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Former Gannett publisher named to head journalism school

Dorothy Bland, dean, Mayborn School of Journalism, June 2013.Dorothy M. Bland, right, professor of journalism at Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, has been named the new dean of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism.

Her appointment will begin in June.

Bland will replace M. Jean Keller, who has served as acting dean since September 2012.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Warren Burggren called Bland’s hiring “a highly significant academic appointment for UNT in our continuing quest to be a national research university with outstanding student learning.”

“I am extremely pleased for our current journalism students, faculty and staff and for the many distinguished alumni and friends of the school, all of whom will benefit not only from Dorothy Bland’s demonstrated leadership skills in an academic setting, but also from her extensive experience in publishing,” Burggren said. 

Bland directed Florida A&M University’s Division of Journalism — the first accredited journalism program at an historically African American university — for five years. Her accomplishments include:

  • leading a successful reaccreditation
  • securing an annual commitment for Scripps-Howard Foundation Internship/Scholarship Grants
  • working with CBS News, FAMU journalism alumni and others to establish the Harold Dow Professorship, named in honor of the late, award-winning 48 Hours correspondent  

“While I appreciate my FAMU experiences, leading the Mayborn School of Journalism is a wonderful opportunity,” Bland said. “I understand that UNT’s theme is a Green Light to Greatness, and the Mayborn School has a strong foundation plus excellent potential for more greatness. It is strategically located in the fifth largest media market in the nation and a diverse region well positioned for future growth.”

Bland praised the school’s annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference as a “national treasure” and also the school offering a full complement of student media and student-run advertising/public relations and photo/multimedia agencies.

“I look forward to working with the team to increase the school’s visibility in the digital age and take it to the next level. I value UNT’s four bold goals related to student success, providing a superior educational experience, developing faculty and staff and expanding partnerships,” she said.

At FAMU, Bland led campaigns to raise more than $100,000 to support the National Association of Black Journalists Multimedia Short Courses and the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia High School Workshops.

She was the interim advisor for both the FAMU chapter of the Association of Black Journalists, which was named Student Chapter of the Year in 2008, and the FAMU chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America.

She has served on site teams for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications at universities in California, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and other states. Bland was also a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes and a guest lecturer at the Poynter Institute, Kuwait University and other institutions. 

Before coming to FAMU, Bland was a reporter and editor at USA Today. She served as president and publisher of both the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette and Fort Collins (Colo.) Coloradoan and earned three Gannett President’s Rings for outstanding performance.

Bland received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arkansas State University and master of business administration degree in marketing from George Washington University. She was a McCormick Fellow in the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Media Management Center and has completed additional graduate courses at Florida State University.

Posted on: Tue 19 February 2013

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