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Susan King offers professional experience in the search for new School of Journalism dean

Susan King would bring professional history to the J-school.

Photo: Susan King offers professional experience in the search for new School of Journalism dean (Minhaj Baqai)

Susan King is one of four contenders in the running to replace Jean Folkerts as dean of the School of Journalism.

Susan King is not the kind of person to stay in one place for a long time, she said.

After spending 11 years working for the Carnegie Corporation of New York, King said she would like the chance to work in a college setting as dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“A university is never dull,” she said.

King is now one of four candidates to replace Jean Folkerts as dean of the journalism school and the only candidate who does not have a primarily academic background.

King visited the University on Tuesday, and presented her vision for the school at a forum in Wilson Library.

If chosen, King said, she would build on existing partnerships with other University departments, create high-profile projects and have longer term visiting lecturers.

“People want to come and share what they know,” she said.

King, who is vice president of external affairs and director of the Journalism Initiative for the Carnegie Corporation, also said she would work to expand the school’s strong reputation.

King has worked for various local and national news organizations, including CBS News, where she was a correspondent for Walter Cronkite.

Eventually, there came a pivot point in her journalism career, King said.

She moved to a political career, serving as an assistant secretary for the Department of Labor.

“I became a policy storyteller,” King said.

But King’s switch away from journalism was not permanent.

At the Carnegie Corporation, she has been in charge of a journalism education program.

Debashis Aikat, a journalism professor, said in light of King’s background, it would be interesting to see how she would address issues such as budget cuts.

“I think she brings in a very exciting set of skills, and she has impressive credentials,” he said.

King has a bachelor of arts degree in English and a master’s degree in communications, said Jim Dean, dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School and chairman of the search committee.

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