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Neil Henry named Berkeley J-school dean

After two unsuccessful searches, UC-Berkeley has decided that the professor who has been filling in as dean of its graduate journalism school since 2007 should get the job permanently. Here’s a link to a news release announcing that former Washington Post writer and author Neil Henry, 55, has been chosen as dean.

“We are convinced more than ever that the finest possible dean for the Graduate School of Journalism, at this time and going forward, is the person who has led it through these past two years with such class and devotion,” Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer in a statement.

Two searches for a new dean have failed. The first time, UC-Berkeley announced that Dianne Lynch of Ithaca College in New York would become dean, then she mysteriously backed out. A second search fizzled last month when two finalists dropped out, citing the lenghty search process.

As interim dean, Henry has strengthened school ties with both private donors and new major philanthropies. He launched the first-ever collaboration between a journalism school and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in the past year has raised more than $5 million for the school’s new initiatives, including two endowed chairs.

Henry earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Princeton in 1977 and a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1978. He worked for 16 years as a metro, national and foreign correspondent for the Washington Post and was a staff writer for Newsweek magazine before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1993. (Photo credit: UC-Berkeley)

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