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Ramos to step down as head of Cal Poly Journalism Department

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Cal Poly's College of Liberal Arts is searching for a replacement for George Ramos, the Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Times writer and editor who's been the chair of Cal Poly's Journalism Department for nearly four years.

"We will be searching for a new head in the fall," College of Liberal Arts Dean Linda Halisky told New Times.

She said that Ramos is stepping down, but she declined to say why Ramos didn't return calls for comment by press time.

Under Ramos, the department has emphasized hands-on learning and worked to introduce minority students to journalism.

Ramos, a 1969 Cal Poly graduate, began working at the L.A. Times in 1978, according to a Cal Poly press release issued when he first came to the department. He's a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, having served on a team that won the award in 1994 for coverage of the Northridge earthquake. He was also part of a team that won for coverage of the L.A. riots, and in 1984 he led a team that won the prize for a series of stories about the lives of Latinos in Southern California.

He was recently inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame.

When he took the job, Ramos told Cal Poly Magazine that his No. 1 goal was to get the department accredited again the department lost its accreditation the year before Ramos arrived. In a recent department alumni newsletter, Ramos said accreditation was lost because of inadequate governance, a lack of diversity, and substandard facilities and equipment. He described ways the department was working to address those issues, ranging from new hiring to pushing for a new studio for the campus radio station.

Kara Lynch of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications said that the school is not listed as accredited in its most recent information, updated for the new school year.

 

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