Remembering Professor Emeritus Ralph Izard, the Manship School’s Former Interim Dean and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

Ralph Izard

Professor Emeritus Ralph Izard, the Manship School’s Former Interim Dean and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

Sept. 9, 2020

We are saddened to have learned that Professor Emeritus Ralph Izard passed away on Sept. 3 at his home in Athens, Ohio. He was 81 years old.

Dr. Izard was a great champion of the Manship School, journalism education, inclusion and equity. He served as the interim dean of the Manship School from 2010-2011 and had been the School’s Sig Mickelson/CBS professor since 2001. He also served as the associate dean of graduate studies (2001-2004) and was inducted into the School’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

Before joining the Manship School, Dr. Izard was a faculty member at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism for 32 years, 12 of which he served as the School’s director. Nationally regarded in journalism education, Dr. Izard was president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1992-1993. He was a Freedom Forum fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York from 1998-1999 and editor of the Newspaper Research Journal from 1988-2000. Dr. Izard specialized in media ethics, the First Amendment, and diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Izard’s work leaves a lasting impression on the field of journalism and the Manship School. In 2002, he co-founded the Media Diversity Forum, a national database of diversity resources, including commentary, news and analysis, media and national diversity organizations, and sample media diversity syllabi. The Forum, a project of the Manship School, now serves as the host site for the Minorities and Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Led by Dr. Izard’s efforts, the Manship School was the inaugural recipient of AEJMC’s Equity and Diversity Award in 2009.

Dr. Izard co-authored or edited six books and countless articles on journalism ethics, professional development, the First Amendment, and diversity and inclusion. In the field of journalism, Dr. Izard worked for two newspapers and four bureaus of The Associated Press. He served as a consultant for the U.S. Information Services in the South Pacific and for Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Australia and conducted professional journalism workshops on five continents. In 2007, the Society of Professional Journalists honored him with the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award.

Dr. Izard once said in an interview about teaching graduate students: “What I really loved was the students who challenged me. These were students who were not satisfied that I was teaching them. They wanted to teach me, and they did. I was in my late 20s, early 30s during that period – I had a lot to learn and still do, but I learned a lot and I’ve developed very satisfying professional and personal relationships with a whole lot of people who were dedicated to truth and who were dedicated to journalism as a force that could serve truth.”

Dr. Izard was a remarkable leader, journalist, professor, colleague and friend. We extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones. A memorial service will be scheduled at a suitable time.