Arizona State University
Kristin Gilger is the Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism and the interim dean at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is the author of the book “There’s No Crying in Newsrooms” and has served in various roles at ASU since 2002.
Gilger has been mired in controversy since assuming her role as dean this past summer. The previous candidate, Sonya Forte Duhe, was replaced by Gilger after her offer was rescinded by the university. After tweeting an image that was considered too positive towards police officers, Duhe was condemned by university faculty for showing “poor judgment.”
Gilger has come under fire after pressuring Rae’Lee Klein, a senior journalism major, and station manager for ASU’s Blaze radio, to resign from her position after tweeting and soon deleting a New York Post article detailing the warrant issued for Jacob Blake’s arrest;
“Always more to the story, folks. Please read this article to get to the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted“
Blake, who was wanted for sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend, was shot in the back by police after resisting arrest and allegedly reaching for a knife on the floor of his car.
Facing immediate backlash for her tweet, the Board of Directors at the station voted unanimously to remove her from her position. Later releasing a statement, the board announced that “Blaze Radio firmly believes that Black Lives Matter.”
“The board gave Klein an opportunity to step down under her own will. As of the time of this statement, Klein has not made the decision to resign…In light of this, we do not recognize Rae’Lee Klein as the station manager of Blaze Radio.”
Gilger has claimed that the University is not moving to remove Klein. In a statement to the New York Post, Gilger stated that Klein is not being targeted by the university for her views.
“Any actions that are unfolding are not punishment for a tweet. I have been clear with Rae’Lee that she would not be removed as station manager of Blaze Radio, a student internet radio station, because of the views she expressed,”
However, in email exchanges between Klein and Gilger, she did in fact act to pressure Klein to resign, contrary to her statement.
In their exchange (pictured below) Gilger clearly states that Klein remaining in her position, “is not an option,” as she had lost the confidence of the board.
Although suggesting new roles that Klein may assume, Gilger cites the “Media Guidelines for Student Journalists” to warn her to refrain in the future from posting information “that could call into question your ability to act independently as a journalist.” This seems to contradict Gilger’s claim that Klein was not being targeted by the university for her views.
At this time, Klein has refused to step down from her role, and officially remains the station’s manager.