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Tom Kunkel

Tom Kunkel

March 2008

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Seventh president of St. Norbert College introduced on campus this morning

Eminent journalist and scholar Thomas Kunkel has been named the seventh president of St. Norbert College, effective July 1. Kunkel will succeed William J. Hynes, who has successfully led the college for the past eight years.

Kunkel will be introduced to the college and local communities at an event scheduled for this morning at 10:00 a.m. in Old St. Joseph Church on campus.

 “St. Norbert College is widely regarded as one of the top liberal arts institutions in America, and my wife, Deb, and I are thrilled and humbled by this opportunity,” said Kunkel. “I am a product of both a liberal arts and Catholic education, and here is a place where those missions come together to create a uniquely rich environment.”  
A writer and editor, Kunkel is currently in his eighth year as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where he is also president of American Journalism Review, a national magazine published by the journalism school. At Maryland he has served as director of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, and as editor and director of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper.

Kunkel has spent much of his early career in newspaper management. Most recently he was deputy managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to that he worked for The Miami Herald, The New York Times and The Cincinnati Post, and he was editor and publisher of Arizona Trend magazine. When he was named executive editor of Knight-Ridder’s Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, he became the youngest top editor in company history at age 29.
He has written or edited five books, including “Genius in Disguise,” the critically praised biography of New Yorker editor Harold Ross. The volume was a New York Times Notable Book of 1995.

“Enormous Prayers: A Journey into Priesthood,” an ethnographic portrait of 28 Catholic priests, appeared in 1998. “Letters from the Editor,” a compilation and analysis of Ross letters, was published in 2000.

Kunkel worked with legendary editor (and Maryland journalism professor) Gene Roberts on the Project on the State of the American Newspaper, a two-year, in-depth examination of the newspaper industry. In this 18-part series, Kunkel edited some of the best nonfiction writers in America, including seven Pulitzer Prize winners. He is co-editor of two books examining the newspaper industry.

Recognized as a leader in his field, Kunkel chairs the national committee of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and, in August 2007, he became president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.

He has chaired accreditation reviews of such nationally prominent journalism programs as Columbia, Syracuse, Berkeley, Florida and Southern California. In 2006 he was named Journalism Administrator of the Year by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the top honor in his field.

Kunkel was born and raised in Evansville, Ind. He earned his B.A. in political science at the University of Evansville in 1977 and his master’s degree in humanities from the same school in 1979. He and his wife of 32 years, Debra Kunkel, have four daughters.

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