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Associate Dean Barrett Named Louise Solheim Professor

April 7, 2006

Marianne Barrett, associate dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, has been named the Solheim Professor.

Barrett, who joined the Cronkite School faculty in 1994, worked in the television industry for more than 10 years, serving as director of program scheduling at ESPN and director of programming at WVIA-TV in Scranton, Pa. She became associate director of the school in 2003 and was named associate dean last year when the school was made a free-standing unit on the Tempe campus.

“During the past 10 years, Dr. Barrett has become an indispensable member of the Cronkite School. Not only is she a respected professor, but she is also a first-rate administrator and one of my closest advisers,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan.

Barrett’s role as associate dean for academic affairs includes mentoring junior faculty and overseeing faculty hiring and curriculum changes. She also is the school’s graduate director.

The professorship is named in honor of Louise Solheim, a generous philanthropist in the Valley and a long-time supporter of the Cronkite School. Solheim created the professorship seven years ago to support the Cronkite School’s leadership because she believes in the importance of solid journalism education rooted in integrity, the characteristic value of the school’s namesake, Walter Cronkite.

“Today’s journalism students are tomorrow’s journalists. They are the ones who will determine what news is disseminated and how the news is disseminated,” Solheim said. “I believe it is of critical importance to the American society as a whole that journalism students receive the highest quality of a professional education.”

Barrett said she was honored to be the Solheim professor, which was last held by former Cronkite School Director Joe Foote.

“Mrs. Solheim has been one of the most generous donors to the Cronkite School over the years, which makes holding the professorship in her name such an honor. I look forward to representing Mrs. Solheim and her values not only through my leadership at the Cronkite School but also through my continued research on media management issues and their implications on the field of journalism.”

Barrett is working on a study examining the glass ceiling in the broadcast and cable television industries that will be presented at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s Academic Seminar in April.

In March 2002, Barrett was named the Frank Stanton Fellow by the International Radio and Television Society, which recognizes outstanding contributions to electronic media education.

Barrett’s work has appeared in the Journal of Media Economics, Communication Law and Policy, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly and the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Journal. She is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Media Economics and the International Journal on Media Management and has held leadership positions in the Broadcast Education Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Cronkite School is a nationally accredited school that focuses on professional journalism education on the undergraduate and master’s levels. The school, which was named in honor of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite in 1984, has finished in the Top 10 of the highly competitive Hearst intercollegiate journalism awards for the past four years.