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Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Media and Indigenous Communities

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University
Arizona, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Dec 8, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Communications, Media Studies, Other Communications, Humanities, Ethnic & Multicultural Studies
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is conducting a national search for a unique open rank tenured or tenure-track position focused on media and Indigenous communities. The role is part of a larger programmatic strategy to elevate Indigenous issues and the role of the media in those communities. The student-powered, faculty-led Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS, publishes content about Indigenous communities in a dedicated vertical, and the school hosts the headquarters of Indian Country Today

The Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Media and Indigenous Communities will expand the school’s commitment in this area, and serve as a national thought leader in understanding and addressing a host of disparities resulting from and perpetuated by news coverage, strategic communication, and popular culture.

The primary focus of the role will be to conduct systematic social scientific and/or humanistic research to understand the complex intersections and relations between media and the social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of Indigenous populations. The person selected will be expected to publish in scholarly journals and attend and present at relevant academic conferences, as well as deliver public talks about their work.

The SWBI Professor will work with ASU students, faculty, tribal partners and industry groups to more effectively communicate perspectives of Indigenous Americans, teach and inspire a new generation of communicators and scholars, and shape new narratives for Indigenous communities.

Applicants must have a relevant Ph.D. or related terminal degree at the time of appointment. Candidates should demonstrate a strong interdisciplinary research agenda in relation to Indigenous communities and populations, broadly understood, and be prepared to develop and teach courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, in immersion settings as well as online. Scholars specializing in quantitative, qualitative, legal, humanistic or mixed methods will all be considered.

This is the Cronkite School’s fourth faculty position funded by ASU’s Southwest Borderlands Initiative, which aims to strengthen ASU’s scholarly and instructional resources on the Southwest with emphasis on the region and enhancing institutional recruitment and retention efforts toward building a diverse faculty. Twenty-five additional SWBI professors serve in academic units across ASU.


Institutional Support

The SWBI Professor will join a team of Cronkite faculty and students who are committed to serving American Indian communities. Cronkite News, the student-powered, faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS, produces daily, multiplatform coverage of issues affecting American Indians in the Southwest. This content is distributed through Cronkite News broadcast and digital platforms, tribal media and national partners including Indian Country Today and the PBS NewsHour. The school is also home to the headquarters of Indian Country Today, a multiplatform nonprofit news organization dedicated to Indigenous communities across the country.

Harvard University’s Nieman Reports identified Cronkite News as one of the few organizations providing strong reporting on Indian Country. In August, the Native American Journalists Association awarded Cronkite students thirteen National Native Media Awards—ten of which were first place awards—across broadcast, writing and online news categories.

ASU is a nationally recognized leader in Indigenous Studies and transdisciplinary work with American Indian communities. The new SWBI Professor will work with colleagues in existing programs, including the Office of American Indian Initiatives, American Indian Studies, the American Indian Policy Institute, the Center for Indian Education and the Indian Legal Program, to advance these larger efforts.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serving as a national thought leader on issues related to Indigenous populations and media
  • Conducting, publishing, and presenting research commensurate with the demands of a top R1 institution that advances understanding of indigenous media production, consumption, or representation, and/or strategic messaging campaigns in health, environment, economics, or other topics directed at or created by Indigenous Americans
  • Teaching undergraduate and/or graduate students in online and/or immersion environments
  • Performing service to the profession, the academy and Indigenous communities, such as:
    • Growing and mentoring a new generation of communicators who are passionate about diverse coverage of Indigenous communities and/or tribal media and understanding the effects of strategic campaigns on these communities Growing and mentoring a community of Indigenous doctoral students and scholars Developing partnerships with industry groups to provide training and further improve coverage of Indigenous communities Working across ASU units and with tribal partners to build, strengthen and enable local capacity


Desired Qualifications

    Record of scholarly publications and evidence of an active interdisciplinary research agenda on topics related to Indigenous communities in premiere scholarly journals, academic edited volumes, and participation in disciplinary conferences Experience forging collaborations and partnerships


About the Cronkite School

The Cronkite School is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier journalism programs. Rooted in the time-honored values that characterize its namesake—accuracy, responsibility and integrity—the school fosters journalistic excellence and ethics among students as they master the professional skills they need to succeed in the digital media world of today and tomorrow. 

Located on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus in the heart of the nation’s fifth-largest city, the School has 70 full-time faculty members, more than 100 full-time professional staff and annual resources of more than $40 million. 

Nearly 2,500 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students are enrolled at Cronkite, preparing for careers in journalism, strategic media and related communications fields. The school champions a “teaching hospital” model of journalism education, for which it has received international acclaim. Cronkite offers 13 different full-immersion professional programs in which students work in intensive, real-world settings under the guidance of top-flight professionals and in collaboration with research faculty. The programs enable students to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom, producing news, information, strategic communications and community engagement on critical issues for the state, region and nation.

The Cronkite faculty is made up of award-winning professional journalists, strategic communications specialists and world-class media scholars. Cronkite professors include five Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, digital media thought leaders, top TV producers and correspondents, major metropolitan newspaper editors and strategic communications experts.


About Arizona State University

ASU is one of the largest and most innovative public research universities in the country, undertaking a bold reinvention of higher education as a New American University. With four campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area, it serves more than 127,000 students on campus and online. For the past six years, it has been ranked No. 1 for innovation by U.S. News & World Report.

In the last decade, ASU has developed numerous new programs and units that bridge disciplinary boundaries to enable the exploration and discovery of new knowledge, while developing practical solutions to serve Arizona and the world at large. The university has strong and simultaneous commitments to educational access, excellence, and impact, and assumes significant responsibility for the cultural, social and economic vitality of its surrounding communities.



Applicants must submit the following materials:

    A cover letter stating qualifications and how their work would intersect with and enhance the mission of the Cronkite School and ASU Curriculum vitae or resume Contact information (name, address, email, telephone number) for three professional references A written statement that addresses their experience and commitment to social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion over the course of their careers and outlines how they would advance DEI goals at the Cronkite School. The statement should be no longer than 500 words. 

The applicant’s name should appear in each uploaded file name. Cover letters may be addressed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Dawn Gilpin. Questions about the position should be directed to the search committee chair at:

Application deadline is January 15, 2022. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for a reserve pool. Applications in the reserve pool may then be reviewed in the order in which they were received until the position is filled.

Applicants must apply at: 

A background search is required for employment.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. More information can be found at and

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements - Under the recent executive order issued by President Biden requiring all employees of federal contractors to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, ASU expects all employees, including new hires, to be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation. Proof of vaccination will be required by December 8, 2021. For questions about medical or religious accommodations, please visit the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s webpage. 

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.

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