Dr. Riley Coverage: Breaking News, Features and Investigations




In September of 2019, I was part of a team that broke national news about Dr. Jamie Riley, UA's freshly hired dean of students and one of few Black administrators at the Capstone, who resigned after Breitbart News published a story about his past tweets, which were critical of systemic racism. The story, which had about 300,000 page views, and our continued coverage of protests throughout the fall semester, got the attention of reporters from The Chronicle of Higher Education and The New York Times (and also Ben Shapiro, who was surprisingly critical of UA). In October, a FOIA request filed by a staff reporter under my guidance revealed that Dr. Riley reached a settlement with the University the same day that the Breitbart story was published. Below are links to stories related to Riley's resignation and administrative turnover.

Breaking News: BREAKING: Dean of students resigns after pictures of past tweets surface

Feature, Week 1: Members of the UA community ask for an end to the silence

Feature, Week 2: ‘Only the beginning’: Activists push for a more inclusive campus

Week 3: Search committee announced for VP of student life, other demands still unanswered

Feature, Week 4: A month after Riley's resignation, demonstrations continue

FOIA Update: UPDATE: Document shows Riley resigned same day as Breitbart article published

Coverage of Candidate Search: In a season of unusually high administrative turnover, I felt it was important to for the news desk aggressively cover ongoing searches for senior leadership positions. The Vice President for Student Life is responsible for hiring the dean of students, and with both of those positions unfilled at the time, we wanted to keep a close eye on the search process. These forums were made public by demand of students and faculty, but they were not recorded or made widely accessible, so I made sure to assign myself or other reporters to research, live tweet, live stream, and cover each presentation.

Overview: Candidates for VP of Student Life position to present this week

Candidate 1: CANDIDATE RECAP: Carilli addresses track record, diversity at VPSL forum

Candidate 2: CANDIDATE RECAP: Pope draws on scholarship, strategies in second VPSL presentation

Candidate 3: CANDIDATE RECAP: Younger says she’s not afraid to challenge the status quo

Candidate 4: CANDIDATE RECAP: Cox places emphasis on communication, collaboration

Candidate 5: CANDIDATE RECAP: Hood prioritizes stability, trust at final VPSL forum

Analysis: Bonnin among host of administrators to depart UA this year

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