Sheila Coronel will take over as dean of academic affairs at the Journalism School when Bill Grueskin, who has held the post since 2008, steps down at the end of the semester.
Grueskin, who was considered by many faculty members a favorite for the dean position that eventually went to Steve Coll last March, said that he was satisfied with the appointment of veteran journalist Coronel, director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism since 2006.
“I’m really happy that Sheila Coronel is succeeding me,” Grueskin told Spectator last week. “She’s a really talented journalist in her own right and has done some courageous reporting in the Philippines. She has a global stature in the world of journalism.”
Grueskin, a former managing editor at the Wall Street Journal, said that he wanted to take a step back from his administrative post to focus on his journalism career, though he’ll remain a full-time professor of professional practice at the school.
“I made it clear to Steve [Coll] that I’d be stepping down at the end of the year,” Grueskin said. “I wanted to keep the team together over that time to oversee and resolve any problems.”
During his tenure, Grueskin oversaw an overhaul of the J-school curriculum, shifting the school towards a more digital focus to better prepare students for today’s journalism industry.
“Dean Grueskin has led a monumental, historic effort to change the way we teach journalism here,” Coronel said. “I hope to build on these changes. There’s still plenty of work to be done.”
“We need to be on top of changes in the industry, and create a flexible student body that are better prepared for the world they will enter upon graduation,” Coronel added.
She cited the task of diversifying the education at the J-school as a priority once she becomes dean, highlighting the valuable perspectives that international students contribute to the school.
“Our school is increasingly international—30 to 35 percent and rising—so we need to reflect that reality,” Coronel said. “International students also bring different experiences that enrich the experience for everyone involved. Wherever you are, journalism needs to be global because the audience is global.”
Coronel covered politics and government in the Philippines as a stringer for the New York Times and the Guardian. In 1989, Coronel co-founded the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, which produces articles on social and political issues in the Philippines and trains journalists in investigative reporting.
Coronel describes herself as a witness to a period of great revolutionary change, having reported on human rights abuses, corruption, and government misconduct.
“Journalists in the Philippines—even today—are killed for their investigation of corruption and reporting on crime,” Coronel said.
Coronel expressed optimism about her new position, but said that she’s fully aware of the challenge that the school faces to continuously adapt to the changing media landscape.
Grueskin, who taught a course with Coronel at the J-school, said that his successor’s qualifications made her the perfect choice for the position.
“It’s been a peaceful transition—she was at the top of everyone’s list,” Grueskin added.