Action Plan: Scholarship & Creative Activity

Action Plan Scholarship & Creative Activity

Distinctive CapabilityAction PlanMeasuresFeedback
cross pattern

Distinctive Capability

We research. We create. We collaborate. Our works are relevant, impactful, noted, and funded. We are thought leaders, strategists, writers, artists, and scholars.

Action Plan

Strategies Action Steps
Create an environment that encourages development and success in research and creative activity among faculty
  • Encourage faculty to join support groups aimed at increasing their productivity in research and creative works (e.g., AEJMC Public Relations Division Writing Support Group; National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity [NCFDD] -- writing challenge, etc.)  April 15, 2021
  • Update tenure and promotion guidelines.  May 15, 2021
  • Create an administrative position responsible for encouraging and tracking all scholarship and creative activity. Complete by September 1, 2021. September 1, 2021.
  • Have at least 50 percent of the faculty participate in at least one campus workshop for developing research or creative activities (e.g., the Research Development Fellows Program organized by ORED). December 15, 2021.
  • Have at least 30 percent of faculty apply for positions of leadership in academic and industry organizations such as AEJ, NCA, BEA, PRSA etc. June 1, 2022.
  • Identify and reward or promote faculty who compete for campus and national competitions or awards. June 1, 2022.
  • Have at least 60 percent of faculty attend division business meetings, serve as reviewers among other service jobs in academic and industry organizations. September 1, 2022
  •  Have at least 75 percent of faculty submit a manuscript for an academic conference or for publication in an academic, professional or commercial journal during the previous academic year. July 1, 2023.
  • Fully fund travel to conferences for faculty presenting their work. August 1, 2023.
Provide an environment that encourages student success in research and creative activity
  •  Encourage faculty to identify and involve students interested in research through campus programs such as UCARE and UNL McNair Scholars Program 
    • Identify/develop at least 1- 2 projects each academic year through which students can apply for UCARE funding to work on a project within CoJMC and promote designated opportunities on UCARE website. Efforts will also be made to promote awareness of UCARE opportunities across other departments. Tentative timeline: By Fall 2022 
    • Work to promote the McNair Scholars Program among CoJMC students and support potential applicants in the process through providing information and updates on deadlines and opportunities. This may be a collaborative effort between faculty and academic advisers. Tentative timeline: Fall 2021
  • Encourage faculty members to identify graduate students interested in research and invite them to collaborate on projects of mutual interest, as well as encourage graduate students to identify and pursue their own research interests and creative projects  
    • As part of funding allocation for graduate assistantships, the application process will involve enabling graduate students to select preferences for research-oriented tasks and topics to both increase the number of students involved in research, and, to match faculty/students with mutual research interests. (While funding may come from individual grants or the graduate department, an emphasis will also be on increasing overall funding for graduate student positions, which also aligns with Strategy 4). Tentative timeline: Fall 2022
    • Build opportunities through existing and/or new courses within the graduate curriculum to include the development of a final piece of work that is suitable for publication, conference presentation, and/or public showcase or client. Curriculum will include 3 – 5 courses with this designation, and syllabi will include options for different types of projects depending on individual student interests. Tentative timeline: Fall 2022
    • Consider revising or removing Capstone option for IMC major, and replace with option of choosing master’s thesis or professional project/portfolio. Tentative timeline: Fall 2022.
    • At least 50% increase in graduate students producing research/published work or applied projects. 
  • Identify and promote local and national student competitions and conferences in our disciplines, such as Bateman, NSAC, Hearst, the Arthur Page Student Case Study Competition and AEJMC 
  • Actively promote opportunities through email and maintain an up-to-date list of opportunities and deadlines on CoJMC website. Tentative timeline: Fall 2021

  • Make efforts to announce upcoming opportunities before the start of class (if in-person) or through the Canvas announcements feature. Tentative timeline: Fall 2021

  • Strongly encourage/require/incentivize undergraduate and graduate students to participate in UNL’s Student Research Days. Tentative timeline: Fall 2022

  • Encourage students to join relevant conference organizations, which will also then reduce rates for attending certain conferences. Tentative timeline: Fall 2021 

