Mission, Values and Learning Goals

16 students on the Student Leadership Board and Dean Ann Brill pose in matching red t-shirts in front of Stauffer-Flint Hall


We teach students to think critically and creatively while preparing them for careers in journalism, mass communications and related fields and for graduate study.


This school values:

  • A diverse, collaborative and dynamic student-centered environment.
  • Excellence in learning, teaching and mentoring.
  • Free expression and conscientious communication as cornerstones of a democratic society.
  • Critical and creative thinking.
  • Meaningful research and creative activity.
  • Imaginative outreach and collaboration on this campus, in this state and beyond, and in the professions of journalism, mass communications and related professions.

Adopted unanimously by the full faculty on Nov. 7, 1997, and revised Dec. 6, 2022.

Learning Goals

Graduates of the school will:

  • Employ critical and creative thinking in the practices of journalism, mass communications and related disciplines.
  • Reflect the value of diverse societies and diverse workplaces in telling stories.
  • Understand the value of freedom of expression and its importance in society.
  • Use theoretical and practical skills in the application of ethical storytelling.
  • Understand and use emerging media technologies and their impact on society.
  • Incorporate research techniques for analysis, interpretation and reporting.
  • Understand the functions of communications organizations, the economic and management issues they face, and how media decisions affect individuals and society. 

Adopted by unanimous vote of the faculty on Sept. 3, 1998, and revised Dec. 6, 2022.

Diversity Plan

Diversity Statement: The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) aims to create and maintain an environment that values diversity by:

  • Respecting the identities and experiences of students, faculty and staff
  • Enhancing cultural competency skills for students, faculty and staff
  • Including social justice in learning, teaching and mentoring activities
  • Encouraging a variety of respectful opinions pertaining to current societal matters
  • Supporting interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Aligning with the values and mission of the University of Kansas’ office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging as spelled out in its RISE platform: “When we Realize Intersectional Standards of Excellence, we contribute to the fulfillment of KU’s mission and vision by ensuring that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are integral to every part of KU’s research, scholarship, teaching, service, community engagement, and support.”

Read the full Diversity Plan.