TEXAS — Texas A&M University decided in July to eliminate its journalism department because administrators said they could not afford to hire the extra professors needed to sustain the program.
More than 500 students are enrolled in the department, which has only eight full-time faculty members. Charles Johnson, dean of the college of liberal arts, proposed the program’s elimination as a solution to financial and faculty problems that he said have been plaguing the department for a decade. The proposal to eliminate the program is part of a $20.5 million university budget cut.
If approved by the board of regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the program will be officially eliminated in August 2004. However, students currently enrolled in the program will still be able to receive a journalism degree. Afterward, some journalism classes will still be offered.
The Battalion, an independent daily student newspaper on the campus, protested the decision by running a blank page with the words “The Texas A&M administration’s vision of journalism.” Student editors also gathered 2,000 signatures on a petition to save the program. The Battalion is expected to continue publishing.