Reis named new journalism school dean at UNC-Chapel Hill

March 11, 2022 GMT

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Raul Reis, dean and professor of a journalism school in Massachusetts, has been appointed dean of the journalism school at North Carolina’s flagship university, the school announced Friday.

Reis will take over at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on July 1, according to a news release.

“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,” Reis said in a statement.

At Emerson College, Reis oversaw the design and implementation of 10 of the school’s 18 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the news release said. Under his guidance, in 2021 nearly half the 5,100-student body was enrolled in Emerson’s School of Communication.

Reis takes over for Susan King, who led an effort to bring award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to her faculty in the face of resistance from the school’s board of trustees before King stepped down last August. She was to return to the school as a tenured faculty member.

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With the support of King, UNC announced in April 2021 that Hannah-Jones, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her work on The 1619 Project for The New York Times Magazine, would be joining the faculty in July. However, the trustee who led the subcommittee that considers tenure applications chose in January to postpone the review of Hannah-Jones’ submission, said Richard Stevens, then the chairman of the board of trustees for the Chapel Hill campus. It was never brought before the full board for approval, and instead Hannah-Jones accepted a five-year appointment to the faculty of the journalism school.

A torrent of criticism followed. Trustees returned to the issue in June and voted to accept Hannah-Jones’ tenure application. However, she announced on July 6 she would not join the faculty at UNC after the extended tenure fight and would instead accept a chaired professorship at Howard University, a historically Black school in Washington, D.C.