Marc Lamont Hill, an academic and journalist best known for his news analysis on CNN, will join the Klein College of Media and Communication faculty in Fall 2017 as the college’s first endowed chair, Klein College Dean David Boardman confirmed.
The 2000 alumnus and former urban education professor is leaving Morehouse College, a historically Black institution in Atlanta, to return to Temple as the first Steve Charles Chair in Media, Cities and Solutions.
“He’s stayed very active in North Philadelphia and the combination of his great scholarship … and the fact that he’s well known here and trusted in the community, that seemed like a tremendous asset for us,” Boardman said.
In addition to his new role in Klein College, which was endowed last year with $2 million from trustee and alumnus Steve Charles, Hill will also return to the College of Education as an urban education.
Boardman created Hill’s new position as part of Klein College’s efforts to train students to focus on solutions journalism techniques. Solutions-based media take traditional investigative reporting techniques, like using data, documents and interviews to highlight positive contributions to communities, Boardman said.
“The notion of solutions journalism is there are many instances where we already know what the problem is and we need to bring those same [vigorous] investigative techniques to shining a light on potential solutions,” he said.
Boardman said the new chair exists to increase solutions work at Temple “so that we’re really one of the top schools in the country for this kind of work.”
The chair will focus on the role of communication in urban life, he added.
Andrea Wenzel, a research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, also has experience with solutions journalism. She will also join Klein College as a professor in the journalism department. Boardman said Wenzel will work closely with Hill, who will teach in the media studies and production department.
Boardman said Hill and Wenzel will work closely with current members of the Klein College faculty, like journalism professors Jill Bauer, Linn Washington and Jim MacMillan, the assistant director of external affairs at Klein College.
Going forward, Boardman said he aims to help facilitate partnerships among Klein College students, the North Philadelphia community and local media outlets.
“We want to teach our students to use these techniques and approaches, and we want to do it in a way that its experiential work for them and that has a positive impact on the community,” Boardman said.