New Dean Takes Over at Journalism School

Susan King.

Susan King

Susan King, who was vice president for external affairs for Carnegie Corp. of New York, became dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Jan. 1.

“The journalism school has a national reputation for excellence and is a source of pride for Carolina alumni, students and faculty,” said Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86, who picked King along with Provost Bruce Carney after a national search. “Susan King’s impressive work as an architect of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education shows her ability to uphold that reputation while preparing a new generation of communicators to seize the opportunities of the fast-moving multimedia era.”

King also holds the title John Thomas Kerr Distinguished professor.

Prior to Carnegie, King worked nearly five years in the U.S. Department of Labor as the assistant secretary for public affairs and as the executive director of the Family and Medical Leave Commission. Her journalism career included stints with ABC, CBS and NBC News. At CBS, she was a correspondent for Walter Cronkite. King also was an independent journalist reporting for CNN and ABC Radio News. She was a local television news anchor at stations in Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. She has hosted the Diane Rehm Show and Talk of the Nation for National Public Radio.

Carolina is one of a dozen universities participating in the Carnegie-Knight Initiative’s News21 experimental reporting program launched by King. UNC won more than 40 national and international awards for its News21 contribution, Powering a Nation ( The site was named one of the top three multimedia productions in the world by World Press Photo and was a finalist for a Webby Award. Its stories have been featured on major media sites including and

King has a bachelor’s degree in English from Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y., and she earned her master’s degree in communications from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn.

Jean Folkerts stepped down as dean after five years on June 30 to join the faculty to teach courses, conduct research and mentor students. Dulcie Straughan, former senior associate dean of the school, served as the school’s interim dean from July 1 to Jan. 1. Jim Dean, dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, chaired the campus advisory committee that led the search for Folkerts’ replacement.

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