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August25,2013 Professor Thor Wasbotten Director andMassCommunication Schoolof Journalism Kent StateUniversity P.O. Box 5190 Kent, O}t44242-0001 DearProfessor Wasbotten: This letterresponds to your request that I reviewMitch McKenney'smaterials in connection with his application for promotionto therank of Associate Professor with tenureat Kent State University.Fromexamining his work andthe university'stenure promotion and to recommend document, I ampleased Professor McKenney's promotion. First,I haveknownProfessor McKenney on andoff sincehejoined the reporting staffof the Times-(lnion in Rochester, N.Y., in 1990.His newsjudgment,reporting andwriting excellence, andhis affabilify andability to work with others markedhim asan exceptional lose him hire.We weresorryto whenhe went on to thePalmBeach you your Post in 1992.AsI'm sure facultyhaveseen and manytimes,Professor joumalism McKenney bringsa wealthof first-rate experience andprofessional insightsto the classroom. In reviewingProfessor McKenney's CV, his "statement for ExternalReviewers," and supporting documentation online,I've beenimpressed with how his teaching and creative havefocused outpuVresearch/public scholarship on the transitions the profession is undergoing in the digital era.While somein journalismeducation focus on the so-called model, Professor media" McKenney is demonstr atingzeal "legacy journalismeducation andleadership in structuring andpractice for the digital, global age. Professor McKenney'srecordshows continued andsteady creative outputand \ scholarship Althoughconsistent overthe pastfive years. with the KSU's missionin placingemphasis McKenneyalsohascreated on classroom work, Professor a strong

trade,andpopularpressarticlesthat are recordof publication in scholarly, academic, documented, logically organized uniformlywell researched, thoroughly andwell hasdemonstrated written.Moreover, Professor McKenney's that his research interests teaching aretightly tied to his classroom andtheprofession's understanding of itself in the changing environment. As exemplified here,Professor McKenneyappears by the articlesstudied to be of mediaperformance. contributing significantlyto our understanding Theresultis a andthejournalismprofession. body of research of valueto the academy questions Overall,his bibliography supports thatProfessor McKenneyis extending of groups, mediaperformance to a wideningrangeof subject audiences, andmedia.It certainlyunderscores the importance of the work andits heuristicvalue,offering insightsaswell aschallenges scholars andpractitioners alike important to be resolved. McKenney hasan impressive his publications, Professor andcontinuing Besides presentations in thetop venues in our field. numberof conference Professor certainlyindicates he is a solid citizenof the McKenney'srecordof service academic He appears to havebeena steady contributor community. to the governance program. In addition,his vita demonstrates andmissionof the Kent State significant professional involvement in andservice to several andacademic organizations. journalism to the profession, Havingbeensimilarly activein outreach I have journalists. appreciated Professor McKenney's role in continuing education for One expects that futureyearswill seehim extending that service to someof the international of our field, principallythe Association for Education in organizations Havinggonethroughthe chairsof the AEJMC Journalism andMassCommunication. Newspaper Division andseveral others, I am well awareof the enonnous jobs entail.I would expectfrom his activitiesto commitment of time andeffort those datethat Professor McKenney'sfine recordof service will continuein the coming years. Professor McKenneyteaching, it is impossible Finally, sinceI haveneverobserved of his teaching abilities,andI know thatnone for me to do an independent evaluation he combines a strongprofessional background in this review.However, wasexpected

preparation. for ExternalReviewers" His "Statement attests that he is with excellent teacher andwell-regarded whosestudents aregoingon to an effective,empathic, Professor successful As suggested above, McKenney'sinterest in the careers. journalism'landscape hasled to innovative changing curriculumdevelopments that journalismprograa in the forefrontof shouldcontinue to position'Kent State's programs across Americaandglobally. recordin the contextof Kent State ln sum,my reviewof Professor McKenney's indicates that he is very deserving of University'stenureandpromotionguidelines promotionandtenure. please Shouldyou requireadditional information, feel freeto get in touchwith me at by phone (home); 1l Saddlewood NC 27713; or Cou$ Durham, at (919) 401-4909 by e-mailat ffee@email.unc.edu.

