The University of Nevada, Reno, has named former Merc editor and Knight Ridder vp Jerry Ceppos as its new journalism dean, heading a school with 500 students and 15 full-time staff. In addition Ceppos will be a full professor with tenure and the holder of endowed chair. He starts in January. Ceppos, a resident of Saratoga, is an adjunct professor at San Jose State University and a consultant for Leading Edge Associates. Ceppos was the only remaining finalists after two others withdrew their names.

Ceppos told Sean Webby of the Merc that he hopes to focus the school’s faculty and students on the rich environmental and legal reporting topics in the Lake Tahoe area. He also wants the next generation of journalists to sharpen their analytical skills on a broader issue: “How did the media end up in this mess?”

    “None of us, including me, foresaw how much our lives would be changed by the new media,” said Ceppos, 61, a fellow at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. “The next time the new delivery method comes along, it’s important that everybody doesn’t sit around and worry and not take any action.”

But Ceppos said he is still hopeful about the future of journalism: “We are still going to need reporters and editors no matter what the medium is,” he said.

[Link to University of Nevada, Reno, press release]

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