Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Arizona State University: Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Phoenix, Arizona

Date Posted December 19, 2019
Industry Academia
Specialty Education
Job Status Full-time
Salary Negotiable


Arizona State University seeks a dynamic and experienced leader to serve as dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Over the past decade, the Cronkite School has transformed to become one of the nation’s premier journalism programs. It now leads the field of journalism education in its use of the “news teaching hospital” method, with 15 different full-immersion professional programs in which students work to meet the news and information needs of local, regional and national audiences, including its Borderlands program, which covers immigration and border issues in both English and Spanish. Arizona PBS, one of the nation’s largest public television stations and the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world, serves as the hub for these programs and a testing ground for new approaches in journalism.

The new dean is expected to build on this momentum, advancing the school to new levels of excellence and prominence and serving as a national leader among journalism educators.

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic leader committed to the advancement of journalism education in the digital age, to the success of our diverse student body, and to the university’s mission of excellence and access.

Successful candidates must show strong evidence of sustained visionary leadership, change management, entrepreneurial thinking, administrative and fundraising acumen, and the ability to foster an environment of growth and development for students, faculty and staff. The dean will raise the School’s national profile and community connections, set high standards for creative practice and scholarship, ensure diversity of thought and practice, and be devoted to student success. She or he will be expected to collaborate with Cronkite’s talented students, faculty, staff and a broad array of external partners to address the challenges of a rapidly changing media world while upholding the highest standards of journalism.

The ideal candidate will bring to the position most of the following desired qualifications:

The dean is a member of the Provost’s Deans Council and reports to the Provost of the University. Candidates whose backgrounds are in a university setting should hold a minimum of a master’s degree. Successful academic leadership experience in a complex research university will usually aid a candidate. However, the University will consider candidates with professional backgrounds outside the academy who demonstrate great leadership talent and the potential to excel.

About Arizona State University

ASU is one of the largest and most innovative public research universities in the country, undertaking a bold reinvention of higher education as a New American University.  With four campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area, it serves more than 127,000 students on campus and online. For the past five years, it has been ranked No. 1 for innovation by U.S. News & World Report.

In the last decade, ASU has developed numerous new programs and units that bridge disciplinary boundaries to enable the exploration and discovery of new knowledge, while developing practical solutions to serve Arizona and the world at large. The university has strong and simultaneous commitments to educational access, excellence, and impact, and assumes significant responsibility for the cultural, social and economic vitality of its surrounding communities.

About the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The Cronkite School is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier journalism programs. Rooted in the time-honored values that characterize its namesake — accuracy, responsibility, objectivity, integrity — the school fosters journalistic excellence and ethics among students as they master the professional skills they need to succeed in the digital media world of today and tomorrow.

Located on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus in the heart of the nation’s fifth-largest city, the School has 70 full-time faculty members, more than 100 full-time professional staff and annual resources of more than $40 million.

Nearly 2,500 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students are enrolled at Cronkite, preparing for careers in journalism, strategic media and related communications fields.

Of the undergraduate residential student population, more than 60 percent come from out-of-state and more than 37 percent are students of color. The retention rate consistently exceeds 90 percent, and Cronkite students regularly lead the country in national journalism competitions.

The School offers both residential and online degree programs. At the undergraduate level, these include the residential bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication or the bachelor’s in Sports Journalism. Specializations are available in bilingual journalism, business journalism and strategic media/public relations. Undergraduate bachelor’s programs for remote students are the new Digital Audiences program or Mass Communication and Media Studies.

At the master’s level, students may pursue the MA in Journalism and Mass Communications; Sports Journalism; or Investigative Journalism. The School also offers dual degrees in medicine and journalism with the Mayo Clinic and in journalism and legal studies with the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Online master’s degrees are available in Digital Media Strategies or Business Journalism

The School also offers a scholarly research-oriented Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in journalism and mass communication with a focus on original research, faculty-student mentoring, interdisciplinary experiences and flexibility.

Cronkite leads the way in journalism education with its innovative use of the news teaching hospital model, for which it has received international acclaim. Cronkite offers 15 different full-immersion professional programs in which students work in intensive, real-world settings under the guidance of top-flight professionals and in collaboration with research faculty. The programs enable students to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom, producing news, information and community engagement on critical issues for the state, region and nation.

The Cronkite faculty is made up of award-winning professional journalists, strategic communications specialists and world-class media scholars. Cronkite professors include five Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, digital media thought leaders, top TV producers and correspondents, major metropolitan newspaper editors and strategic communications experts.

The School is located in a state-of-the-art media complex that is considered one of the best journalism education facilities in the nation. It is equipped with 14 digital newsrooms and computer labs as well as three TV studios. It is home to Arizona PBS, one of the nation’s largest public television stations, which serves as the hub of the School’s “teaching hospital” and a testing ground for innovation in journalism. Students produce a nightly newscast that reaches 1.9 million households across Arizona on four TV channels and multiple digital platforms.

Journalism courses have been offered at ASU since 1931, and a Department of Mass Communication was formed in 1957. In 1984, the department was elevated to a school and named in honor of Walter Cronkite.

Over the past decade, the School has attracted more than $100 million in external funding from major corporations and nonprofit organizations for new learning and research partnerships. These include The Scripps Howard Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Hearst Foundations, Ford Foundation, Dow Jones News Fund, Google, Facebook and others. 

To nominate a colleague or for informal inquiries, please email Dean Patrick Kenney, Chair of the Search Committee at .  All nominee names will be kept confidential.

To apply, submit the following electronically to:, 1) curriculum vitae, 2) a letter that highlights important qualifications and the basis of interest in the position, and 3) contact information for three to four references. References will be contacted at a later stage of the search and only with a candidate’s approval. All application materials will be held in confidence.

For full consideration, the deadline for receipt of applications is January 13, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis as necessary until the search is closed.

A background check is required for employment.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. ASU’s full non-discrimination statement (ACD 401) is located on the ASU website at and

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources.  ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at  You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.

To apply to this job, click here.