Thomas Kunkel has been dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland since 2000.
For three years prior to that, he was director and editor of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper, an extensive examination of the business led by legendary editor (and Maryland journalism professor) Gene Roberts. The 18-part series appeared in American Journalism Review, which is published by the Merrill College. In 2001 and 2002 the University of Arkansas Press published a two-volume anthology of the series: "Leaving Readers Behind: The Age of Corporate Newspapering" and "Breach of Faith: A Crisis of Coverage in the Age of Corporate Newspaering."
A writer and editor, Kunkel has spent most of his career in newspaper management. Most recently he was deputy managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to that he worked for the Miami Herald, the New York Times and the Cincinnati Post, and he was editor and publisher of Arizona Trend magazine. When he was named executive editor of Knight-Ridder's Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, he was, at age 29, the youngest top editor in company history.
From 1992 to 1997 he worked as a freelance writer. His first book, Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of The New Yorker, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. A second book, Enormous Prayers: A Journey Into the Priesthood, appeared in 1998. His collection of the correspondence of Harold Ross, titled Letters From the Editor, was published in 2000 by the Modern Library and was also selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Kunkel also has written magazine pieces for Sports Illustrated, Hope, George, and AJR.
An Indiana native, Kunkel holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Evansville.