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Research Professor of Data and Investigative Journalism (Open Rank)

Posting Details

Posting Details

Job # 072977
Job Title Research Professor of Data and Investigative Journalism (Open Rank)
Location 360 Newhouse II
Pay Range Commensurate with experience
FLSA Status Exempt

As determined by TRAC Co-directors

Job Type Full-time
Rank Open Rank
Campus Syracuse, NY
Unionized Position Code Not Applicable
Job Description

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University invite applications for a research faculty position that holds data, government accountability and journalism at its core. Rank is negotiable and dependent upon qualifications. Appointment at a more senior level would include assuming the position of Associate Director of the Center.

The successful candidate will contribute to groundbreaking research at the Center, and work with journalists, attorneys, scholars from around the globe, and the public oversight community more generally to fulfill the center’s 25+ year tradition of providing the public with comprehensive, independent and nonpartisan information about federal enforcement, services, staffing, and spending. The individual will initiate and guide active campaigns using the Freedom of Information Act — including litigation — to secure public access to internal databases within federal agencies, and lead initiatives to organize and mine these data to develop a range of reports and information products. Interested candidates should be open to collaborating with outside news organizations and/or students to develop trailblazing stories. The person hired will also be integral to shaping the evolving vision for the Center, and may be asked to help secure foundation funding to launch new Center initiatives. The individual will have the opportunity to teach occasional courses on data and investigative journalism at Newhouse.

Founded in 1989 as a center at SU specializing in “big data” before that concept was widely recognized, TRAC has a fulltime professional staff and publishes a steady stream of special reports and data products at Established to provide the American people with the authoritative and accurate information they need to hold their government accountable, the Center is unique in the information marketplace. With an incoming flow of data records from its FOIA operations of over 250 million each month, TRAC adds more than 3 billion new records to its inventory each year. In addition, with over 300,000 further queries each month to the federal courts for their records on civil and criminal proceedings, not counting court records obtained from federal administrative courts, TRAC’s Judge Information Center now regularly and systematically compares individual judge-by-judge performance on such vital matters as federal sentences for individuals and corporations, and disparities in judge asylum decisions. TRAC’s companion website, updated daily, systematically monitors federal agency FOIA decisions and practices.

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication has an international reputation for excellence and is home to approximately 1,900 undergraduate and 250 graduate students. The School is housed in a 250,000-square-foot, three-building complex that includes state-of-the-art classrooms and cutting-edge media facilities, including a new Innovation Center. It has recently launched a new master’s degree in Computational Journalism, and this year established a Knight Chair in Data and Explanatory Journalism. Beyond this, the school continues its tradition of attracting the best and the brightest. This year’s incoming freshmen earned an average 3.9 GPA and ranked in the top 15% of their graduating classes


A master’s or other advanced degree is preferred. A driving passion for holding government accountable is needed, along with a published portfolio of work demonstrating relevant accomplishments. The portfolio should clearly show proficiency with using FOIA, solid data analytical skills, and publication of important data-rich investigative stories. A network of connections with news organizations, government and public policy officials, or the foundation world would be a plus.

Job Specific Qualifications

Enhance the Center’s mission through active engagement in the full range of the Center’s work.

Keep up with developments in the field and identify new opportunities to leverage the Center’s ongoing initiatives, its data resources and capabilities.

Envision creative strategies to broaden and deepen the impact of TRAC’s information services.

Develop feasible approaches to implement your ideas, and then manage carrying these out.

Physical Requirements




Application Instructions

Applicants must complete an online faculty application and attach the following documents:
cover letter,
published portfolio website (URL),
list of references.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university, with over 14,000 full-time undergraduate and over 4,000 full¬time graduate students representing the 50 states and 124 foreign countries. Founded in 1870, it is home to 11 schools and colleges offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Human Services and Health Professions, Information Studies, Law, Management, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Public Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts. Syracuse is a medium-sized city situated in the geographic center of New York State approximately 250 miles northwest of New York City. The metro-area population totals approximately 500,000 and offers many social, cultural, and recreational options, including parks, museums, festivals, a symphony orchestra, professional regional theater, and numerous malls and movie theaters. Syracuse and Central New York present a wide range of seasonal recreation and attractions ranging from water skiing and snow skiing, hiking in the Adirondacks, touring the historic sites and wineries along the Finger Lakes to biking trails along the Erie Canal. According to the latest edition of the Places Rated Almanac, Syracuse ranks in the top 10% of Best Places to Live.


Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.

Commitment to Supporting and Hiring Veterans

Syracuse University has a long history of veteran support through education, transition, and hiring. Syracuse University was ranked #1 in New York State and 17th in the nation at the end of 1947 in veteran enrollment as a result of participating in the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 – the original GI Bill. Today, SU is strongly committed to the Yellow Ribbon Program which is a provision of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to assist in tuition educational benefits and other support. In addition, SU provides a career path for veterans to become Syracuse University employees.

Job Posting Date 11/22/2016
Application Deadline
Open Until Filled Yes
Priority Consideration 02/01/2017
Job Category Faculty
Message to Applicants

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Portfolio Website URL
  4. Reference List
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Please let us know how you heard of this position.
    • Chronicle of Higher Education - newspaper
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Academic Keys
    • Syracuse Post Standard - newspaper
    • LinkedIn
    • The Academic Network
    • Twitter/@sujobs
    • Colleague recommendation
    • SUJobOpps
    • Other
  2. * If "other",please let us know how you heard about this position. (or enter N/A)

    (Open Ended Question)