Office of Dean Diane McFarlin
Diane McFarlin, JM 1976, is dean of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She began her journalism career in high school and took a reporting job in Sarasota after earning her degree at UF. McFarlin rose through the ranks to become managing editor of the Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune at 30. She was named executive editor of The Gainesville Sun three years later and then returned to the Herald-Tribune, serving as executive editor for a decade and publisher for 13 years. Under her leadership, the Herald-Tribune Media Group, the largest media company in Southwest Florida, was touted as an industry leader in media convergence and digital innovation.
She became dean of the UF College of Journalism and Communications in January 2013. In this role, she has expanded interdisciplinary initiatives, established a central hub for professional advising and student services, and increased research productivity through top faculty hires and increased funding. In addition to academic excellence, the college’s hallmark is the professional immersion opportunities it offers students. Venues include the multimedia Innovation News Center, GatorVision sports production, and The Agency, an integrated communication agency opening in early 2015. Each of these programs is led by professionals, staffed by students and inspired by faculty.
McFarlin is active in state and national media organizations. She is a past president of the American Society of News Editors and has served six times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. She has taught at the Centers for Independent Journalism in Prague and Bucharest, and addressed the World Editor’s Forum on the subject of multimedia newsrooms. McFarlin has worked on behalf of numerous nonprofit organizations and launched the Season of Sharing charitable fund, which has raised $11 million to provide crisis funding to families on the brink of homelessness.