ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A longtime reporter for the Albany Times Union has been appointed the next director of the New York State Writers Institute.

Paul Grondahl was named Friday to replace Donald Faulkner, who retired last year after 21 years.

Grondahl, 57, starts Feb. 21.

A Washington state native, Grondahl was hired by the Times Union in 1984 after earning a master's degree in English literature from the University at Albany, the Writers Institute's home. Over the next three decades his duties included doing stories on the hundreds of prominent writers who visited Albany for the institute's events.

The author of several books, Grondahl is an adjunct professor at the university's Africana Studies Department.

Albany native and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy founded the institute in 1983 and serves as its executive director.