Ex-editor Kunkel named dean at UM's College of Journalism

March 01, 2000|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Thomas Kunkel, a former newspaper and magazine editor, will become dean of the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park this summer, school officials announced yesterday.

Kunkel will replace Reese Cleghorn, who will end his 19-year tenure as dean July 1 and become a full-time faculty member.

"We want to be the undisputed best journalism program in the nation," Kunkel said yesterday. "We want to build on the strong foundation created by Reese Cleghorn."

Kunkel has been in College Park since summer 1997, when he became editor and director of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper. The 250,000-word, $2 million series was published in the American Journalism Review, which is owned by the college.

Last year, Kunkel was named director of the college's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, which provides training for working journalists on subjects such as the legal system and religion.

One of Kunkel's first tasks as dean will be to find his replacement.

Kunkel also will oversee the college -- which has 600 undergraduate students, 75 graduate students and a full-time faculty of 20 -- and the magazine, the Capital News Service student-reporting program in Washington and Annapolis, the university's cable television station and several fellowship and training programs for working journalists.

Kunkel said he hopes to put more attention on broadcast and online media. He said he expects to be able to hire several more faculty members in the next two years and hopes for a new, bigger building for the college.

Before going to College Park, Kunkel had been an editor at the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News and the Miami Herald. He also has written three books, including one published this year called "Letters From the Editor," a compilation and analysis of letters by New Yorker editor Harold Ross.

Kunkel, 44, lives in Burtonsville with his wife and four daughters.

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