Department of Journalism Chairperson Maria Marron announced Monday she will be leaving Central Michigan University after accepting a dean’s position at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The announcement came as an email sent through the journalism department.
Marron’s employment in Nebraska as dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications will begin July 1 pending approval from UNL’s board of regents. Marron will continue to fulfill her duties until a replacement is appointed.
Marron served as CMU’s journalism chair since 2002, and has been balancing administrative duties with maintaining her position as a full-time faculty member. In the email announcing her exit, Marron thanked the students she has seen flourish during her time running the department.
“It has been a privilege to have worked with you in the Department of Journalism at CMU,” she wrote. “You have been a dedicated group of students who have distinguished yourselves in the classroom, in professional organizations and in internships and other capacities. I hope you will continue to do well, and I wish you all continued success.”
Aside from her work at CMU, Marron also serves as editor of the Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, was president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2009-2010 and is also a member of the Hearst Intercollegiate Journalism Awards Steering Committee.
According to a press release issued by Ellen Weissinger, UNL’s senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, Marron’s accolades and commitment to journalism made her the prime candidate.
“Dr. Marron’s professional and academic accomplishments make her an excellent fit for our dean position, and she is genuinely enthusiastic about joining the campus and becoming a Nebraskan,” Weissinger said in the press release. “This is a great match and I’m excited for the college and its constituents.”
Marron said her accomplishments helped CMU’s journalism department receive nationwide recognition.
“I like to think that I positioned the department nationally,” she said. “We’ve become competitive in photojournalism in the Hearst awards. I brought the Educator to CMU and helped to update the curriculum to accommodate for the state-of-the-art. I’ve tried to be very mindful of that, serving the students to make sure that they have the resources they need, such as attending conferences.”
Despite forming close bonds with her students at CMU, Marron has sought employment opportunities outside of the university for the last few years.
Aside from being a finalist for the dean’s position in Nebraska, Marron was also a finalist for a dean’s position at Northern Arizona University in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, along with CMU political sciences professor Orlando Perez.
Perez declined to comment on the NAU position and his standing now that Marron is no longer a candidate, adding only that he would serve as professor until the end of the winter semester if chosen.
Perez said that NAU will announce their decision by the end of January.
In the past, Marron has turned down new employment opportunities, mostly for personal reasons.
“Four years ago, I was offered a position that I forfeited because my mother passed away,” Marron said. “That loss was overpowering. There were also considerations of being away from my family, but now I am ready for a change.”