Yesterday, Harvard University announced that former New York Times editor Jill Abramson will be a visiting lecturer on campus in the next academic year.
Abramson, 60, was the first female to hold the executive editor position at The New York Times. In May, the newspaper reported that she has been dismissed from her position. The abrupt firing by the newspaper’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., stunned The Times newsroom and the media world.
Mr. Sulzberger claimed that Abramson was let go, after less than three years in the position, due to her abrasive management style. There has been much speculation as to whether the journalist’s gender played a role in the loss of her job.
According to a piece in The New Yorker, written shortly after Jill was fired, Ken Auletta reports that Abramson had learned she was receiving a lower salary than her predecessor in the executive editor position, Bill Keller. The article goes on to say that Abramson eventually hired an lawyer to “make polite inquiries about the pay and pension disparities.” This was not well received by Sulzberger and other members of upper management.
Sulzberger allegedly met with Jill Abramson and told her it was time to “make a change.” He then replaced her in the executive editor job by promoting Managing Editor Dean Baquet, who became The New York Times‘ first African-American executive editor.
Abramson spoke at the commencement ceremony at Wake Forest University in May of this year, not long after her firing. She admitted she was she was “scared but also a little excited” about the future.
Fortunately, it appears that Abramson has found a place where she can continue to contribute to the world of journalism.
The Boston Globe quoted Professor Diana Sorensen, dean of arts and humanities at Harvard, who said in a statement
“Harvard is delighted to welcome Jill Abramson to the English Department, where her students in the Writing Program will profit enormously from her insights, experience and brilliance.”
The statement also reported that Abramson will teach undergraduate courses as a visiting lecturer on narrative non-fiction for the ivy league university’s English department. Abramson’s career has also included stints at the Wall Street Journal, Legal Times, American Lawyer, NBC News, and Time magazine. She is also the author of several books, the university said.
Jill Abramson is a 1976 graduate of Harvard College. She has previously taught journalism writing seminars at Yale and Princeton universities.
[Photo via TheBostonGlobe.com]