Diane McFarlin to Retire as Dean of the UF College of Journalism and Communications
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) today announced that Diane McFarlin will be retiring from the role of Dean at the end of 2020. McFarlin will have served eight years as the College’s leader.
“This decision has not been an easy one,” said McFarlin, a 1976 alumna of the College and a 1999 member of the school’s Hall of Fame. “But after much soul-searching, I believe the time is right for me and for the College. We are positioned well to attract the next leader, someone who will work with our outstanding students, faculty and staff to take CJC to even greater heights.”
Under her leadership, the College’s enrollment increased 14 percent with some 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students today. UFCJC grew to 72 research and professional faculty, plus 20 teaching professionals in its world-class immersion venues. During this period, the College’s endowment increased 25 percent to more than $70 million.
“Dean McFarlin deserves tremendous recognition and praise for her leadership role in advancing many new initiatives and achievements that have moved the College forward in national reputation,” said University of Florida Provost Joe Glover. “She has been visionary in successfully positioning the College amidst a rapidly evolving profession to the tremendous benefit of students and faculty.”
Prior to being named Dean, McFarlin had spent more than three decades at the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune, including nine as Executive Editor and 13 as President and Publisher. She also was Executive Editor of the Gainesville Sun early in her career. While at the Herald-Tribune, she launched the Season of Sharing charitable fund, which has raised more than $24 million to provide crisis funding to families on the brink of homelessness.
In March 2019, McFarlin was named the Scripps Howard Awards College Administrator of the Year. In September 2019, Florida Trend magazine named her to its Florida 500 list, highlighting the 500 most influential executives throughout the state.
“I have loved every role that I have played in my 44-year career: reporter, editor, publisher, college administrator. Each job has seemed better than the last, and that has certainly been true as dean of my alma mater,” McFarlin said. “I was fortunate enough to come to UF at a time of great ambition and growth and we have been able to fully capitalize on UF’s historic momentum.”
The University is expected to announce the search committee for the new dean shortly, with the goal of bringing finalists to campus in early September.