ASU loses journalism instructor, adviser - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

ASU loses journalism instructor, adviser

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Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 10:45 am | Updated: 7:52 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

May 18, 2005

Tom Goldstein, one of the nation’s leading journalism scholars, has returned to Berkeley after less than two years at Arizona State University’s journalism school.

He’s one of two key faculty members who recently stepped down at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Heidi Anne Sommer, the school’s academic advising coordinator, retired last week after 17 years. She was one of three advisers for the school’s 1,800 undergraduate students.

Steve Doig, interim director of the school, said he’s looking for replacements, but the immediate priority is to hire a dean.

The school has been without a dean since Joe Foote left in 2003. In March, ASU said it had narrowed the search to four finalists, but there’s been no word since.

In a recent interview, Goldstein said he wanted to work closer to his home in the San Francisco Bay area and end the twice-a-week commute to ASU. He plans to teach at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he was dean from 1988 to 1996.

In 2003, Goldstein accepted ASU President Michael Crow’s offer of $150,000 a year and a new endowed chair paid for by Phoenix Newspapers Inc., the parent company of The Arizona Republic.

Goldstein was dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism from 1997 until 2002, and has worked as a reporter for The Associated Press, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Crow, who has raided universities across the country for their best faculty, was Columbia’s executive vice provost, the third highest administrative position, until 2002, when he left to become ASU’s president.

Doig said the addition of Goldstein was a high-visibility boost for the Cronkite School, and came at a time when the school was deciding to become independent and eventually relocate to the proposed campus in downtown Phoenix.

"What he brought to the school was an incredible degree of name recognition and credibility that he had earned through a 20-plus career in journalism education," Doig said. "As interim director I found it incredibly useful to have somebody with Tom’s experience and contacts. He was extremely helpful."

Sommer, whose salary was about $52,000 a year, did most of her undergraduate advising with ASU students last year by e-mail from her home in Washington state.

Doig called it an experiment that worked out so well that more advising by e-mail is likely in the future.

"I think Heidi successfully proved that for many questions and concerns students have, e-mail advising works fine," Doig said.

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