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The University has reeled in a big catch for its faculty. Hodding Carter III, the Southern journalist who was the public face of the Iran hostage crisis for the Carter administration, will teach freshmen and graduate students and lend his stature to attracting visiting scholars and lecturers to Chapel Hill.
Carter, 70, plans to join the faculty in January. He will hold appointments in the department of public policy and the program on Southern politics, media and public life in the Center for the Study of the American South.
Carter recently left the presidency of the Knight Foundation, where he worked with former UNC System President Bill Friday ’48 (LLB), who was chair of the foundation’s commission on intercollegiate athletics. Carter decided to come to Carolina through the efforts of Friday, Ferrel Guillory of the journalism school, Chancellor James Moeser, fellow Mississippian William Ferris of the Center for the Study of the American South, and public policy Chair Michael Stegman.
Carter will teach a freshman seminar and a graduate seminar, as yet unnamed, in public policy. Guillory said he also would work with the politics, media and public life program to expand its annual seminars, which bring together government and media leaders from across the country. He also is expected to attract prominent lecturers.
Carter worked for about 18 years as a reporter and editor for the Delta Democrat-Times of Greenville, Miss., which was owned by his father. Guillory described them as “crusading Southern journalists.” As an editorialist, Carter strongly promoted the presidential candidacy of Terry Sanford ’39. He later worked on the presidential campaigns of Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter.
Nationally, Hodding Carter is perhaps best remembered as the spokesman for the U.S. State Department during the Iran hostage crisis in the late 1970s. Carter’s wife, Patt Derian, also worked in the Carter administration’s human rights initiatives in other countries.
Carter later was a correspondent for the PBS Frontline documentary series and wrote as a contributor for major U.S. newspapers. He is a four-time Emmy winner and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast journalism.