Geeta Anand named interim dean at UC Berkeley J-school

Geeta Anand, newly appointed interim dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. (Photo: UC Berkeley)

Ed’s Note: The following updates an earlier story throughout.

Geeta Anand, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author, has been named interim dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, replacing Edward Wasserman, who stepped down after serving seven years as dean.

Anand, a member of the school’s journalism faculty, will serve as interim dean while the university conducts a nationwide search for Wasserman’s permanent successor, the school announced.

Anand is director of the prestigious school’s investigative reporting program and has been on the UC Berkeley faculty since 2018.

She served as the City Hall bureau chief for the Boston Globe, and as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She was on the Journal’s team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting on the nation’s corporate scandals, and she authored the 2009 nonfiction book, The Cure.

Wasserman, who will return to his faculty  duties as a tenured professor, left the dean’s position in part because of the increasing awareness of racial injustice and the need for the school to be more sensitive to that cultural shift.

“It has become clear that new leadership to shepherd this process is called for,” Wasserman wrote in an earlier statement.

Wasserman, who spent 35 years as a reporter, editor, media CEO and journalism professor before coming to Berkeley, had announced in August 2019 that he intended to retire by June 30, 2020, although he later agreed to remain for several months while a search was conducted for his successor.

Several members of the Senate Faculty had urged university officials  earlier this month to “act with utmost urgency to appoint an interim dean.”

The group said it would hold meetings to “develop serious and meaningful plans in response to the NABJ’s action items,” and that it would deliver its recommendations to the interim dean by July 15.

The NABJ is the National Association of Black Journalists. and has suggested ways in which newsrooms can improve their racial sensitivity in coverage and management.

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