Archive for Friday, March 2, 2001

Edward Bassett

March 2, 2001


— No services are planned for Edward P. Bassett, 72, Portland, Ore.

Mr. Bassett died Thursday, March 1, 2001 at his home.

Mr. Bassett, a former dean of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a former associate vice chancellor at Kansas University, was born Feb. 27, 1929, in Boston, the son of Fraser Wightman and Fanny Powers Bassett. He was reared in Decatur, Ill., and graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1951. He earned a master's degree in 1955 from the University of Michigan, earned a doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1967. He received an honorary doctor of law degree in 1984 from Washington and Lee.

Mr. Bassett worked for four newspapers, including the Louisville Courier-Journal, before moving to the University of Iowa in 1960. He spent four years as executive editor of the Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.

Gannett Co. recruited Mr. Bassett as an adviser when it established USA Today, and later named him to the company's board of directors.

His first administrative job was chair of the journalism department at the University of Michigan in 1969-1970. He then became dean of the school of journalism at Kansas University in 1970, and served a year as associate vice chancellor at KU, from 1974 to 1975.

Mr. Bassett had been the director of the USC School of Journalism. He joined the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University as dean in 1984 and worked with Northwestern's Kellogg School to establish the university's Newspaper Management Center. He became director of the University of Washington School of Communications in 1989, and served two years as the interim dean of the university's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He retired in 1997.

Mr. Bassett served on the national journalism accrediting council, on advisory committees to two public radio stations and to two Freedom Forum programs in journalism studies. He served on a Knight Ridder journalism excellence jury and the William Allen White Foundation. He won the nation's top award for journalism school administrators, presented by the Freedom Forum.

He also served as president of both the American Association of Schools and Departments of Journalism and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. His honors include selection by the American Political Science Assn. in 1960 for excellence in state government reporting.

Survivors include his wife, Karen Jack, of the home; two daughters, Sarah Williams, Menomonee Falls, Wis. and Laura Bassett, Oakton, Va.; a sister, Caroline Wilkinson, Oxford, Ohio, and four grandchildren.

A daughter, Lisa, died earlier.

Omega Funeral and Cremation Services, Portland, Ore., is in charge of arrangements.

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