Susan King, Dean of the Hussman School of Journalism, Says This Is Her Last Year

From a story on by Praveena Somasundaram headlined “Hussman School Dean Susan King says this is her last year”:

Susan King, dean of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina, will step down this year, according to an email she sent to faculty Tuesday.

King has been the dean of the journalism school since Jan. 1, 2012. She said she plans to return as a tenured faculty member after a leave.

“It is not the same world or business even as it was in 2012 when I arrived,” King wrote. “I believe after 10 years a new dean will bring fresh eyes, additional perspective and new energy to our school.”

A search for the next dean will be launched this week and King will remain in her position until a successor is officially named….

King spearheaded many initiatives to further journalism education during her time at the journalism school.

Both the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media and the Center for Information, Technology and Public Life were established during her tenure. She also brought the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University to UNC in 2019.

The Ida B. Wells Society, which aims to increase and retrain reporters and editors of color in investigative reporting, was co-founded in part by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

In April, Hannah-Jones was set to join Hussman faculty as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism—until the Board of Trustees initially chose not to vote on her tenure application due to political pressure from conservatives who disapproved of her work on The 1619 Project.

King’s departure announcement comes on the heels of a summer marked by Hannah-Jones’ fight for tenure at UNC, which she was eventually granted but declined, with Jones taking a tenured position at Howard University instead. King was vocal about her support of Hannah-Jones receiving tenure, despite the opposing view of the journalism school’s namesake, Arkansas newspaper magnate Walter Hussman.

In her email to staff, King noted the difficulty of the past year and commended Hussman School faculty and staff for their work despite it.

“Our school culture kept us focused on engaging our students in the big and important issues of the day, our commitment to diversity in terms of thought, race, gender, identity, philosophy and other differences was deepened, and our belief that communication and free expression are at the heart of a multi-cultural democracy has been tested and is stronger,” she wrote. “I am proud to say I am dean at this moment.”


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