Perlmutter new head of UI journalism school

BY MEGAN DIAL | APRIL 09, 2009 7:30 AM

The UI appointed a new director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Wednesday.

David D. Perlmutter — a professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas — will succeed interim Director Marc Armstrong.
Perlmutter said he feels “honored and lucky” to be a new member of the UI team.

“The school is a tremendous place, The Daily Iowan is the best student newspaper in America — I think that is objectively true,” he said.

The renowned author of the “P&T Confidential” column in the Chronicle of Higher Education will begin his new job at the UI on June 30.

“My professional career will be focused on the school and helping the students and faculty achieve their goals,” Perlmutter said.

His family spent a lot of time in Iowa during the year, he said, and they’re excited about the move. Perlmutter, a researcher in political communication, said he is excited to be closer to the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

He has written five books on the topic of political communication.

The scholar said he is fascinated by the changes occurring in the field of journalism.

“We are obviously involved in a program that is undergoing a revolution, and we don’t know where it’s going,” he said. “I think that the School of Journalism and Mass Communication cannot only reflect the changes but can be leaders in mapping out where those changes can take us.”

UI journalism Professor Stephen Bloom said he thinks Perlmutter is well-equipped to negotiate the “cataclysmic-seismic” changes in the field.

“The school has been with a very competent acting director for two years, and now it’s time for a new permanent director to settle in and to guide the school to the future,” Bloom said.

Linda Maxson, the dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said she is sure Perlmutter will be a good addition to the UI.

“I am confident David will maintain and enhance the scholarly profile of our school while ensuring that our professional journalism and mass communication programs continue to reflect the important changes taking place in media,” she said in a UI news release.

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