The first journalism course was offered at KU in 1891, and journalism classes have been taught continuously since 1903. In 1909, Chancellor Frank Strong authorized a new department of journalism within the College of Arts and Sciences. The journalism program retained that status for many years.
In 1944, after the death of William Allen White, the world-famous editor of the Emporia Gazette, the Kansas Board of Regents established the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information. The school was among the first group of journalism programs to achieve national accreditation in 1948. In 1982, the name of the school was changed to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
The school moved into its present building in 1952, when it was renamed Flint Hall in honor of Leon "Daddy" Flint, a longtime teacher and department chair. The building was again renamed Stauffer-Flint Hall in recognition of a $1 million contribution for complete remodeling by Oscar Stauffer of Topeka. Stauffer-Flint contains classrooms, computer labs, faculty offices, the school's main administrative offices, and the advising and recruitment offices. In August of 2012, the Richard C. Clarkson Gallery and the Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations opened in the space previously occupied by the University Daily Kansan.
In 1990, the school's Radio-Television sequence moved into a section of the newly built Dole Center for Human Development, with more classroom space, labs, editing bays and faculty offices. The Dole Center contained production studios for KUJH-TV and the Digital Jayhawk. In 2010, the University Daily Kansan news and advertising staffs were moved to the Dole Center as well. In Fall 2014, the School opened The Agency, a student-run strategic brand and marketing communications advertising agency.
In 2019, Stauffer-Flint underwent a $5 million renovation, which created a new plaza and front door and extensive remodeling of the first and third floors when it opened in 2020. The first floor, which housed classrooms, a conference room and faculty offices, is now the new home for the University Daily Kansan, Media Crossroads and KUJH News. Those student media organizations had been located in the Dole Human Development Center and Anschutz Library.
The renovated first floor also includes state-of-the-art media technology, a 39-foot ticker that displays news and events, and large screen monitors that will broadcast national, local and student media news programs. The main floor also features flex space designed for students to gather and study, including bar-level seating along the north wall facing Jayhawk Boulevard.
The third floor of Stauffer-Flint, which held tightly configured faculty offices and a conference room, was renovated into an open-concept classroom space and an updated conference room.
The renovation project also addressed some critical maintenance and safety needs for the building, which is more than 120 years old. The elevator and HVAC system were replaced, and a fire sprinkler system has been installed.
The air studio of KJHK-FM is in the Kansas Union.