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Transparency

November 1, 2012

Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology


One of the biggest issues in higher education concerns student debt. I have been writing regularly about that for the Chronicle of Higher Education, including this article published earlier this year.

Recently I was assigned another such article on the topic of transparency and how it can lower student debt.

While debt is an issue across academe, it is especially critical to disclose and address that in journalism. Starting salaries are too low in many communities radio stations, newspapers and television outlets to offset loans of $30,000 or more.

This is why the Greenlee School is in the process of sharing our metrics. Today I wrote this preamble to our transparency page:

Welcome to the Greenlee School’s transparency page. Here you will find the 5 Ws and H to select a college and a degree.

• Where you’ll spend your next four years—at Iowa State University, a world-class institution of higher learning and home to Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winning professors.
• Whom you’ll be working with—some of the most accomplished journalists, practitioners and researchers. Two of our faculty members have won Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious award in journalism.
• What you’ll be studying—news, new media, social media, broadcast journalism, magazine journalism, science journalism, photojournalism, advertising, public relations, risk communication.
• When you can expect to start your career—we place 97% of our graduates in jobs, graduate school or military within six months of commencement.
• How long it will take to graduate—46% of our students graduate in four years. More than 60% graduate in 4 and 4 1/2 years because they take their internship the summer after commencement.
• Why we are publishing transparency data:

We do everything possible to graduate you without student debt, including giving out more than $180,000 in scholarships each year, with half next year going to incoming freshmen. Before you enroll in any other degree program, ask if it has a transparency page. Show them ours. Ask them to provide the data. Ask them why those metrics aren’t public.
This is the Greenlee School. This is journalism. This is advertising. This is research. We make a difference. You can, too.

We hope all those reading these words assemble their own transparency pages for the good of our profession, making journalism education assessable for all who apply.

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