FrankE: FeeJr.,Ph.D, Associate Professor Emeritus

Department of Journalism and Media Studies School of Communication anbd Information Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 4 Huntington Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1071

susank@rutgers.edu 848-932-8703

August 30, 2013 Thor Wasbotten Director and professor Journalism and Mass Communication P.O. Box 5190 Kent State University Kent, Ohio 44242-0001 Dear Professor Wasbotten, I am writing in response to your request that I serve as an external evaluator of the scholarly, creative, and service endeavors of Mitch McKenney, who I understand is being reviewed for promotion to associate professor with tenure. I am pleased to do this, as I am quite impressed with Mr. McKenney’s record as reflected in the materials provided to me. Although I know Mr. McKenney slightly—as we both serve on the board of the Newspaper and Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which means we sometimes correspond by email and we see each other at the AEJMC annual meeting —I did not realize that he had joined the academy from professional journalism so recently or that he had accomplished so much in five years at Kent State. Your letter did not ask me to directly assess Mr. McKenney’s teaching activities, but I feel that I must make note of the amount of evidence of high-quality teaching that was gathered in the teaching portion of his personal statement. I have sometimes heard of people who transitioned from the news media to the academy (as I did, 14 years ago) being far less engaged in and creative with their teaching than this statement gives evidence of Mr. McKenney being. I was very impressed with his work in a course that takes students on reporting trips abroad (to countries that are not as “easy” as the English-speaking or European countries many journalism study-abroad programs visit)—an effort that earned national recognition for the course website and a student’s work; incorporating science into the Enviro Media course as part of a $700,000 grant; and tackling service-learning projects that have earned campus-wide recognition. Mr. McKenney must be a very organized man to manage all this with a 4-4 teaching load. Given that teaching load and the fact that Mr. McKenney’s highest degree is an MBA, rather than a Ph.D., it would be understandable if he were doing no research at all. However, he has managed to amass significant research experiences. Most notable for me was his position as co-principal investigator on a $700,000 grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation for KSU’s environmental media program. Although this grant has an obvious educational/pedagogical component, the effort to document water quality in Stark County, Ohio, seems to be a clear research effort. Having a piece of an external grant of this amount would be a remarkable achievement for a journalism professor at even a research-intensive, doctoral-granting university because the decline in profitability of commercial journalism has severely reduced the number of media foundations supporting mediarelated research. For a journalism professor at a teaching-oriented regional campus of a state university to hold part of such a large a grant is quite unusual—and quite commendable. Mr. McKenney’s other very notable research accomplishment has been earning a $1,000 award in the inaugural Industry Research Forum sponsored by the Council of Affiliates of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. His paper, “Best Practices in Managing News

Website Comments,” which I have read (it is available on the AEJMC website), was largely descriptive (rather than theory-driven). However, in recounting how different types of media organizations have approached the problem of un-civil reader comments on online content, the paper provided an excellent example of work that, to quote the Kent JMC guidelines could be “significant in leading professional change.” By my count, Mr. McKenney also has published or had accepted four manuscripts that would be considered scholarly production at most colleges and universities (one co-authored book chapter; one article in the regional AURCO Journal; one chapter in an encyclopedia; and a book review in Electronic News, the refereed scholarly journal of AEJMC’s Electronic News Division). In addition, he has written a textbook chapter and several pieces of journalism that I understand are considered to be publications by the Kent Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, including a piece in the nationally circulated magazine Columbia Journalism Review (the best known of the three surviving journalism reviews) and an op-ed summarizing the AEJMC Council of Affiliates research in the well-known Akron Beacon-Journal. In addition, if I am counting correctly, he has presented eight papers or refereed research presentations at three national/international conferences (AEJMC, the International Studies Association, and the International Crime, Media & Popular Culture Studies Conference), three regional conferences, and two local conferences. Mr. McKenney’s record of service—to his academic field, to professional journalism, and to the community— is also exemplary. In addition to organizing a number of panels on teaching or research topics for academic conferences, he has served as newsletter editor for the AEJMC Newspaper and Online News Division and, in the past month, has accepted a position as its coresearch chair, taking a step toward serving as head of the division, AEJMC’s largest. I found it remarkable that Mr. McKenney is currently serving on or chairing three university committees and has been on four search committees in five years. In short, based on the criteria I was provided for tenure and promotion at Kent State University, it appears that Mr. McKenney has more than met the standards. It would seem that you are very fortunate to have him on your faculty. Sincerely,

