Dean Mills, who has served as dean of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism for nearly 25 years, announced Feb. 6 that he would be stepping down effective Aug. 31.
“I realize I can’t hold onto this job forever just because I continue to enjoy it,” Mills wrote in an email to his colleagues. “It’s time (some of you might say way past time) for the school to have a new dean.”
Mills will remain on the campus in a part-time position as director of the fellows program at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, an enterprise launched and funded during Mills’ tenure to experiment with new ways to deliver journalism.
Steve Weinberg, author of a history of the world’s oldest journalism school, said Mills leaves a legacy that includes expansion of the school’s international connections, especially in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
With Mills leading the journalism school, the female faculty was expanded “with the gender gap closing significantly,” Weinberg said.
Mills earned a doctorate in communications in 1981 from the University of Illinois. Before coming to Missouri in 1989, he served as director of the Pennsylvania State University’s School of Journalism before becoming coordinator of graduate study in communications at California State University-Fullerton.
Mills also served as Moscow bureau chief for the Baltimore Sun in 1969 and worked as a reporter in Washington, D.C., between 1972 and 1975.