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UC Berkeley Web Feature

Neil Henry to lead journalism school

– Neil Henry, a longtime Washington Post reporter and Newsweek staff writer who joined the Graduate School of Journalism faculty in 1993, has been appointed to serve as dean of journalism, pending approval by UC President Robert Dynes and the Board of Regents.

Neil Henry
Neil Henry
Henry has served as interim dean of journalism since July 1 and has agreed to fill the post, heading the school in preparing for a transition to new permanent leadership. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer recommended him for the deanship to the UC president and regents; with approval, he will assume the role on Jan. 1.

In Fall 2008 the campus will begin a search for a new dean, Henry said in a letter to the journalism school's faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Henry has said he is not a candidate for the permanent position.

The post has been vacant since Orville Schell retired last year after 10 years at the helm.

        A former John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, Henry graduated from Princeton University and earned his master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to his newspaper and magazine experience — including 16 years as a metro, national, and foreign correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Post — Henry published his second book, American Carnival: Journalism Under Siege in an Age of New Media, in May 2007. He is also the author of the racial history Pearl's Secret: A Black Man's Search for His White Family, a finalist for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association's top prize for nonfiction in 2002.

        In his e-mail message to the journalism school's community, Henry said he would aim "to lead the school through a period of calm and stability over the coming year," a period expected to bring heightened visibility to the new-media program and expanded fundraising efforts for the school generally.

This story was revised on Dec. 21 to clarify the terms of the appointment.