Susan Keith, Ph.D. Associate professor Department of Journalism and Media Studies School of Communication and Information Coordinator, Digital Media Track, Master’s of Communication and Information program Acting Area Coordinator for Media Studies, Ph.D. program Rutgers University

College of Journalism and Communications Department of Journalism

2028 Weimer Hall PO Box 118400 Gainesville, FL 32611 352-392-5137 352-846-2673 Fax

August 26, 2013

Professor Thor Wasbotten Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication JMC 201 Franklin Hall Kent State University Kent, OH 44242 Dear Director Wasbotten, I have been asked to serve as an external reviewer of Mitch McKenney’s dossier for tenure and promotion to associate professor. My examination of his dossier shows that Professor McKenney has met or exceeded all the requirements for tenure and promotion. The first and most important standard for tenure at his campus and department is teaching. His student evaluation scores are consistently above average, a remarkable feat given that “average” is about 4.25 out of 5.00. Anecdotal evidence gleaned from student comments and peer evaluations suggest that Professor McKenney is a practical and challenging instructor who exudes genuine caring for students as learners and individuals. He has also been involved in curriculum development in creating courses and teaching overseas. His bent for self-improvement offers evidence that he will only grow as a teacher as he continues to polish his pedagogy. He clearly merits a rating of “excellent” in teaching. The second standard involves scholarship. At least twice, Professor McKenney has produced research that has passed peer review for the premiere national academic research conference in our field. He also has written chapters for at least three significant textbooks edited by scholars. Thus, he has produced research that has passed peer review for a national audience. His dossier does not include an original research article published in a peer-reviewed journal – the gold standard for scholarship in our field – but that’s to be expected given his academic training and position. Thus, his scholarship has earned at least a “significant” rating. The third standard is service. Professor McKenney has excelled in every sense of that word. His service to the university in advancing its international footprint and in executing a sizable grant goes far beyond traditional expectations for committee work. In addition, his service to the profession is extensive. He has documented current issues facing journalists. He has organized

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panels at national conferences that have addressed industry challenges and have helped people transition from the profession to the professoriate. He has taught seminars for professionals and has volunteered to advance journalism in his community. His service clearly rates as “excellent.” Thus, with excellent teaching, significant scholarship, and excellent service, Professor McKenney has demonstrated that he offers great value to students, his university, his profession, and to academia. He has more than earned tenure and promotion to associate professor. He is an exemplar of a teacher-scholar. Sincerely,

