Charles Whitaker named Medill dean


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Charles Whitaker at an event last month speaking with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. Whitaker was named the dean of Medill Wednesday.

Alan Perez, Editor in Chief

Charles Whitaker will serve as the dean of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, the University announced Wednesday.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be the first Medill alumnus selected to serve as dean,” Whitaker said in a news release. “I care deeply about the school, particularly the students, faculty and staff who have made Medill such a vaunted institution in the fields of journalism and integrated marketing. Our industries have been disrupted by tremendous technological changes. But rather than shrink from those challenges, we embrace the opportunities they present for Medill to provide leadership as well as highly trained talent for our fields.”

Whitaker’s term will begin July 1.

Provost Jonathan Holloway, who appointed Whitaker, said it was “clear that Charles is the right person to guide Medill into its next chapter.”

“I have tremendous confidence in his ability to lead, educate and advocate for all members of the Medill community,” he added.

Whitaker, who joined Medill in 1993, has been serving as the interim dean of the school since July 2018.

Whitaker has a long history working in the magazine industry. He was a senior editor at Ebony Magazine where he covered cultural, social and political issues. He was also the co-author of “Magazine Writing,” a textbook on feature writing and the magazine industry and has contributed to magazines such as Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine, Chicago Parent magazine and Folio.

In addition to having written the textbook, Whitaker engages in academic study of the magazine industry, from authoring multiple statistical analyses of the hiring of female and minority candidates in the industry to advising the Magazine Publishers of America, now known as The Association of Magazine Media, on diversity.

At Medill, he was a rotating director of the Magazine Publishing Project for graduate students and has taught magazine writing and magazine editing courses.

Whitaker previously served as the chair of Students Publishing Company, the governing board of The Daily Northwestern.