After 18 years of teaching in the classroom, journalism professor Jiafei Yin will be stepping into an administrative role as the interim chair for the department.
Outgoing Chairperson Maria Marron announced Jan. 6 she is leaving Central Michigan University to serve as dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Marron’s employment will begin July 1. She will be leaving CMU by the end of February.
“I’ve faced (being interim chair) before and turned it down because I really enjoyed teaching, and teaching and being chair are very different jobs,” Yin said. “But this time around, I thought ‘Why not?’ I’ve been teaching for quite a while. Life is all about new experiences, and the department needed somebody.”
Yin began teaching at CMU in 1996 after finishing the doctoral program at University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Nanjing University in China. Before coming to America, she worked for 10 years at The China Daily, and now coordinates an internship program between the newspaper and CMU.
According to her biography, her main teaching areas include data in the news and international communication, though she has also taught courses in news writing, editing, introduction to the media and American media history.
Marron said she is confident in Yin’s ability to lead the department in her absence and has been preparing her for the duties of an administrator.
“Dr. Yin has been here for 18 years and has worked her way up on faculty,” Marron said. “Plus, she has the confidence of her faculty and personnel. She’s genuinely enthusiastic and looking forward to the job.”
Yin was selected to serve as interim after a department meeting on Wednesday. After gaining a unanimous vote of approval from the journalism faculty, she accepted the position.
“I got a lot of support from the faculty members and I’m happy for that. Dr. Marron is very encouraging and supportive,” Yin said. “She has provided me a lot of help. For any chance to be successful, faculty support is number one.”
Marron held the journalism chairwoman position since 2002. Aside from her work at CMU, she serves as editor of the Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, was president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2009-10, and is a member of the Hearst Intercollegiate Journalism Awards Steering Committee.
According to an email drafted to be sent to students, before heading to Nebraska, Marron will finalize her work on the department’s upcoming re-accreditation.