Norman P. Lewis, Ph.D. Associate professor of journalism

Thor Wasbotten JMC 201 Franklin Hall Kent State University Kent, Ohio 44242 Director Wasbotten, I am pleased to participate in the external review of Mitch McKenney’s application for tenure at Kent State University. I met Mitch following an environmental journalism presentation I gave at the 2012 AEJMC conference in Chicago. It was a fruitful meeting as it enabled my program to access and distribute environmental content produced by his students in an innovative program he led at your institution. Mitch had also invited me to participate in a Broadcast Education Association panel he organized in 2013, but I was unable to participate. So while we are not close acquaintances, I am aware of the environmental aspect of his work. It is impossible for an external reviewer to have direct knowledge of someone’s teaching without seeing it in action. But the peer evaluations in this packet are strong. So, too, are student evaluations and references to student comments and nominations for recognition. One area of concern may be the negative comments associated with the Brazil version of the International Storytelling course. Study abroad courses are challenging to launch in new countries. It is impossible from my vantage to evaluate if this is a serious problem. But I will note that Mitch indicates adjustments from year 1 to year 2 of this course as the result of student comments. His packet also indicates thoughtful consideration and changes he made in other courses as the result of student comments. This is the mark of a concerned educator operating in the very difficult space of preparing students for an evolving profession. I am particularly impressed by the development of the environmental media program. As someone who specializes in this area, it is exciting to see the innovative work of others expanding into this space. The Kent State program obviously engaged students in an interdisciplinary manner. The program addresses two major challenges in this arena: Teaching students how to communicate a complex subject and giving them an understanding of the complexity of what they are communicating. The success in accomplishing both of these tasks in a service learning environment is impressive. The community engagement aspect of this course is innovative and in keeping with the evolving and experimental nature of journalism practice. The course teaches journalistic techniques applied by more than journalists and for reasons transcending traditional journalism. There is an element of advocacy to it that may make traditional journalists nervous. In my view, it’s a good thing for universities to be challenging traditional aspects of journalism in these uncertain times. Engaging in this kind of journalistic experimentation is exactly what schools of journalism should be doing. Mitch McKenney should be lauded for his leadership. The outreach aspects of the program are also what higher education institutions should be leading. You can’t beat that education/service aspect of this work.

Administrators, too, should be pleased with the financial aspects of the program. It is the result of a significant outside grant - the kind of non-governmental support most institutions desperately seek. The instructor’s analysis of its efficacy includes clear concern for administrative details such as overhead and longterm sustainability, reflecting a mature understanding of the realities of higher education needs. These comments also are relevant to the service-learning and the citizen media initiatives undertaken by the instructor and recognized by the university and the subject of external presentations. The research interests in international, teaching the craft, informing practice and environmental media suit the Kent requirements for a body of scholarly work that aids media organizations AND communities in understanding the importance of journalism and advancing its practice. The research publication and presentation cites in this packet are particularly impressive for someone who does not come from a traditional Phd/research background. Environment, religion, public records, international research efforts are evidence of strong and diverse intellectual curiosity in the pursuit of advancing the profession. The AEJMC recognition for Best Practices in Managing News Website Comments paper is noteworthy. In addition to the directly authored work cited in the packet, creative work is also manifested through the major service learning projects of this candidate. His fingerprints – if not his byline – are all over student-produced work that goes beyond education to impactful reporting. Moving from a professional to an academic environment is a significant challenge for many fields, but perhaps especially so for journalism. Mitch McKenney has successfully made that transition. He has leveraged his professional roots in the classroom as evidenced by student comments, recognition and his service learning interests and application. At the same time his research interests and advancement of new curriculum indicate a forward thinking concern for the future of the profession. He is clearly an asset as senior level faculty and worthy of tenure at Kent State University.

David Poulson Associate director Knight Center for Environmental Journalism Michigan State University

