J-School Names Interim, Awaits Decision on New Dean

The search committee for a new dean for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication has sent its review of the candidates to the chancellor, and an interim dean has been appointed.

Senior Associate Dean Dulcie Straughan ’87 (PhD) will serve until a new dean is hired or until June 30, 2012, whichever comes first, according to a letter from Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost.

Straughan succeeds Jean Folkerts, dean of the school since 2006, who announced her decision to step down in October 2010. Folkerts plans to remain on the faculty.

A search committee brought four finalists to campus last spring to interview for the open position. Jim Dean, chair of the committee and dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, said that from the appointment of an interim dean one shouldn’t assume that no offers will be made to the current candidates.

“It’s purely a question of timing,” Dean said. “The last candidate came to campus in early summer, even after graduation, so we couldn’t report to the provost in time before Dean Folkerts was stepping down.”

Dean said that the committee has made its report to Carney, who will review its assessments of the candidates and make a decision in consultation with Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86.

Straughan leads the public relations track in the school, where she has been on the faculty since 1990. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University. Straughan won the school’s David Brinkley Teaching Excellence Award in 1993 and the University’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1995.

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