Emory University plans to close its journalism program

Emory University | The Emory Wheel | Creative Loafing Atlanta
Atlanta’s Emory University announced Friday that it will wind down its journalism program, as well as several other schools and programs.

The school says it’s part of a “multi-year plan designed to enhance areas of distinction, transform areas of excellence into areas of eminence, and allocate resources to invest in important new and emerging growth areas.”

Samantha Miller, a freshman who planned to major in journalism, told The Emory Wheel “I guess I’m left with becoming an English major and having to suck it up.”

In a letter to faculty and students, Emory Dean Robin Foreman says tenured faculty will “eventually have their lines moved to other departments.” The Wheel reports:

Three untenured assistant professors and 19 lecture-track faculty will be forced to find jobs elsewhere, as the College will not be renewing their contracts when they expire. Approximately 20 staff positions will be eliminated in the next five years, the University said.

Max Blau at Creative Loafing Atlanta excerpts a letter that the j-program’s Hank Klibanoff, Sissel McCarthy and David Armstrong sent to students. They say they weren’t aware of previous discussions about the program closing, and that Foreman notified them of the decision on Thursday.

The one rationale he provided, other than the competition for resources he mentions in his letter, was that Journalism was viewed by many at Emory as a “pre-professional program” and therefore as “not an easy fit” in a liberal arts environment.

The letter also says that the program will continue through next year so that students in it can finish their internship requirements and complete their courses.

In June, Poynter’s Howard Finberg wrote about possible futures for journalism education, including what he called “the unbundling of a journalism education from a journalism degree.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/hockeyscribe Justin Cohn

    As an Emory alum, and one of many professional journalists out there from before they even had a journalism program, I was always disappointed the journalism school did almost nothing to recognize (or utilize) those in the field who had actual ties to the university. The Wheel has been there forever, winning awards forever, but if you didn’t graduate with the journalism degree, they had no association with you. Too bad, since we could have done much to help the stature of the program there.

  • aaron singer

    Hah, Emory isn’t an HBCU at all.

    That said, as a Wheel alum, this is sad news. I wasn’t in the Journalism Program, but it seemed a good program and I know many alums who have gone on to very good starts in their careers in journalism or a similar field.

  • Anonymous

    Not really, because so much of the copy has become editor-driven with a bias, an expanded public relations degree could likely be better utilized by the disheartened…

  • http://creative-writing-courses.info/journalism/ frank james

    That really sad that Emory University are closing down the journalism course this can only lead to an erosion of the quality in journalism in general,i see this becoming a scourge of recent times !
    I found this site through a link here http://creative-writing-courses.info/journalism/

  • Anonymous

    Disheartening, especially from a distinguished HBC like Emory. Another blow to diversity in the news business is about the last thing we needed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erikgable Erik Gable

    I’m sorry … what? Isn’t journalism pretty much the epitome of liberal arts … ending up knowing a little bit about everything?