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."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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