Jerry Ceppos became dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU in July 2011. For 3-1/2 years before that, he was dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Although Jerry spent most of his career in newspapers, he has been interested in journalism education for years. He has been a member of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which sets standards and accredits journalism schools, for 23 years. For six of those years, he served as president of the council. He has been chair of the journalism-education committees of the two largest national newspaper organizations, the Associated Press Managing Editors and the American Society of News Editors. He has written and spoken for years about the similarities and differences between practicing journalists and journalism educators.
In the profession, Jerry was vice president for news of Knight Ridder, then the second-largest newspaper company; he helped direct editorial content, hiring of top editors and ethical behavior of the company’s 32 daily newspapers, which included the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Kansas City Star. Before that, he was managing editor and executive editor of the Mercury News; assistant managing editor of the Herald, and a reporter and editor at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
He served twice as president of the California Society of Newspaper Editors and was president of the Associated Press Managing Editors. He has been active with First Amendment issues and is a former board member of the Student Press Law Center and of the First Amendment Coalition. He was one of three winners of the first Ethics in Journalism Award of the Society of Professional Journalists. He also won the Knight Ridder Excellence Award for Diversity for diversifying the staff and pages of the San Jose Mercury News. He is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Maryland.