Straughan named interim dean of UNC journalism schoolDulcie Straughan, former senior associate dean of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, became the school's interim dean July 1.
Jean Folkerts, dean of the school since 2006, announced in October that she would step down June 30 and remain on the faculty.
Bruce Carney, the University's executive vice chancellor and provost, announced that Straughan would serve as interim dean until the effective date of the appointment of a new dean or until June 30, 2012, whichever comes first.
"We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Straughan's impressive credentials and stature to step into this interim leadership role," Carney said. "With her background as a faculty member, researcher and administrator in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she is ideally suited to lead our faculty, staff and students in addressing future challenges."
"I have a great love and appreciation for what makes our school one of the best in the world," Straughan said. "Its ambitious students, dedicated faculty, hard-working staff and deeply committed alumni and friends keep us at the top. I’m honored to serve in this role as we complete the search and make the transition to new leadership.”
Straughan received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and her doctorate in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the UNC journalism school faculty in 1990, served as associate dean for undergraduate studies from 2005-08 and senior associate dean since 2008.
Straughan won the journalism school's David Brinkley teaching excellence award in 1993 and the University's Tanner Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 1995. Prior to joining the school, she worked as a public information officer for a state agency in Virginia and as a media relations manager for a major pharmaceutical company. She also worked part-time as an account executive at a small public relations agency and as a reporter for a Virginia weekly newspaper.
Straughan's work has been published in "Public Relations Review," "Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly," "International Communication Bulletin" and "Media History Monographs." Her book, "Women's Use of Public Relations for Progressive-era Reform: Rousing the Conscience of a Nation," looks at women reformers during the Progressive era and how they used public relations strategies to work for social justice issues.