3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618

Aug. 12, 2013 Thor Wasbotten, Director School of Journalism and Mass Communication Kent State University PO Box 5190 Kent, Ohio 44242 Dear Director Wasbotten, I am pleased to have this opportunity to write a letter of support on behalf of Professor Mitch McKenney as he makes his application for tenure and promotion. Thank you for the guidance and suggestions in your cover letter of Aug. 1 and for including the criteria from the Faculty Handbook, as they were most helpful in evaluating Mr. McKenney’s work. You specifically asked for evaluation of scholarship and service, with the implication that I need not review the teaching that he documented in his portfolio summary for the external reviewers. But if I may be allowed one passing comment in that arena, the description Mitch makes of his teaching work seems to indicate that he is an energetic and innovative instructor always looking to make the classroom experience better for his students. The international and environmental projects are especially strong evidence of this. In this time of flux for journalism education, schools need teachers who are energetic and innovative more than ever, and Mitch certainly seems have both qualities. That same energy and forward-thinking approach seems to apply to his work as a scholar, where I would rate the quality and quantity of his work as very good to excellent with respect to the criteria specified by Kent State. Those criteria are clear in stating that scholarly work is construed broadly, encompassing not only the traditional academic venues of peer-reviewed research presentations and journal articles but also pedagogy presentations, published journalism and other venues so long as they “support the School’s mission.” I would say that Mr. McKenney’s publications and conference presentations absolutely do meet this goal. Looking at the work vis-à-vis the criteria, his body of work has been substantial, consistent and directed to appropriate venues (Section C, items 2a and 2b). Various publications and presentations have been made with peer review (Section C, item 2c) and/or earned national recognition (Section C, item 2d) including publication of a project selected by the AEJMC Council of Affiliates and then honored with one of its top awards. Articles published in the local paper and even more appropriately by Columbia Journalism Review represent high-quality journalistic endeavor. Even his students have earned honors and awards for their work, which should count as a form of recognition (at a once-removed level) for the work Mr. McKenney has done with them. As a longtime member of AEJMC, and former officer (including the Council of Divisions), and a frequent presenter and reviewer for conference work, I know well the degree of quality required to make it past the peer review into the association’s regional and national conferences. Thus, the numerous presentations Mr. McKenney has made in those venues certainly constitute effective scholarship of the highest order. (I will leave it to others more familiar with the venues to critique the value of presentations to organizations such as BEA and

AURCO that Professor McKenney also documents but will note that I consider his presenting across a variety of venues as another plus.) Another point to note with regard to scholarly productivity is that Section C, item 2e makes specific reference to partnership building, and Mr. McKenney documents numerous projects that fulfill this criterion in excellent fashion, especially with regard to teaching and service-learning efforts. The only place in which I would find fault, and this is minor to the point of nit-picking, is that the table on page 4 of the guidelines has as its first entry “a well-defined focused agenda.” As his own conceptual map shows, Mr. McKenney’s scholarship and creative work is a bit eclectic rather than being tightly focused. But there is an arc of consistency inside each of the areas enumerated there, so this is certainly not a major concern in terms of his efforts and production as a scholar. As for service, the list of activities in which Mr. McKenney has engaged definitely seem to meet the criteria of variety, increasing contributions, and leadership as delineated in section C.3. However, I will once again leave it to his local colleagues to be more astute judges of his campus-specific service and weigh in on his national level service, specifically through various executive board responsibilities with the Newspaper and Online News Division of AEJMC (of which I am a past division chair). In this organization he has taken responsibility for membership outreach, at a time when division membership was on the decline, and successfully proposed initiatives that stemmed and reversed that decline. He also served as newsletter editor, and in the coming year (2013-14) will serve as one of two research-co-chairs, organizing the effort to call for, adjudicate, and schedule research presentations for the 2014 national conference. Because Newspaper/Online is one of the largest and most popular research venues in AEJMC, this will involve organizing and arranging for peer review about 100 individual research papers, which is quite the undertaking. He earned this post because he is well-respected among his colleagues in the unit for being a hard worker and effective officer. Research chairs frequently move “up the chairs” to programming chair and eventually division overall chair, and it would not be surprising at all to see Mitch in those roles within a couple of years. In summary, the accomplishments Mr. Mitch McKenney documents as his qualifications for tenure and promotion appear to this reviewer to be more than adequate evidence that he deserves both continuing (tenured) appointment and promotion to associate rank. The quality and quantity of his service and scholarship work I would rate somewhere between very good and excellent and, as noted in passing, he seems to be an outstanding teacher in and out of the classroom as well (though others are better positioned than I to judge that). I am pleased to give him this endorsement for receiving tenure and promotion.

