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University names interim dean of Cronkite School, continues search

Senior Associate Dean Kristin Gilger will be dean until another search can find a permanent replacement, the University announced Wednesday


Then-senior associate dean Kristin Gilger speaks to the crowd at the opening of the World Press Photo exhibition on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the downtown Phoenix campus. The Cronkite school announced Wednesday that Gilger had been named interim dean of the school.

Senior Associate Dean Kristin Gilger will serve as interim dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as the University searches for a permanent replacement, an email from ASU Provost Mark Searle said. 

Gilger's appointment comes two days after the University rescinded its offer to Sonya Forte Duhé, who has an alleged history of making racist and homophobic remarks toward her students, according to an investigation by The State Press.

"As a leader in journalism for decades and a part of the Cronkite School leadership team since 2007, Professor Gilger is well positioned to step in and continue advancing the Cronkite School as we search for a permanent dean," Searle's email said.

Gilger joined the University in 2002 and has served in her senior associate dean position since 2007. At the Cronkite School, she also serves as the executive director for both the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the National Center on Disability and Journalism

Gilger was one of 30 Cronkite faculty members who originally signed a letter to University President Michael Crow detailing concerns about Duhé's behavior and ability to lead the school. 

Twenty-three of Duhé's students came forward in the investigation by The State Press and detailed experiences with her in the classroom and newsroom. Students said Duhé made comments on their appearance, particularly directed to women of color, frequently in classroom settings. 

READ MORE: Incoming Cronkite dean has alleged history of racist, homophobic comments toward students

The letter from faculty, obtained by The State Press, detailed a meeting faculty had with Duhé, stating they felt she "berated staff" and worried the school's reputation would be in "serious jeopardy" without her removal. 

In a statement from the University about Duhé's removal, Searle said, "I now find that the future of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and our public television station will be better served by not advancing with Dr. Duhé as their leader."

READ MORE: Sonya Forte Duhé will not be next Cronkite School dean

Once Duhé's students' stories were made public, four multicultural student organizations issued a public statement asking for Duhé's removal, saying her alleged behavior had "no place" at ASU, an institution they said attempts to champion inclusion.

Wyatt Myskow contributed to the reporting of this article. 

Reach the reporter at and follow @piperjhansen on Twitter. 

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Piper HansenDigital Editor-in-Chief

Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.

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