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Duke hires New York Times columnist Frank Bruni as journalism professor

Bruni (second from right) spoke at Duke's John Fisher Zeidman Memorial Colloquium on Politics and the Press after the 2018 midterm elections.
Bruni (second from right) spoke at Duke's John Fisher Zeidman Memorial Colloquium on Politics and the Press after the 2018 midterm elections.

Frank Bruni, a longtime New York Times columnist, is leaving his current appointment at the paper to join the faculty of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, the center announced Monday.

Starting July 1, Bruni will serve as one of two new Eugene C. Patterson professors of the practice for journalism and public policy. The second professor has not yet been named. 

Bruni has served in a wide variety of roles in his 25 years at the Times, from White House correspondent to head restaurant critic. After coming to Duke, Bruni will continue to contribute to the New York Times opinion section and will write for the Sunday Review.

Bruni was the first openly gay opinion columnist for the Times. He has written multiple books, including a book about higher education, multiple cookbooks and a book about George W. Bush’s presidential campaign. 

In addition to his career as an author and at the Times, Bruni has worked for the Detroit Free Press and the New York Post. He has also worked at Princeton University and his undergraduate alma mater, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he got his undergraduate degree. 

“I’ve worked with Frank in Washington and know that he is a rare talent in American journalism. He’s been a political reporter, culture writer, foreign correspondent and opinion columnist. He will bring tremendous depth to our program,” wrote Bill Adair, director of the DeWitt Wallace center, in an email. 

Bruni said in the news release announcing his hiring that feels “honored by and excited about” his new appointment at the Sanford School of Public Policy. 

“I have such respect for what Duke has built with Sanford and with the DeWitt Wallace Center, hope to make a meaningful contribution to both and look forward to returning to North Carolina, a theater of such fascinating political dynamics and a place dear to my heart,” Bruni said in the release.

Anna Zolotor is local and national news editor.

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