College suspends journalism minor, dean says

The College of Communication has suspended the admission of journalism minors for at least a year after the University Council denied the college’s request Monday to set a 2.5 minimum GPA for students with minors, the dean of the college said.The move will not affect students who are currently working toward their minors, he said.

William Slater, the college’s dean, said the move was to control enrollment of the majors and minors of the broadcast, news-editorial and advertising/public relations fields that have increased 100 percent over the last year and half, but when the minimum request was denied, the college had to protect its journalism majors.

“I pleaded with them and I thought that I had presented my point well,” Slater said. “Instead, they choose not to see it how it is and refused to let us set a limit. I fail to see how the University Council thinks this will benefit the students.”

Slater said the enforcement of a 2.5 minimum GPA would have helped alleviate some of the pressure put on by the 578 majors and 150 minors.

Nowell Donovan, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and chairman of the University Council, could not immediately be reached at his home or office for comment about the University Council’s decision.

Slater said the minor would only be reopened if the college could find a way to control enrollment and also could find the space to conduct classes, but he did not see relief for either of the problems anytime soon.

The status of the minor would be evaluated on a semester-to-semester basis, Slater said.

Tommy Thomason, the director of the Schieffer School of Journalism, said a growing media-savvy culture has caused more college-aged students to gravitate toward journalism majors, which has caused majors and minors to increase by 100 percent over the last year and half.

“Most of our small skill classes, which are 15 students or less, are at least partially done on computers,” Thomason said. “We don’t have a place to teach those classes here or anywhere on campus.