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July 31, 2003

GOP Budget Cuts Kill A&M Journalisn Dept.

By Byron LaMasters

Being a good Longhorn, I usually tend to act with glee when I hear of Aggie misfortunes. But, its not funny. The Republican budget cuts are already having real effects on students. Several weeks ago, it was the cuts in the UT library hours. Now, it's the A&M journalism department. More from the Daily Texan:

After years of neglect and perhaps outright sabotage, Texas A&M University has decided to kill its 54-year-old journalism program. No doubt, many on campus will line up to dance on its grave.

Before everyone breaks out the blue suedes, though, Aggie journalism deserves a requiem.

The A&M administration will argue that the program must be eliminated for budget reasons, that it was plagued with high faculty turnover, out-of-control enrollment and an antiquated curriculum. While true, these are merely rationalizations. After all, it was the College of Liberal Arts, through its own poor stewardship, that allowed these problems to fester.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at July 31, 2003 03:43 AM | TrackBack


I knew a couple of people who worked on the "Battalion", and they always looked forward with great anticipation to the inevitable month-long editorial debate about (a) whether someone should be allowed to wear a hat in the Memorial Student Center; (b) whether Bonfire was using up too many trees; (c) whether class should be canceled when Reveille barks.

Trust me, this is funny to a Texan. All the rest of y'all can read some other comments.

Posted by: Norbizness at July 31, 2003 08:19 AM

Does "out of control enrollment" mean there are too many students wanting to study journalism (the way "out of control spending" means too much spending)? Too popular so we have to eliminate it? Does that make the foggiest bit of sense?

Posted by: phil at July 31, 2003 08:49 AM

Byron - I agree w/ you - but TAPPED makes an interesting point on this:


Posted by: Josiah at July 31, 2003 12:53 PM

I worked at The Battalion for a year, and I still have a relatively thick stack of death threats I got whenever I defended gay rights or abortion rights. And the undergraduate journalism program at A&M does (did) suck -- I can attest to that. I was a J-major for two years before fleeing to English Lit. But I have a sick feeling they're just doing this so they can afford to buy Dennis Franchione a private jet.

Posted by: Mike at August 1, 2003 06:30 AM

"but TAPPED makes an interesting point ..."

Here is what Tapped had to say:

Tapped says: Scrap away. We can't think of a bigger waste of four years of college than to study journalism there. Journalism isn't an academic subject; it's a trade, one that almost anyone with the basic skill set -- clear writing and aggressive reporting -- can pick up in six months at a small metro daily.

It sounds like somebody over at Tapped has a chip on their shoulder about journalism school.
Using their same logic, we should shut down all the business schools around the country since you obviously don't need a business degree in order to be a successful businessman.

Posted by: Mike Thomas at August 1, 2003 02:10 PM

Mike - Good point - and the same principle applies. I don't think you have to have an MBA to be successful in business. And I can easily back that up with experiences from those I know in business and that have gone to business school. If you look at a lot of the best journalists out there - I'll bet the majority of them did not get a specialized journalism undergraduate degree. It's the experience that counts. Good lib arts degrees like Art History, English,anthropology - they will serve you just as well as Communications,advertising,business. That being said, those majors should all be options for a student - and journalism should remain at A & M. The point TAPPED makes is that Aggies who want to be journalists don't need to transfer now in order to fulfill their dreams. They can gain experiences in other ways.

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