Current Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 18:53:52 -0500
For the second time in two years, a major university is axing its journalism program.
Emory University announced last week that it will close its journalism program in a college-wide restructuring effort. The university will also eliminate its departments of physical education and visual arts, and division of education studies.
The decision was announced in a letter to Emory students and staff last week by Robin Forman, dean of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences.
“While difficult, I believe that they are necessary for the college to achieve its aspirations and for Emory to maintain its place as one of the top liberal arts universities in the nation,” he said.
The reductions will allow Emory to invest in more interdisciplinary areas of instruction, including contemporary China studies, digital and new media studies and neurosciences, according to a report by Nancy Seideman, executive director of media relations at Emory.
“There are no plans to reintroduce journalism as a stand-alone program at this time, but we are exploring the possibility of introducing the subject of journalism into other fields of study,” Seideman said in an email.
Last year, the University of Colorado-Boulder also closed its journalism school.
Chris Braider, director of journalism and mass communication at UC-Boulder, said the old journalism school needed a reboot after decision-making became too contentious. He added that the change was a part of a campuswide restructuring.
Braider said the change wasn’t a cost-cutting measure.
“It really was a question of trying to help journalists and their colleagues in media studies and advertising work better together,” he said.
Braider said the new, integrated program has support from university administrators.
“Finally, everybody is working together again,” he said.
Chris Roush, senior associate dean for UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said these changes are not indicative of a larger trend.
He said the Emory program is small and has not been around very long, so it is not surprising that the university wants to focus its curriculum on other areas.
He added there is no danger to the UNC journalism school, and UNC is actually looking for ways to grow its program.
Roush said UNC’s journalism school is updating its curriculum to ensure that students are proficient in the latest technology and journalism trends.
“I think journalism schools across the country, to thrive and survive, are going to have to be looking at their curriculum every year,” Roush said.
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