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Assistant Professor Journalism - Ethics and Emerging Media (24/25)

Apply now Job no: 533830
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Communications/Journalism
Position Description

JOURNALISM DEPARTMENT - The Journalism Department in the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking applications for a full-time, academic-year, tenure-track Assistant Professor to begin September 16, 2024.

Primary duties include teaching ethics and media law. The successful candidate could also teach and develop courses in one or more areas of the journalism curriculum: media and society, news reporting and writing, and emerging technologies.

The ideal candidate will have professional media experience, university-level teaching experience and relevant scholarship. We are seeking applicants with a terminal degree in mass communication or a media-related field, or juris doctorate. We will also consider candidates nearing completion of a doctorate or outstanding candidates with a master’s degree and significant professional media experience, including practical knowledge and application of media ethics and law. Facility with multiple media platforms is preferred. Candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to teaching excellence; diversity, equity and inclusion; and scholarly/creative activity at the university level.  

The successful candidate must have the ability to work effectively with students, staff and faculty from diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Cal Poly is committed to the teacher-scholar model. As teachers, faculty are expected to exhibit strong pedagogical skills and to remain proficient and current in their disciplines. As scholars, faculty should be engaged in scholarly and creative work that is of very high quality as evidenced by external peer review. As colleagues, faculty are asked to perform service activities at all levels of the university. The typical teaching load is 12 units per quarter, with a significant reduction in course load in the first two years to help establish an active program of research and professional development. Rank and salary are commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Appointment at the Assistant Professor rank is anticipated. The anticipated hiring range is $81,888–$87,552 per year ($6,824–$7,296/month). Rank and salary are commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Although Cal Poly is primarily a teaching university, our faculty are expected to balance teaching with an active program of research/professional development (including publication), student supervision and advising, and participation in service activities at the department and college/university level. The typical teaching load is 12 units (three courses) per quarter, with a reduction in course load in each of the first two years to help new faculty establish an active program of research and professional development. Cal Poly strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially in the classroom and among its areas of study.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Due to CSU policies, the person hired must reside in the state of California at the time of hire and for the entirety of the appointment.


  • Master’s degree in journalism, mass communication or a media-related field.
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to student-centered learning and teaching at the university level.
  • Ability to teach university-level courses in media law and media ethics, and one or more of the following areas: media and society, news reporting and writing, and emerging technologies.   
  • Evidence of potential for scholarly and/or creative achievement. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language. 


  • Ph.D. in journalism, mass communication or a media-related field, or J.D. with an undergraduate degree in journalism, mass communication or a media-related field. 
  • Demonstrated ability to collaboratively work in multidisciplinary settings. 
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive and inclusive environment.  
  • Preference will also be given to those with relevant work experience and those who bring professional capabilities and knowledge of current issues and trends in mass media.


The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California. It is also expected that faculty establish an on-campus presence to fulfill their responsibilities.  At Cal Poly, tenure-line faculty are expected to establish an on-campus presence.


The successful candidate will join seven full-time faculty and about 300 undergraduate students in digital, print and broadcast journalism; public relations; and advertising. Our digital-first student news organization, student-run public relations agency, campus radio station and TV studio, and interdisciplinary collaborations provide laboratories for elevating community knowledge and opportunities for research.  The department’s website is


To apply, please visit, complete a required online faculty application and apply to Requisition #533830. Please upload the following required materials as part of the electronic application:

  1. Current curriculum vitae
  2. Cover letter [please address the feasibility of conducting research, scholarship, and/or creative activities within the context of a primarily teaching-oriented undergraduate program] 
  3. Names and contact information of at least three references
  4. Diversity statement: [Statement of demonstrated commitment to DEI in teaching, scholarship, and/or service describing past experience, contributions to DEI efforts, the impact on students, faculty, staff and/or your field, and a description of how you will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, and/or service at Cal Poly] 
  5. Unofficial transcripts showing highest degree earned, official transcripts showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment 

Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application.  Cal Poly will directly solicit letters from the individuals listed by applicants. Official sealed transcript showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment.

Projected Start Date: 09-16-2024

Review Begin Date: January 8, 2024. Applicants with complete files by the Review Begin Date will be given full consideration. Applications received after this date may be considered.

For questions about the position please contact Cassandra Sherburne at 805-756-2508, or via email at


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