Susan King, vice president for external affairs for Carnegie Corporation of New York, will be recommended to become the next dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Chancellor Holden Thorp and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney selected King following a national search. The appointment, effective Jan. 1, 2012, remains subject to final approval by the UNC Board of Trustees. King also would hold the title John Thomas Kerr Distinguished Professor in recognition of career accomplishments to date.
“The journalism school has a national reputation for excellence and is a source of pride for Carolina alumni, students and faculty,” Thorp said. “Susan King’s impressive work as an architect of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education shows her ability to uphold that reputation while preparing a new generation of communicators to seize the opportunities of the fast-moving multimedia era.”
Carolina is one of a dozen universities participating in the Carnegie-Knight Initiative’s News21 experimental reporting program launched by King. UNC won more than 40 national and international and awards for its News21 contribution, the Powering a Nation website at poweringanation.org. The site was named one of the top three multimedia productions in the world by World Press Photo and was a finalist for a Webby Award. Its stories have been featured on major media sites including washingtonpost.com and latimes.com.
Prior to Carnegie, 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.
King has a bachelor’s degree in English from Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y., and she earned her master’s degree in communications from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn.
The previous dean, media historian Jean Folkerts, stepped down after five years as dean on June 30 to join the faculty to teach courses, conduct research and mentor students. Dulcie Straughan, former senior associate dean of the journalism school, has served as the school’s interim dean since July 1. Jim Dean, dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, chaired the campus advisory committee that led the search for Folkerts’ replacement.
“We were fortunate to have Dulcie Straughan to step into this interim role during the national search,” Carney said. “We are grateful to Dr. Straughan for her stewardship, to Dean Jim Dean for chairing the search committee and to faculty members and journalism alumni for all their efforts to find the right person to lead the school.”
The UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication is a recognized leader in teaching, research and public service. In 2009, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications said the school “has earned a reputation as one of the premier programs in journalism and mass communication.” In spring 2011, the school finished first overall in the Intercollegiate Competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards, often called the Pulitzers of college journalism, for the second year in a row. Through a revamped curriculum, students learn the skills they need to succeed in the new media environment, whether they pursue careers in journalism, advertising, public relations or other communications fields. The school offers specializations in editing and graphic design, electronic communication (television and radio broadcasting), multimedia, photojournalism, reporting, advertising, public relations and strategic communication as well as a major in business journalism.
School of Journalism contact: Kyle York, (919) 966-3323,
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415,