SJGC begins search for new dean

Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communications.
Photo courtesy Hbcubuzz Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communications (SJGC) is on the search for a new dean. Students and faculty are hopeful. As the search begins, the question on everyone’s minds is: who will be awarded this dynamic position?


On Thursday, FAMU hosted a Search Committee meeting via Zoom. The meeting started promptly at 3 p.m. with 23 total participants. Among those were committee chairwoman Dean Allyson L. Watson and Provost Maurice Edington.

“This is an important time in the history of our school,” said Edington. “…the missing piece is stable leadership for the program.” Immediately following these sentiments, Edington led the meeting with the charge: conducting a thoughtful and rigorous search that will select three candidates that are suitable for hiring.

The provost presented the committee with an extensive list of ideal characteristics for candidates. The list included: a distinguished record of achievement, the ability to facilitate buying/support of stakeholders, having experience within the field, high moral character and someone who is both inclusive as well as transparent.

After opening the floor for questions, the meeting proceeded with a legal presentation from attorney Shira Thomas. The search committee meetings are subject to Sunshine Law 286. Attorney Thomas discussed the law, which governs open meetings, and listed the three basic requirements.

The requirements state the meeting of public boards or commissions must be open to the public, reasonable notice of such meetings must be given and minutes of the meeting must be taken, promptly recorded and open to public inspection.

A Human Resources presentation was given, which provided insight on how to conduct a fair and compliant search; the presentation showed members the best way to each create three questions for applicants.

An introduction section followed the HR presentation. Members shared their name, position, and how long they’ve been at FAMU. Dean Watson called on each member based on the committee listing, which included SJGC members, faculty senate, SGA representatives, campus administrations, alumni representatives and SJGC board visitors.

Among the members was broadcast journalism student, Titlilayo Okuwa, who serves on the committee as an SGA representative.

“The school of journalism has opened so many opportunities for me,” Okuwa said. “I am happy to give back to the school.”

William Giles, Journalism Division Director expressed he has worked for FAMU SJGC off and on since 2006 and has over 25 years of experience in journalism-leadership.

“I feel great about this committee” Giles said.

The search for the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications dean is underway and the next meeting will be made public soon. Meetings will be held via Zoom due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.