Search Begins for New SJGC Dean

Earlier in the semester during a quarterly colloquium, James Hawkins, dean of School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, said that, in approximately a year, he plans “to be on the golf course in San Diego.”

A search committee has been formed and is in the process of searching for a new dean for the SJGC.

Valencia Matthews, director of FAMU’s Essential Theatre and an assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is chair of the search committee tasked with appointing the new dean.

Matthews was given the position as chair by University Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris on Oct. 3.

The SJGC Search Committee consists of 12 FAMU staff members, seven from SJGC and the remaining five from other departments and schools. There will also be a student panel on the committee, but exactly who these students will be has not been decided.

The SJGC search committee has not had their first meeting and the potential candidates have not been selected.

Matthews said the committee is scheduled to meet ometime this month. In the first meeting, they will initially outline the types of qualities and credentials they are searching for in the next leader of SJGC.

“This is kind of like a committee project, to make sure everyone is aware of the duties and responsibilities of the kind of individual we are looking to lead,” said Matthews.

Hawkins has been with Florida A&M for 34 years and spent eight of them as dean of SJGC. Hawkins has no involvement with the search committee and the appointing of the new dean of the school.

However, he does know the type of person the SJGC will need in order to excel.

“They have to be a person of energy, a person of vision,” Hawkins said.

Once retired, Hawkins plans on keeping himself busy working on a screenplay and traveling around the world to play 12 golf courses he has been yearning to tee off on.

SJGC Knight Chair in Journalism Joe Ritchie is one of the individuals appointed as a member of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication Search Committee.

Ritchie has been a professor in SJGC for 19 years and has an idea of what qualifications candidates need to fulfill the job description of dean of SJGC.

“SJGC is in need of someone who will not only oversee the school, but implement programs and staff that are going to take charge in the growth and prosperity of the school,” said Ritchie.

“Due to the many budget cuts, the loss of the IT professional, as well as TV 20 staff and accreditation issues, SJGC has seen hard times.

We need someone that is going to come in and do more than just tread water. We need someone that will help us move forward.”

The SJGC dean post is one of several dean positions the university is still trying to fill.