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Ousted New York Times editor Jill Abramson to teach at Harvard

Jill Abramson gave the commencement address at Wake Forest University in May.Jason Miczek/REUTERS

Ousted New York Times editor Jill Abramson will be a visiting lecturer at Harvard University in the next academic year, the university announced today.

Abramson will teach undergraduate courses as a visiting lecturer on narrative non-fiction for Harvard’s English department, the university said in a statement.

“I’m honored and excited to be teaching at Harvard in the coming academic year,” Abramson said in the statement. “Narrative non-fiction journalism is more important than ever. Its traditions and how it is changing in the digital transition are fascinating areas of study.”

“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,” Professor Diana Sorensen, dean of arts and humanities, said in the statement.


Abramson is a 1976 graduate of Harvard College. She served 2½ years as executive editor of The New York Times. She was the first female to hold the newspaper’s highest editorial position.

Her career at the paper also included stints as investigative reporter, Washington bureau chief, and managing editor.

The Times abruptly dismissed Abramson in mid-May. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said he acted because of Abramson’s newsroom management style.

The move created a storm of controversy, with some critics arguing that Abramson’s gender had played a role in the decision. Sulzberger denied that was the case.

In a commencement speech at Wake Forest University, Abramson said it was the “honor of my life to lead the newsroom” and that she was “scared but also a little excited” about the future.

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.

Abramson has previously taught journalism writing seminars at Yale and Princeton universities, the university said.


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Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.