The start of the fall semester at UNC-Chapel Hill is less than three weeks away. Faculty and staff members at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media are busy preparing for the first day of class and beyond.
We are also welcoming a new dean. Raul Reis became the school’s new leader, effective July 1. He succeeds Susan King, who stepped down in December 2021.
Reis previously led communications programs at Emerson College and Florida International University. Before going into academia, he worked as a broadcast and newspaper journalist, both in his native Brazil and in the United States.
Reis joins the Hussman School at an important time. The past couple of years have been turbulent for the school and the university.
The failed attempt to hire Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones made national news, and it fractured the relationship between the faculty and Walter Hussman, the donor for whom the school is named, and the Board of Trustees. In addition, the undergraduate program was granted provisional — but not full — accreditation because the school did not meet the standard for diversity and inclusion.
In his job interview earlier this year, Reis displayed a calm, measured approach to decision making and problem solving — a quality missing in the school’s leadership for several years. After his appointment was announced, Reis told The Daily Tar Heel in an interview: “I want to talk to the students, I want to talk to the faculty, I want to talk to other administrators, to the staff. Find out more about where people are, where they want to go and where they want the school to be.”
I am confident that Reis will address the school’s challenges, build on its successes and repair relationships. I look forward to getting to know him and working with him.
Welcome, Raul! Best wishes for a successful term as dean. We’re glad that you’re here.