Dean Nicholas Lemann to step down after 10-year term

October 09, 2012

Columbia University announced today that Dean Nicholas Lemann will step down at the end of June, 2013, at the conclusion of the school’s centennial year, after a 10-year term. Following a one-year sabbatical, Lemann plans to return to the faculty at the Journalism School, and will continue his work as an author and a staff writer at "The New Yorker" magazine.

"I am proud to have completed a decade-long term as dean of the Journalism School, and excited about the prospect of a great new dean's leading the school to new heights during the term to come,” said Lemann. “President Lee Bollinger and my colleagues at the Journalism School have put extraordinary trust in me, and that has made it possible for me to have the happiest season of my career here in the dean's office. Together we have accomplished a lot, for the school and for our profession."

During Lemann’s time as Dean, the school has brought in 20 new members to its full-time faculty, started the school’s first new professional degree program since the 1930’s – the M.A. degree, which stresses subject-matter expertise – and launched new centers for investigative reporting and digital journalism. The school also started the Punch Sulzberger News Media Executive Leadership program in 2007, the only executive leadership program for news managers based at a journalism school, along with several other major programs to train working journalists.

"Some ten years ago, Nick agreed to serve on a task force I had created to consider what a modern journalism education should be. His thoughtfulness about and commitment to the subject were exceptional and inspiring, and, after many discussions, it became clear to me that he was the right person to lead the School in this new era," said University President Lee C. Bollinger. "It was our collective good fortune that Nick accepted the challenge. The many tangible benefits of Nick's transformative leadership are felt today not only by students attending the Journalism School but also by the profession and the society more generally."