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Poynter dean will be next president

Karen Brown Dunlap will lead the journalism school when president James Naughton retires.

By STEPHEN NOHLGREN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 17, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG -- Journalist and educator Karen Brown Dunlap will become the fourth president of the Poynter Institute, the journalism school that owns the St. Petersburg Times, the institute's trustees announced Thursday.

Dunlap, 51, will succeed James Naughton, who will retire in August at age 65, as required by the institute's bylaws.

A former reporter and university professor, Dunlap joined the institute's writing faculty in 1989. For the last eight years, she has overseen academic programs as dean of the faculty.

"I've made a career here out of being credited for Karen Dunlap's good work," Naughton said in a news release. "It's about time she got full credit."

"Karen Dunlap is a remarkable combination of teaching skill, journalistic expertise and administrative talent," said Andrew Barnes, chairman of the institute and chairman and CEO of the Times. "Poynter will continue to blossom under her leadership."

The 27-year-old school holds seminars for print and broadcast journalists, who gather from around the country at its offices on Third Street S. Topics include reporting, writing, editing, design, management, ethics and diversity. The institute's $8-million budget comes largely from the Times' after-tax profits and pays the salaries of 58 employees.

Its first president was Donald Baldwin, when it was called Modern Media Institute; the second president was Robert Haiman.

In December, Dunlap became the first African-American member of the Times board.

She said she wants to expand the institute's sources of income, strengthen its staff, remind journalists "how important they are to society" and extend programs into new areas, particularly learning on the Internet.

Her appointment "really shows how Poynter trains leaders," she said, "because I came here almost 20 years ago as a participant in a seminar." That was when the school operated out of an old bank building on Central Avenue.

The institute also announced the appointment of longtime instructor Roy Peter Clark to the board of trustees and a newly created position of vice president.

Naughton, former political reporter and managing editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, said he plans to read a lot of books and do some consulting.

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