  • Pay for students’ competition entries and cost of producing/printing competitions
    • Allocate specific funding amounts for each academic year for both undergraduate and graduate students. Tentative timeline: Fall 202 - For graduate students on an assistantship, this could be included in their funding package. 
Build a collaborative research atmosphere within CoJMC and across the UNL units and NU campuses
  • Have Brown bags (monthly) where faculty can share research ideas and give feedback to colleagues on ongoing manuscripts/projects

  • Identify and encourage researchers from other units on campus to present their research and creative works to CoJMC faculty
  • Identify and encourage researchers from peer institutions to present their research and creative projects
  • Develop a research center within CoJMC through which faculty can assist one another on research methods and techniques. Graduate students could help staff this. Leadership/service for the research center counts as a part of the faculty’s apportionment
  • Reward faculty who engage in collaborative research whether within the college, university, or peer institutions
  • Have 50% of faculty engage in some form of collaborative research or creative activity by September 1, 2023. 
Nurture a culture within CoJMC that encourages and rewards productive researchers and offers incentives to faculty who actively seek grants
  • Provide faculty who seek grants with adequate credits on their annual reports even if the grant submission is not successful

  • Ensure that the teaching load for tenured faculty engaged in research and creative work is lowered from the current 3-2 to 2-2 to give them adequate time to engage in research and grant activity
  • Allow faculty engaged in grant seeking to get time off from their teaching load for the period they are engaged in a grant writing project
  • Assign a graduate research assistant/assistantship to faculty engaged in continuous research and creative activity
  • Create internal award competitions for faculty engaged in active research and creative activity
  • Identify and invite outside researchers and grant support professionals to give presentations/workshops about research or grants to CoJMC faculty on a regular basis
  • Encourage faculty to attend grant informational sessions organized by NU research or grant units such as ORED
  • Form a CoJMC Grant Team to coordinate grant writing and submission efforts (ideally a committee of 3-4 faculty members; their service should count toward end of year review)
  • Count funded grants as research activities carrying the same weight as journal publications or books
Develop a steady promotional message that will establish CoJMC as a distinguished research and creative activity institution through online, traditional, and interpersonal channels of communication--Michelle
  • Assign the Marketing Communications Director as the key contact for research/creative activity news. Immediate

  • Promote research and creative activity output on CoJMC notice boards (and on the new screens on 1st floor!), websites, Daily Nebraskan; Nebraska Today (most of the writers in these outlets are our current/former students and they’d be glad to tell our stories!) Ongoing
  • Update CoJMC website to include Current Research page on faculty bios, short videos of faculty talking about their areas of research and ongoing projects. Create videos by end of 2021; yearly updates.
  • Send regular emails to alumni and friends of CoJMC updating them of current research and accomplishments At least once a quarter. Ongoing
  • Encourage CoJMC faculty to attend the one-on-one “faculty mixers” that are organized by ORED Ongoing
  • Promote faculty accomplishments in professional newsletters and academic conference newsletters. 
  •  Establish a UNL CoJMC Research Award in some of the most visible academic and industry conferences (e.g., the International Public Relations Research Conference has research awards named after some college programs) fall 2022
  • Institute annual conferences at which the research by college faculty and students is presented to professionals in the state, region and elsewhere and where industry members present their recommendations for what research would help them. fall 2022
  • Institute a mechanism for tracking when research by college faculty and students is mentioned in professional publications or news publications.
  • Encourage faculty to present their research at industry and professional conferences.


  • Publications (scholarly including books, chapters, textbooks, reviews, documentaries and other works)

    • Ratings of the publishing journals would be relevant
    • Impact on public discourse
    •  Citations by other scholars
    • Impact measures of publications
  • Publications (professional)
  •  Impact on the profession
  • Initiatives arising from the research or publication
  • Work with local communities (newsletters, advertising and public relations campaigns)
  • Creation of new knowledge
  • Student participation in creative and research activities, including regional and national competitions
  • Exhibitions
  • Video and audio productions
  • Development of other media products
  • Symposiums, conferences, and workshops
  • Collaborations and outreach
    • Within the discipline
    • Across disciplines
  • Grants from internal and external sources for research and creative activities by faculty and students.
  • Research and creative collaboration and outreach
  • Media citations
  • Awards
  • Invited presentations including presentations at competitive conferences, such as AEJMC
  • Geographical reach of the publication
  • Students in UCARE
  • Master’s theses