The Dean of the University of Nevada, Reno Reynolds School of Journalism, Al Stavitsky, has announced that he will step down from the position to return to a faculty role as a professor at the end of this academic year, the centennial for journalism education at Nevada.
The Reynolds School’s longest-serving dean, Stavitsky has served in the role since April 1, 2012. A tenured full professor, he holds the Fred W. Smith Chair in Journalism at the Reynolds School and serves on the University’s senior leadership team.
“Serving as Reynolds School dean for the past 11 years has been a privilege and the capstone of my academic and professional career,” Stavitsky said. “I’ve missed working more directly with students, however, and am eager to return to the classroom and to my research on the history of Nevada broadcasting.”
During Stavitsky’s time as dean, the Reynolds School has launched new academic programs in health communication, Spanish-language media and film production. The school created the Noticiero Móvil bilingual news service, the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science and the Reynolds Media Lab production center. The University’s public radio stations, KUNR and KNCJ, were brought under his direction. The school also received two of the leading national awards for journalism programs: the Equity and Diversity Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Grand Prize for Innovation in Journalism Education from the Online News Association. The Reynolds School was the first collegiate journalism school in the nation to partner with NPR to train students for careers in public media through the Next Generation Radio Nevada program.
Stavitsky was elected to the presidency of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication for 2021-2022. A former broadcast journalist, he was named Distinguished Scholar to the Library of Congress’ Radio Preservation Task Force and was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame last October.
“Dean Al, as he is affectionately known by so many, has been an integral part of the success of the Reynolds School of Journalism and its record-setting achievement for more than a decade,” University of Nevada, Reno Executive Vice President and Provost Jeff Thompson said. “Under his dedicated leadership, Dean Al has reframed and renewed the way modern journalism education is approached and taught at the University. We are grateful that Dean Al will join the incredible faculty within the Reynolds School. Our students will greatly benefit by having him in the classroom.”
A national search for the next Reynolds School dean will be launched this spring. Stavitsky will continue to serve until the new dean is in place.