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Talks continue in search for next dean of UNC journalism school

Further talks between the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Susan King will be necessary before she accepts the position as dean of the school.

But Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, said he is confident she will eventually take the job.

Carney said in a meeting of the Board of Trustees on July 26 King has been offered the job and the school is attempting to find a position for her husband, who teaches business law at a community college.

“We try to help spouses find jobs in general,” Carney said. “But we don’t put a lot of money into it.”

In recent years, more men and women in academia tend to have spouses in academia, Carney said.

The Board of Trustees will have the final say over King’s appointment. A new dean will likely not take the helm until Jan. 1.

King — who did not return several calls for comment — visited the campus with her husband and daughter on Aug. 8. She has visited the campus multiple times for interviews and to get to know the area.

Jean Folkerts, who stepped down as dean of the journalism school on June 30, said she knows King personally and is confident in her ability to lead.

She said the school has made great strides in the past five years to go digital and the new dean will have a lot of power in determining the next steps.

“There certainly are opportunities to do a variety of things as dean,” Folkerts said.

Dulcie Straughan was named interim dean after Folkerts stepped down.

Other organizational changes are also in store for the school. Journalism professor Chris Roush said in an email that he has agreed to be the senior associate dean for the school during this academic year.

The new dean will assess whether Roush will continue in this position at the end of the year, he said.

Roush said he thinks King’s professional experience could be helpful with fundraising.

King is the vice president of external affairs and director of the Journalism Initiative for the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

She has served as assistant secretary for public affairs in the Department of Labor and has reported for CNN, NPR and ABC Radio News.

Of the four candidates identified earlier this year, King is the only candidate without a primarily academic background.

Carney said the next hurdles for appointing the new dean include getting a vote of confidence from the professors of the journalism school.

Her appointment will have to be confirmed by the appointment, promotion and tenure committee for the chancellor’s office on Sept. 8, which is composed of professors from across the University, Carney said.

He added that he hopes to move this committee meeting to an earlier date.

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