On Jan. 1, veteran journalist Susan King became dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. King replaced Jean Folkerts, and was the only candidate for the position who did not have a primarily academic background.
Before taking on her role as dean, she served as the vice president of external affairs for the Carnegie Corporation of New York. King headed the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, which was composed of 12 deans from across the country who collaborated on journalism curriculum and industry changes.
King has a long career in journalism, including jobs with ABC, NBC, CBS News and the Department of Labor.
DTH: What past positions have you held that emphasized a multimedia aspect?
Susan King: I ran the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, and when we started it in 2002, Facebook didn’t exist. I’ve spent the last 10 years thinking about journalism education. How could we prepare students to be leaders of tomorrow? I have the experience of researching and examining what the industry wanted, seeing what was happening on campuses and helping to lead the changes with other journalism deans.
In 2008, the endowment sunk, so I had to cut our budgets and think about what was really important. I ran the communication department at Carnegie, and I had to think about Twitter for a foundation. At Carnegie, a lot of my colleagues didn’t do Twitter because they didn’t feel like it was relevant to them. You can’t wait to understand it, you’ve got to figure it out … I was finding stuff on Twitter that was really helpful to me.
DTH: How much of an emphasis do you plan to put on fundraising for the school?
SK: The non-profit world must always be thinking about fundraising. I’ve been working in the non-profit world, so I’m very aware that the mission of an organization is dependent on money they can raise. I believe good ideas attract money.
I’m excited to go out and represent this institution because of the kind of depth of quality. News21 is fantastic. The students win every award. I know what the other deans have done for fundraising because I’ve been working with the other 12. It’s tough times right now, so I understand that that’s going to be a big piece. It may not be the most important piece, but it’s close to the top.