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Emerson College's Raul Reis to be next Hussman School dean

Carroll Hall, home of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, as pictured on March 9, 2021.

UPDATE 03/16/2022: The story text has been updated to include a statement from Reis provided by UNC Media Relations.

Raul Reis, the current dean of the Emerson College School of Communication, will be the next dean of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, the University announced Friday.

Reis has served at Emerson College since 2016, and currently oversees eight undergraduate and 10 graduate degree programs. Prior to this role, Reis was dean of Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

He will be dean of the Hussman School effective July 1.

“Reis joins UNC Hussman during an exciting time of success and growth,” the University’s announcement said.

In a statement, Reis thanked the journalism school community and the University’s leaders for the warm welcome he's received.

“I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to serve as the next Dean of the Hussman School, which is home to some of the top journalism and media programs and initiatives in the country,” he said. “I couldn’t be more excited by the prospect of moving to North Carolina, and working side by side with this incredible group of award-winning faculty, staff and students.”

The school's trajectory

Reis is succeeding Dean Emeritus Susan King, who announced in August that she would step down from the role this school year.

Hugh Morton Distinguished Professor Heidi Hennink-Kaminski, who was the journalism school’s senior associate dean for graduate studies, has been serving as interim dean since Jan. 1.

After holding the deanship for nearly a decade, King’s announcement followed a summer marked by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ fight for tenure, as she was set to join the Hussman faculty as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.

Current leaders and faculty members have discussed the repercussions of the Board of Trustees’ initial failure to grant tenure, including concerns from prospective hires.

The search for a new journalism school dean was one of many underway at UNC, as more than 10 top leaders have announced their retirement or departure from University roles since the summer — most recently Mike Smith, dean of the School of Government, and Elaine Westbrooks, vice provost for University Libraries and University librarian.

In the campuswide message Friday, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Chris Clemens noted that the Hussman School recently surpassed a $75 million fundraising goal and will open the Curtis Media Center this spring.

"Reis is well poised to continue the school’s positive trajectory," the message said.


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