WMU News

Journalism program moves to new home

Jan. 24, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A transfer of the University's journalism program from the Department of English to the Department of Communication was approved by the WMU Board of Trustees at its Jan. 19 meeting.

The move of the journalism program, which offers a major and a minor, will be effective July 1 and will involve a change of department affiliation and physical relocation for the three faculty members currently teaching journalism classes.

According to Dr. Steven Rhodes, chairperson of the Department of Communication, adding journalism to the department's existing curriculum will create beneficial synergies for both parties.

"Journalism is a good fit," he says. "In other colleges and universities this program is almost always connected to mass communication programs or in departments of communication. We expect that our communication faculty can make contributions to the journalism major and minor and that our new journalism colleagues will make contributions to the communication curriculum as well."

The Department of Communication currently offers seven majors including broadcast and cable production, media studies, and public relations, which are areas closely affiliated with the field of journalism.

Rhodes said the move might also improve the journalism program's chances of attaining accreditation.

Journalism classes have been offered by the Department of English for decades, says Dr. Arnie Johnston, chairperson of that department. In the mid-1990s, the classes were organized into an academic major and a minor.

Before being presented to the board, both departments considered and approved the proposal. The nearly 100 students who are currently majoring in journalism are not expected to be affected by the change.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu


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