CUNY J-School Founding Dean Stephen Shepard To Step Down

February 25, 2013 | The University

Stephen B. Shepard, founding dean of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, announced today that he would step down, effective December 31, 2013. He will stay on as a University Professor at CUNY, working on special projects at the Journalism School.

Shepard, a 1961 graduate of City College, came to CUNY in March 2005 to create a new graduate school of journalism after a long career in magazines. He was a senior editor at Newsweek, editor of Saturday Review, and editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek for more than 20 years. He also served as president of the American Society of Magazine Editors. His memoir, Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path From Print to Digital, was published in 2012 by McGraw-Hill.

Launched in August 2006, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is the only publicly funded graduate program in journalism in the Northeast. Located in Times Square, it offers a three-semester M.A. degree in journalism and a newer M.A. degree in entrepreneurial journalism. The School enrolls about 100 new students each fall, about 65% of them women and nearly 40% students of color. The School graduated its sixth class in December 2012.

“I will be forever grateful for the privilege of serving as founding dean of this innovative new school,” Shepard said. “We can all be proud of what we’ve accomplished in short order.”

CUNY Board Chairperson Benno Schmidt said: “CUNY is profoundly grateful to Stephen B. Shepard, who took the helm of the School at a time when the journalism field was on the cusp of profound change. During the past nine years he has built a School for this new age, featuring an innovative curriculum, a highly regarded faculty, a talented and diverse student body, and a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the world’s media capital.”

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein stated: “The City University of New York is deeply indebted to Stephen B. Shepard, a CCNY alumnus and one of America’s most distinguished journalists. As Founding Dean of CUNY’s pioneering Graduate School of Journalism he helped create an extraordinary graduate program that blends the eternal values of traditional journalism, including fine reporting and writing, critical thinking, and ethical values of traditional journalism, with the new multimedia, interactive possibilities of the 21st century.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism was among the first to offer a fully converged curriculum that blends traditional journalism -– reporting, writing, and ethical values -– with the multimedia, interactive, and technical skills of the new media world. Students also specialize in one of five subject concentrations: arts and culture reporting; business and economics; health and science; international; or urban affairs.

All students participate in a summer internship program at a media company in the U.S. or abroad, and the students receive a stipend from the school for their internships.

Shepard is credited with putting together a world-class-faculty and establishing a national footprint for the school. He raised about $25 million for special academic programs and scholarships for deserving students. Alumni of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism work at nearly every major news organization in the U.S. and abroad. More than four out of five of its graduates are earning their living in journalism within six months of graduation.

The School occupies state-of-the-art facilities on West 40th Street, in a building that formerly housed the New York Herald Tribune, right next door to The New York Times.

Beyond its basic programs, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism runs two centers and a book publishing imprint:

• The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism trains students and mid-career professionals to develop new products and services for the digital age and conduct research on new business models to sustain quality journalism.

• The Center for Community and Ethnic Media, launched in 2012, serves New York’s vibrant group of neighborhood and immigrant-community newspapers and broadcast outlets -– some 350 of them, published in more than 50 languages. The Center offers their staffs training programs in business, technology, and journalism.

• The CUNY Journalism Press, launched in 2012, in partnership with OR Books, publishes books about journalism in two formats: e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks.

A search committee will be established to recommend candidates for a successor.

About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University is comprised of 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. The University serves more than 269,000 degree credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students.College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of NewYork City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.