This week, hundreds gathered in Nightingale Concert Hall on the University campus to celebrate the life of Cole Campbell, dean of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, who was killed in a car accident Jan. 5. The remarks of those who spoke at the memorial service painted the picture of a visionary, optimistic and inspiring individual.
"I certainly find myself reflecting on Cole's ideas, values and philosophies, as we look to the future and consider the best way to continue his legacy," said University Provost John Frederick.
At a faculty retreat Jan. 17, Frederick and President Milt Glick put a rumor to rest by reiterating that the school will remain an independent college. Frederick noted a national search for the next dean will be launched, but could take up to 18 months to complete. He also acknowledged the sensitivity of initiating the search for a dean to follow in Campbell's steps, and in a college that has had five deans in five years.
Frederick also announced that Vice Provost Jannet Vreeland will serve as acting dean, a role she filled prior to Campbell's appointment. Rosemary McCarthy, academic chair at the Reynolds School, will assist with the school's day-to-day operations.
"In addition to her duties as vice provost, Jannet will fill in as acting dean for the next several months, possibly through the spring semester," said Frederick. "We will likely identify another individual to serve as interim dean beyond that, and we want to work with the faculty to determine the best solution for interim leadership."
"There are a number of initiatives underway," Vreeland said of the school. "I'm impressed with scope of work and energy. There is a strong sense of resolve among the faculty to further Cole's work, and there is also a sense that we must be thoughtful about what we can accomplish."
Donica Mensing, associate professor and director of the school's graduate studies, spoke to that sense of resolve in remarks delivered at Campbell's memorial service: "He infused us with purpose and passion and the power to shape our future in ways that truly matter. I hope that we continue to miss him for a long, long time, because the missing will help us remember what he gave us and why it is so important to continue working towards the vision he inspired."
At the service Campbell's sister, Cathy, announced the family's decision to donate much of his extensive collection of books to the Reynolds School, and to consider additional plans to partner with the school to further Campbell's love of inquiry, learning and knowledge.
"The Travis Linn Reading Room is the site of many traditions and gatherings," said Frederick. "It is an honor to know that Cole's collection will be available within the school as well.
We look forward to partnering with his family to determine where and how this collection will be maintained. Along with the Reading Room, it will enhance the experience and resources available to students."
A Cole Campbell Memorial Fund has been established with the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation. The Campbell family has pledged to match contributions to the fund up to a total of $10,000.