger and richer because of his influence.” Mike Wiggins Associate Professor
“Kenneth understands the law and journalism, and he has the ability to ask questions that lead to a greater understanding of the subject we are talking about. I know when Kenneth is on the show I will learn something from him or from the questions he asks of our guests.” Dr. Paul Fabrizio, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion, McMurry University
For the past two and a half years, I have coordinated a regular meeting of ACU faculty and staff members who hold law degrees. The ACU Bar Association is designed solely as a collegial entity and, while it’s discouraged, its lunch meetings occasionally spur the furtherance of university business. The group includes faculty members Dr. Neal Coates, associate professor of political science, Dr. Joe Cope, chair of the Conflict Resolution Department, Dr. Sally Gary, instructor of communication, and Dr. Brad Reid, professor of business law. Staff members who participate are Dr. Kevin Christian, Dr. Chris Riley, assistant general counsel, and Dr. Slade Sullivan, general counsel. The Professors Radio Show During the past two years, the radio show has served as an “electronic publishing” outlet for several ACU professors, and it has served as a vehicle to develop cross-departmental relationships. • Dr. Caron Gentry, assistant professor of political science, appeared in the show in late 2007 to coincide with the publication of her book, “Mothers, Monsters and Whores,” an analysis of women’s involvement in terrorism. • Dr. Richard Beck, professor of psychology and chair of the department of psychology, appeared on the show in mid-2007 to discuss his research into postsecrets.com, a Web site to which people anonymously submit their secrets. • Dr. Lloyd Goldsmith, associate professor of education, and Dr. Donnie Snider, associate professor of education, appeared to discuss their research into the effects of shrinking enrollment in smaller Texas school districts. • Among the other ACU faculty and staff members who have been guests on the show are Dr. David Dillman, Dr. Jonathan Stewart, Kevin Roberts and Kevin Christian. In each case, these appearances and the interviews involved have helped foster a better understanding of the interconnectedness of
the ACU community and the universityâ€™s importance in West Texas and beyond. In addition, the weekly partnership and discussion with co-host Dr. Paul Fabrizio, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion and professor of political science at McMurry University, has supplied a more thorough understanding of academia and the teaching profession. Through discussions with Dr. Fabrizio regarding McMurry University and the larger context of education, I have come to better understand the operations of the university and my own place in it. Other Collegiality I participated in a Stillpoint Retreat with 15 other faculty and staff members, focusing on the spiritual discipline of slowing down and seeking peace through prayer and meditation.