Best regards,

Jack Rosenberry Associate Professor and Dept. Chair Dept of Communication/Journalism St. John Fisher College

Friday, August 30, 2013 Thor Wasbotten, Director and Professor School of Journalism and Mass Communication P.O. Box 5190 Kent, Ohio, 44242-0001 Dear Thor, Upon a thorough review of the teaching success, growing body of scholarship, and a robust service schedule, I write to provide my evaluation of the significant contributions Mitch McKenney is making to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University leading to the key question – is there a valid case for tenure? I believe Professor McKenney is successfully helping to bridge the chasm between the professional world of journalism and the research academy - in highly meaningful ways. Beyond campus, his contribution to journalism education globally deserves high praise. This assessment of Professor McKenney’s portfolio (both written materials and web linkages) is based on my perspective from a Carnegie classified Research One institution - Arizona State University. By way of background, I serve as the Director of Cronkite Global Initiatives and Curator, Hubert H. Humphrey Program, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Twice named a Fulbright Scholar, I am the co-author of two books, numerous peer reviewed academic articles, two decades of university teaching and overseas training for the U.S. State Department in 20 countries. Professor McKenney’s record as presented would not make a solid case for tenure at Arizona State University – he simply would fall short of the base line number of peerreviewed publications in top tier academic journals in our field. I would project this would be the same result at ASU’s aspirational peers. However, based on my understanding of the context where he teaches and publishes, I do believe that Professor McKenney is making a significant, outstanding contribution to your excellent school. Let me share my observations of the evidence presented in Professor McKenney’s portfolio. First, in the area of teaching, then scholarship and service, following the pattern he provides in his personal statement. Clearly a powerful, student award focused teacher, Professor McKenney’s has successfully navigated a broad cross section of course assignments from basic newswriting skills to critical thinking in “Media, Power and Culture.” Class evaluations prove this. Perhaps the most difficult pedagogical challenge occurs via study abroad courses “on the road.” Mitch has not shied away from timely, compelling datelines China and India - even when, in one case, the qualitative student reviews from “International Storytelling” in Brazil were harsh, he made quantifiable improvements.


What’s impressive about Professor McKenney is a dogged determination to “get it right.” He shows clear evidence of using student feedback to improve learning outcomes for his courses including changing the nature of assignments and refining key deadlines. With environmental reporting, citizen journalism and service-learning courses all a part of Professor McKenney’s teaching menu, the school should recognize and reward his sterling efforts to bring 18 years of newsroom experience into the classrooms at Kent State. He has a breadth and depth that’s impressive as a college teacher in professional school focused on the cutting edge of the ever-changing field of digital journalism. As a scholar, Professor McKenney is on a clear path to adding to our understanding of the important, and under-researched, area of audience commentary on stories via news sites. His latest effort to bridge the chasm between the academy and the profession achieved national recognition and stature when his paper, “Best Practices in Managing News Website Comments” was one of three-awarded recognition by AEJMC”s Council of Affiliates for their inaugural Industry Research Forum. A short book chapter on “Regional Networks” and his most recent panel moderation focused on “commenting at scale” for AEJMC’s 2013 conference show how Professor McKenney has laid the groundwork to become a definitive voice on this important topic. The next step is for him to find ways for his research to be published in the premier peer reviewed journals of the field including Journalism Quarterly, Journal of Communication or even the Newspaper Research Journal, where he sits on the editorial board. The remaining book chapters are diverse and meaningful. However they, along with the visual map of his scholarly interests, while demonstrating a rich array of subject fields, point to the need to focus more sharply, in one or two research areas, in order to achieve the type of national stature in the academy he surely seems capable of doing. This next step will further allow his voice of reason and confidence to be heard, based on bedrock of scholarly credibility, in future dialogues between the professionals and the scholars. Relevant research is clearly one of the hallmarks of Professor McKenney’s publications to this point. Coupled with the impressive teaching portfolio and a robust service agenda, I can state, without hesitation, he is on a trajectory to make a great and lasting contribution to Kent State University and, most important, support and sustain his students in true servant-leader style. Thus, I offer a very strong personal recommendation in behalf Mitch McKenney as an excellent, tenurable member of the prestigious faculty at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His future portends no bounds. Sincerely yours,

