CU looks toward closing journalism program

Oakland L. Childers | Boulder Weekly

CU-Boulder officials announced Wednesday that the University’s journalism program may be on the chopping block as part of a plan to create a new, more modern program to address the realities of modern communication.

“We want to strategically realign resources and strengths currently existing on the CU-Boulder campus to ensure that course and degree offerings meet the needs of students, the labor market, our campus mission and the communications needs of a rapidly changing global society,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano in a press release. “News and communications transmission as well as the role of the press and journalism in a democratic society are changing at a tremendous pace. We must change with it.”

The university has charged the Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee (ARPAC) with examining the structure and organization of a new, interdisciplinary program that would replace the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, while simultaneously beginning the discontinuance of that program for strategic and budgetary realignment.

“In order to create a new program, we need to go through the formal process of evaluating how the School of Journalism and Mass Communication will change,” said Interim Provost Russell Moore. “Changes to any academic program with tenured faculty must follow the Regent Policy on Program Discontinuance.”

ARPAC will begin its review Sept. 1 and is due to present a report to the provost within 60 days. The provost will review the report and make a recommendation to the chancellor 30 days later.

CU is not alone in its decision to tackle the subject of the changing nature of newsgathering and communications in age of the Internet. Moore said more than 30 schools and colleges have been created across the nation to respond to the modern dilemmas of journalism. Those institutions include UC-Berkeley, Washington, Rutgers, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Michigan and Wisconsin. CU officials said all undergraduate and graduate students who have been admitted to School of Journalism and Mass Communication will be able to complete their degrees.

In September, ARPAC will host open forums for faculty and students who have questions about the program discontinuance process. Open forums for faculty will be Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Wednesday, Sept. 8, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in University Memorial Center room 235. Open forums for School of Journalism and Mass Communication students will be held Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 15, from noon to 2 p.m. in UMC room 235.