OLD Media Moves

Biz journalism program at SMU on hold for a year

May 10, 2006

I had a brief e-mail conversation with Tony Pederson, the Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism, at Southern Methodist University, who told me that the journalism program there has ended its current search for a person to hold its new William O’Neil Chair in Business Journalism and will apply for applicants again near the end of the year.

The money to fund the position and start the program came from Bill O’Neil, an SMU graduate and the founder of Investor’s Business Daily. A similar chair has been named in the business school to help with the journalism program.

This is a disappointing development in that business journalism desperately needs another undergraduate program, but I understand that SMU is looking for an excellent person who can jump in and get the ball rolling. (In the interest of fair disclosure, I did apply for this position, but withdrew my name in March after talking with Tony. My family decided it does not want to leave Chapel Hill.)

Other undergraduate journalism programs include the one at Washington & Lee and here at UNC, where a business journalism certificate is offered. Florida International University has hired Miami Herald reporter Gregg Fields to start a program there beginning this fall.

I can only hope that they will find someone of strong academic and professional background during the next search so that the program can be developed beginning in 2007. If you are interested in a career in academia, I encourage you to contact Tony about this opportunity at tpederso@mail.smu.edu. Teaching business journalism is a rewarding experience.

Here is a link to the earlier job posting.

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