The precocious Daniel Haier continued his meteoric rise up the Daily Nexus totem pole when he was named editor in chief of the paper for the next school year.
UCSB Press Council named Haier, a second-year student and this year’s assistant county editor, to the position after interviewing him Wednesday evening. Haier won the Nexus staff recommendation in a vote Tuesday, a triumph made easier by the fact that he was running unopposed. Haier wrote his first Nexus story a month into his freshman year and became a full-time staff member in January 2003 when he was promoted to assistant campus editor.
Haier said he looked forward to the challenge of leading the paper through a time of large staff turnover.
“We’re losing so many of our most talented writers and editors,” he said. “But the paper will manage. We face turnover constantly and new people always step up.”
The new boss said he plans a minor reorganization of the paper’s news desks, but will definitely not be altering the lighthearted atmosphere in the Nexus office.
“It’s amazing you could have this much fun and get an entire newspaper out every day,” Haier said. “The people who work here are definitely big influences on me, but I’m not always sure if that’s for better or for worse.”
As EIC, Haier is ultimately responsible for the editorial content of the paper and handles managerial and personnel matters. He replaces Brendan Buhler, the only editor in chief to serve two terms in Nexus history.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better editor in chief than Buhler,” Haier said. “He taught me how to run a newspaper and tend a bar – skills that I’m sure will come in handy regardless of what I find myself doing in the future.”
Buhler said he expected Haier to be a strong leader.
“I believe his general idea, if he doesn’t get knocked on the head with a bottle in one of the frequent brawls in which he and his followers indulge, is to make himself a dictator,” Buhler said.
Though Haier ran unopposed, his campaign was not without obstacles. Opinion Editor Drew Mackie launched a smear campaign against Haier by posting fliers around the office accusing Haier of criminal and amoral behavior. One such flier accused Haier of consuming a baby, which Haier vehemently denied.
“He had to be somewhat challenged,” Mackie said. “Every EIC deserves to be publicly embarrassed. I’m glad I was the first one to do it.”
Mackie added that he thought Haier could be an effective EIC.
“Despite his youth, he might do a good job after all,” Mackie said.
Artsweek Editor Jessica Jardine called Haier a “snappy dresser,” citing the fuzzy gray beanie he is often seen wearing around the office. News Editor Jamie Morrow had a different take, saying the beanie looked “like something his mom made for him.”
Haier confirmed that his mother, Barbara Haier, did in fact make the beanie.