Next year, Medill will hire a full-time faculty member with expertise in media coverage of sexual and gender minorities.
“It’s an extremely important moment for our School,” said Charles Whitaker, associate dean. “It’s the first time, as far as we know, that a top journalism school at a major university has established an endowed chair focused on media coverage of gender and sexual minorities.”
The position, made possible by a gift from the estate of the late Daniel H. Renberg, is open to academics as well as journalists. Candidates who are journalists will be expected to teach and continue producing exemplary coverage of LGBTQ communities. Academic candidates will be expected to teach while conducting and publishing innovative research.
In addition to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and continuing to produce journalism or research, the faculty member also will contribute thought leadership on media coverage of LGBTQ communities within the university and elsewhere.
“It’s an unparalleled opportunity to bring on a colleague with a vision about how to improve coverage of LGBTQ communities locally, nationally, and globally,” said Douglas Foster, chair of the search committee and a Medill associate professor. “There’s a universe of missed stories in today’s journalism, and this is one step in reclaiming them.”
The new endowed chair is named for Daniel H. Renberg, the late financier and philanthropist, who earned his BS in journalism from Northwestern University in 1952. Two years later, Renberg received his MBA from Harvard University. He was an Army veteran, businessman, and major supporter of various causes, including the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. In 2010, Renberg was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. The gift to endow the position was made last year by Eugene Kapaloski, Renberg’s husband and partner of 53 years.
“We’re grateful to Mr. Kapaloski for the trust he’s placed in us,” Whitaker said.