Carnegie Corporation’s Susan King named UNC journalism dean

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Susan King, Vice President for External Affairs at Carnegie Corporation of New York and a veteran broadcast journalist, has been appointed as dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  The announcement was made Thursday by Chancellor Holden Thorp and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney.  

The appointment is effective January 1, 2012. King also will hold the title of John Thomas Kerr Distinguished Professor. 

King, an experienced journalist, joined Carnegie Corporation in 1999, where she created new programs; expanded and deepened the foundation’s publications; built a new web site; carried out significant grantmaking through a multi-million-dollar Dissemination Program; and recruited an excellent Public Affairs team.

 “One of Susan’s major accomplishments was overseeing the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation.  “The Initiative, which includes a network of 12 universities one of which is the University of North Carolina, was led by Susan with great verve and ability.”

Gregorian continued, “Susan King has worked closely and effectively with the deans and faculty of the Carnegie-Knight universities as well as with the institutions’ presidents and the leadership of the Knight Foundation. Today, this group universities has become a nexus of innovation and reform in the major schools of journalism and its influence is felt in ever-widening journalism education programs nationwide. She also worked with ABC News to create the ground-breaking Carnegie-ABC Fellows program, which draws top journalism graduate students from across the country to spend a summer working with the Brian Ross Investigative Unit at ABC News.” 

A new report published in August by the Joan Shorenstein Center at Harvard, details the successes of the multi-year Carnegie-Knight Initiative to transform journalism education at the nation’s leading schools of journalism.  In the report’s foreword, the Initiative is described as having begun even before the full impact of digital technology was apparent and the economic model for journalism had collapsed.  The Initiative was born amidst a growing sense that a complex world needed a deeper journalism and better-trained journalists. The nation’s journalism schools, according to the independent report, were largely responsible for that training, but were widely perceived to be behind the times and, in many cases, marginal players on their campuses.  

Prior to Carnegie Corporation, King worked nearly five years in the U.S. Department of Labor as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and as the Executive Director of the Family and Medical Leave Commission. Her journalism career included stints with ABC, CBS and NBC News. At CBS, she was a correspondent for Walter Cronkite. King was also an independent journalist reporting for CNN and ABC Radio News. She was a local television news anchor at stations in Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. She has hosted the “Diane Rehm Show” and “Talk of the Nation” for National Public Radio.