Schell Steps Down After Decade at J-School’s Helm

By Suzanne La Barre
Friday April 21, 2006

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Dean Orville Schell announced Wednesday he will not seek reappointment this fall. 

Schell leaves the school to pursue his own writing, and has been offered a position at UC Berkeley as a special advisor on global issues, a press release said. Schell has been with the journalism school for almost 10 years. 

Schell is credited with introducing a prominent cast of characters to the graduate school for guest appearances and lectures, from Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw to Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama. He also encouraged international travel as a method for students to hone their reporting skills. 

“It will be the end of an incredibly exciting era,” said Associate Dean Cynthia Gorney. “He is a guy of pretty extraordinary vision and ambition.” 

Schell is a specialist on China and the media, and has authored 14 books. He studied Far Eastern history as an undergraduate at Harvard College and Chinese history at UC Berkeley as a graduate student. 

He served as a correspondent and consultant for an Emmy-award winning episode of “60 Minutes” in addition to multiple “Frontline” documentaries. 

There are no obvious frontrunners to replace Schell, Gorney said. Schell plans to stay on until a new dean is appointed.  

The last dean, Thomas Goldstein, held the position from 1988 to 1996.