Posted December 3, 2018
An end to the “Tanner Era” at the SJMC
When I joined the CIC last year, I had a lot to learn — not just about the college and its schools, but about Columbia, the university and the tightly knit community of faculty and staff in which I found myself. Luckily, the J-school’s director, Dr. Andrea Tanner, was here to help me get acclimated.
If you haven’t yet heard, she’s accepted an associate dean position with the South Carolina Honors College. Like many others, I came to rely on Dr. Tanner for her institutional knowledge and wisdom. She will be sorely missed, but we are all excited to see what’s next for her in her new role.
Andrea’s been with the J-school since she was hired to the faculty in 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UGA (my old stomping ground), then got her M.A. and Ph.D. from us.
During her time here, she took on a multitude of leadership responsibilities, including serving as broadcast sequence head and associate director of the school’s graduate program.
As director, she’s successfully managed growth in enrollment and faculty, furthered our robust study abroad programs and hired the school’s first endowed chair. She played a critical role in moving the J-school out of the windowless basement of the Carolina Coliseum, and since moving, she’s worked tirelessly to make sure the new building is one of the most impressive on campus.
If you have a chance, be sure to drop Dr. Tanner a note thanking her for all she’s done.
What’s next? We’re in the process of creating a search committee to begin the process of hiring a new director. We’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, we’ve appointed Dr. Erik Collins, professor emeritus, as interim director. Dr. Collins knows a thing or two about leading the J-school — he’s served as interim director twice before. We know he’ll keep things running smoothly until a replacement can be found.
Of course, no one can truly “replace” Dr. Tanner. But we’re hopeful that we’ll find someone who shares her vision for the future and her commitment to excellence.