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ASU Public Affairs VP to join Cronkite School faculty

portrait of Virgil Renzulli
April 17, 2014

Virgil Renzulli, who has led Arizona State University’s communications and outreach for more than a decade, is joining the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a professor of strategic communications.

Renzulli, who currently serves as vice president of public affairs, will leave the position to start as a Cronkite professor of practice, as well as a senior communications adviser to ASU President Michael M. Crow on July 1. Crow said Renzulli significantly impacted ASU and its transformation into one of the nation’s top research universities.

“Virgil has played an important role in our mission to create ‘A New American University,’” Crow said. “Now, he will leave an indelible mark at Cronkite, helping prepare the next generation of communication professionals.”

At ASU’s Office of Public Affairs, Renzulli leads media, government and community relations, as well as public events. He also oversees Eight, Arizona’s premier PBS affiliate, and ASU Gammage.

Renzulli has more than three decades of experience in university communications, serving in leadership roles at the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Columbia University. He also worked as a journalist, writing for Philadelphia-area newspapers.

Cronkite School dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan said Renzulli will teach strategic communication courses to advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

“We are thrilled to have Virgil at the Cronkite School,” Callahan said. “He brings extraordinary expertise and experience in strategic communications. Our students will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business.”

Renzulli, who started his career as a high school teacher, said his new role at ASU will allow him to keep a hands-on connection to university communications while mentoring and advising Cronkite students.

“This is the best of both worlds for me,” Renzulli said. “I’ll have the opportunity to teach at Cronkite, which Dean Callahan has built into the premier school of journalism and communications in the United States, while continuing to work with President Crow to help promote ASU, the most innovative and exciting university in the country.”

Renzulli holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and also did graduate work in marketing at the Wharton School, film at Temple University and creative writing at New York University. He is the author of three novels: "Caliburn," "Beyond the Edge of the Universe" and "Kaleidoscope."

The Cronkite School is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs. The school’s 1,600 students regularly lead the country in national journalism competitions. They are guided by faculty comprised of award-winning professional journalists and world-class media scholars. Cronkite’s full-immersion professional programs give students opportunities to practice what they’ve learned in a real-world setting under the guidance of professionals.