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 trac.syr.edu. 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 FOIAproject.org 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