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Saturday December 4th

UNC journalism school names finalists for new dean

	<p>Carol Pardun, of the University of South Carolina, will have her open forum Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Gerrard Hall. </p>
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Carol Pardun, of the University of South Carolina, will have her open forum Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Gerrard Hall.

As another state appropriations cut threatens to pinch the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s ability to remain relevant in an ever-evolving media industry, the school’s dean search committee selected three finalists well-versed in making the most of lean budgetary times.

In an email to faculty Thursday, the school unveiled former faculty member Carol Pardun of the University of South Carolina, John Pavlik of Rutgers University and David Perlmutter of the University of Iowa as finalists to succeed Jean Folkerts as dean.

After emerging from a field of 30 viable candidates, the three will visit campus in coming weeks for public forums and further interviews, with Perlmutter’s visit beginning today.

With each finalist, the committee has offered Chancellor Holden Thorp and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney a distinct vision for the school, whose endeavors to keep pace — or take the lead — with changes to the journalism field will require alternative sources of funding.

“They’ll be making hard decisions about what to keep and what to cut,” said Jim Dean, dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School and chairman of the 11-member search committee. “You can either simply reduce things as the public funds are eliminated, or you can find private funds to enhance the programs.

“We were looking for someone who could do both.”

Carney and Dean said the list of finalists is by no means exhaustive, as the search will stray from the three if none are the best fit.

“If our decision or the provost’s decision is that we haven’t seen the best candidate, then we’ll keep going,” said Dean, whose committee will submit a recommendation to Carney and Thorp.

Although Carney said he expects the school’s next dean to come from the list, he acknowledged that Dean has been in talks with professionals in the broadcasting industry.

“The issue is that the three people we’ve got are more on the academic side than on the professional side,” Carney said. “I don’t want to leave any stone unturned.”

He added that an extension to the search would likely require an interim dean, as Folkerts is looking to step down June 30.

Carol Pardun

In Pardun, director of the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Thorp and Carney have the choice of an experienced administrator who has led the journalism programs at Middle Tennessee State University and USC. Since taking the reins in Columbia, S.C., three years ago, she has confronted state appropriations cuts of 43 percent — more than double the percentage UNC has faced in the same span.

“You don’t know about horrible budgets until you’ve been in the state of South Carolina,” she said. “The silver lining in a tight budget is it brings your priorities to light.”

The selection of Pardun, once a UNC advertising professor, would be reminiscent of the School of Dentistry’s dean search, which resulted in the hiring of Dr. Jane Weintraub earlier this year. Like Pardun, Weintraub left the University’s faculty to gain administrative experience elsewhere.

“I know the culture of the place, I know what makes UNC unique,” Pardun said. “That’s a unique perspective, to have both an outside and an inside perspective.”

John Pavlik

In 2010, a 15 percent state budget cut was not the worst case scenario but rather the reality for Pavlik. As chairman of the Rutgers journalism and media studies department, he confronted the New Jersey governor’s cuts with new endowments for student scholarships and faculty development.

By securing gifts from alumni, including endowment gifts of more than $300,000, Pavlik said he was able to help offset that cut.

“I would expect my priorities to include generating new programs, endowments and student scholarships,” he wrote in an email Sunday while traveling abroad.

David Perlmutter

During his two years as director of the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Perlmutter said he has been forced to prioritize — especially his time.

About two-thirds of his workload concerns fundraising, he said, as the school has looked outward in the face of state budget cuts.

“This is an era where you have to look at new sources of support,” he said.

In a state with the 30th largest population, Perlmutter said he has strived to create philanthropy and health communication programs that set the University of Iowa apart, luring students, faculty and outside donors.

“Iowa basically is a farm economy. We don’t produce people with millions of dollars to give to a school,” he said. “We’ve done well in last two years I’ve been here with programs for major giving.

“I became so interested in this.”

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