Dianne Lynch, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, announced last Thursday she will remain as a dean at Ithaca College.
Lynch said a letter was delivered last Thursday to officials at the University of California at Berkeley informing them of her decision to decline the position of dean at their graduate school of journalism.
Kathleen Rountree, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the news 30 minutes later at a meeting with Park faculty and staff.
Lynch first turned down the Berkeley position in March. UC Berkeley Provost Greg Breslauer forwarded Lynch’s name to the Berkeley Board of Regents in May, and she was approved as dean in July. Lynch planned to begin at Berkeley in January.
Lynch said she feels a strong tie to the college and the new initiatives she hopes to implement.
“At the end of the day, I made the decision that Ithaca College is really the right place for me,” Lynch said. “We have so much work to do, and we have started so many exciting initiatives here.”
Some of Lynch’s initiatives include a redesign of the lounge in Park 220, developing a senior mentoring program and hiring a director for the new Center for Independent Media.
Lynch said her contract with Berkeley was never finalized, and no renegotiation of her contract or salary was involved in her decision to return.
Neil Henry, interim dean of Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, said the UC Berkeley faculty respects Lynch’s decision but is disappointed nonetheless.
“The school in general is very sorry [Lynch] decided to stay [at Ithaca College],” Henry said.
Janice Levy, associate professor of cinema, photography and media arts, said faculty, staff and students all seem excited by Lynch’s decision.
“I’m so pleased,” Levy said. “I think [Lynch] has a dynamic energy that will serve the Park School well in the future.”
Lynch said she is pleased with the amount of support she’s received.
“It hasn’t been easy for anybody, and I know that,” she said. “I’m really grateful for the community’s patience.”