I write to share the news that after six and a half years leading Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Edward Wasserman has announced that he will be stepping down as dean and rejoining the faculty full-time. He will continue on as dean this academic year while we conduct a nationwide search for his successor.
Throughout his tenure, Ed has advocated for scholarly excellence and championed Berkeley Journalism’s mission of public service through journalism. He oversaw the hiring of a number of outstanding new faculty, including Pulitzer Prize winners Geeta Anand and David Barstow, who leads the School’s prestigious Investigative Reporting Program. In an effort to focus the School’s strengths, he partnered with faculty to refocus its offerings into three areas of excellence: Health & Environment, Technology & Society, and Democracy & Inequality. In addition to leading successful initiatives to update and revitalize the graduate curriculum, he led an initiative that has laid vital groundwork for the future of the undergraduate Media Studies program and is working to reintroduce training in journalism skills as an undergraduate option.
Ed’s administrative accomplishments are equally as impressive. His commitment to transparency and his open and collaborative style of leadership led to diverse initiatives including the School’s first climate survey, frequent faculty meetings and retreats, the development of an executive committee, and the formation of an advisory board made up of some of the most important names in journalism. Ed also oversaw the development and growth of two innovative revenue-generating programs: Berkeley’s first summer-only undergraduate minor and the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute, which offers workshops and training to mid-career professionals.
He is also frequently cited by the media and sought for interviews on media rights and wrongs, gives public presentations at the Commonwealth Club and elsewhere, and writes columns on the state of the media, most recently for The New York Times.
Ed began serving at the helm of Berkeley Journalism after a decade as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University, which in turn followed a 25-year career as a journalist, editor, and media CEO. Thanks to his leadership, the Graduate School of Journalism is on excellent footing and has successfully maintained its standing as a premier graduate institution for journalism training. Ed will stay on until we identify the next dean, and this coming year will continue to move the school forward in expanding its undergraduate offerings as well as helping us to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
Please join Chancellor Christ and me in thanking Ed for his service to the Graduate School of Journalism and to the Berkeley campus. We will keep you updated as plans for the dean search develop.
A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
November 23, 2020
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