Campus announced its search for a new dean for the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, or J-School, on March 13 in a campuswide email.
The new dean will replace current dean Edward Wasserman. To be considered for the position, applicants must have an advanced degree or a minimum of 10 years of professional journalism experience, according to the email.
The chosen candidate will be reviewed for qualifications in journalism and experience with various forms of journalism. Candidates who have contributed to academic research and media analysis in consideration for tenure will also be considered for the position.
“I think one of the most important attributes of the next dean is someone who really just in their gut embraces and hopefully even embodies the diversity, especially at a time where newsrooms are still struggling to reflect the populations that they serve,” said Investigative Reporting Program head at the J-School David Barstow. “There are challenges now around the culture and the polarization and the attacks of the legitimacy of an independent press.”
According to Barstow, campus has established a search committee to search for the new dean and there is currently no specific time frame for the hiring process.
Barstow added that he believes the next appointed dean should be someone who is able to take on the size of the task and feel “energized” in doing so.
According to Wasserman, he believes the new dean will be a skilled practitioner, a capable leader and an individual with a practical and diplomatic capacity. Wasserman is also confident that the next dean will be able to provide and bring in resources for the J-School to continue to succeed.
“We are extremely aware of how both endangered and indispensable the work of journalists is,” Wasserman said. “Both of those dimensions of journalism has become much more dramatically apparent over the past few years.”
Wasserman added that he anticipates the next dean will be an accomplished journalist, experienced fundraiser and a qualified academic. He noted that they will be able to take the J-School “to a new level.”
Wasserman also noted the J-School’s commitment to bolstering its Investigative Journalism Program and distinguishing itself from other institutions.
He said the J-School wishes to make a journalism program available for undergraduate students. This program would help those who want to utilize journalism skills for future careers but who may not want to become professional journalists, according to Wasserman.
“Our responsibility to carry the torch and to preserve and protect this immensely valuable practice is something that we are more conscious of than ever before,” Wasserman said. “I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to help enable a school as unique and as precious as Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism flourish.”