Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism made a major acquisition today by naming Krishna Bharat the Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence.  Bharat is the founder and engineering head of Google News and recognized worldwide as one of the industry’s most influential computer scientists. 

Although he will continue to work out of Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA, Bharat will stay in touch with students in person and in virtual forums.  He will be a key resource for the recently founded Tow Center for Digital Journalism and deliver the annual Hearst New Media Lecture on April 7, 2011. 

School of Journalism dean Nicholas Lemann says he is pleased to bring Barat’s influence to Columbia and praised his role in new media:

In founding Google News, Krishna became a real pioneer in making professional journalism more widely accessible than ever before, and he continues to be one of the leading thinkers about how news and information is disseminated digitally. We are excited that he will be here to exchange ideas with our students and faculty.”

Bharat joins The Huffington Post’s chairman and co-founder Kenneth Lerer and former ESPN.com editor-in-chief, Neal Scarborough in the line of recent digital media experts to be appointed Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence.

For more on Krishna Barat, check out our interview here: So What Do You Do, Krishna Bharat, Lead Engineer of Google News?