B. William Silcock, PhD Associate Professor Curator, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Director, Cronkite Global Initiatives Faculty Fellow, Barrett the Honors College Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Arizona State University 555 N. Central Avenue, Room 381 Phoenix, AZ 85004 2

Sept. 21, 2013 Thor Wasbotten Director, Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor Wasbotten: I have completed a review of Mitch McKenney’s work and am happy to endorse his application for promotion and tenure. Context for this review: I am an associate professor and the executive editor for innovation of a community newspaper, the Columbia Missourian, which publishes two websites, a weekly city magazine and a print edition five days a week as well as app versions compatible for mobile and tablet reading. In other words, I have one foot in the newspaper industry and another in academia. It was a pleasure to read of Professor McKenney’s from both points of view. The first example is from one area you suggested I avoid – teaching. While it’s true I can’t evaluate his work in the classroom, I can and have reviewed the outcomes: Student work I reviewed was, for the most part, professional and polished. More important, it was published. In some cases McKenney’s students had existing outlets. In others, such as the international storytelling classes, he created the outlets. The emphasis on publishing shows me three things:   This professor is willing to put in extra work. Publishing requires a lot more review and editing than graded work; you can leave a story unfinished if it’s unpublished. He is adept at using Web applications. The international sites use Wordpress effectively and creatively. They don’t look like off-the-shelf templates, even if they are. (It would be interesting to combine this work with a class in marketing to have a real-world test of building audience for the journalism.) He isn’t waiting for someone else to figure out some uber-plan for creating a “teaching hospital” atmosphere for his students. The Web gives us the flexibility to invent as we go, so he doesn’t have to lean on a larger institution or newspaper. It’s a disadvantage; the Missourian has been a great teaching laboratory for 105 years. It’s also an advantage to those professors willing to jump into the fray without being hampered by all the baggage of a daily publication.

Professor McKenney creates a bridge between the academy and the profession throughout his work. I was struck by the commonsense approach to create a “two-fer” out of his paper “Best Practices in Managing News Website Comments” by publishing the op-ed in the Akron newspaper. (Imagine if we had all scholarly work written a second time for a wider audience. People might actually begin to understand the work of both scholars and journalists.) I read the research paper with interest, first because it was very accessible to read, second because I began comparing some of the questions raised and best practices offered to the experience here at the Columbia Missourian. It was clear to me that this professor intended to do more than add another line to his CV; he wanted his work to have impact. Professor McKenney’s body of work in research is impressive in its range (including book chapters) and application. I also looked found continuity in his published work year to year. According to Professor McKenney’s statement: “The Kent JMC guidelines, to simplify hundreds of words into one paragraph, call for tenure- track faculty to ‘build a body of scholarly, journalistic and/or creative work’ that ‘creates a positive recognition and reputation for those scholarly and creative endeavors, leading in time to national recognition.’" His work has done just that. I got weary just reading about Professor McKenney’s service; are there any committees left for him to serve? He’s doing the grunt work such as class schedules along with high profile gigs for the community as well as the university. The enviro-media initiative is impressive in scope and, again, does a great job in reaching out to audiences well beyond the academy. It also speaks to Professor McKenney’s willingness to step up when unexpected events – in this case, the death of the coordinator -- conspire. I hope the project provides lots of ethics discussions among students and faculty on the roles of advocacy journalism, explanatory journalism, and the difference between them. Would I, given the evidence in this review, recommend Professor McKenney for promotion if he worked on my faculty? Absolutely. Would I, as his chair, have concerns? Only that he may be doing too much. I’d hate to lose him to exhaustion.

Sincerely, Tom Warhover Chair, Print & Digital News Faculty Missouri School of Journalism