Jan Johnson Yopp ’70, senior associate dean and Walter Spearman Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has been appointed dean of the Summer School beginning January 2008.
A faculty member in the journalism school since 1977, Yopp teaches news writing and reporting and serves as faculty adviser to the Carolina Association of Black Journalists. She became the school’s associate dean in 1999 and has served as senior associate dean since 2005.
Prior to joining the faculty, she was a reporter and assistant city editor for The Raleigh Times. Yopp also has worked as a media relations specialist for Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem and public relations director for a Durham advertising agency. She co-authored the texts Reaching Audiences: A Guide to Media Writing, published in a fourth edition in 2006, and Introduction to News Reporting: A Beginning Journalist’s Guide in 2004.
In appointing Yopp to the Summer School position, administrators looked for someone who could carry on the work of longtime dean James L. Murphy, said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bernadette Gray-Little. Murphy will retire from the University in January.
“Dean Murphy’s leadership has been an excellent example of how summer schools can be run. He has brought a unique combination of skills as a manager and an ability to develop new ways of thinking about Summer School operations,” Gray-Little said.
“We were looking for someone who could bring that combination of skills – thinking of new ways of configuring summer school but also paying attention to the many details involved in managing Summer School smoothly. We believe that Professor Yopp has these skills and she will continue the excellent tradition that Dean Murphy started.”
The Summer School, established in 1877, offers classes in about 45 departments or curricula in the College of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools. In the past 10 years, 73 percent of the University’s bachelor’s degree graduates have attended at least one five-week Summer School session. Usually, about 8,500 students attend the first summer session and 5,500 attend the second session. Summer School students typically represent nearly all of North Carolina’s 100 counties and about 48 states and 60 foreign countries or U.S. territories.
In addition, the three-week Maymester program, introduced this year, provided an opportunity for students to engage in concentrated study both on and off campus. Nearly 300 students enrolled in the pilot program, which offered 20 specially designed courses during the May 15-to-June 1 session.
In her position as dean, Yopp said that she hopes to find other innovative ways to serve students’ academic needs, much as the new Maymester program was created as part of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan.
“I look forward to working with the outstanding Summer School staff to continue Jim Murphy’s legacy and build on the many contributions he has made,” she said. “This fall, I will have the opportunity to spend some time with Dean Murphy and the staff to learn more about the job and to ensure a smooth transition.
“Although my academic career, spanning almost 30 years, has been in the journalism school, I have served on many University-wide committees and worked with faculty throughout the College of Arts and Sciences and other academic units. I believe those experiences and those connections will serve me well in meeting any challenges in this new role as dean of the Summer School.”
Yopp will continue to serve as senior associate dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication through the end of this year.