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Subject: AEJ 97 FedlerF NWS Journalism's status in academia: Candidate for elimination?
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 6 Oct 1997 06:31:57 EDT
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN
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Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (1735 lines)


Journalism's Status -
 
 
 
 
 
 Journalism's Status In Academia:
 
 A Candidate For Elimination?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 By Fred Fedler, Arlen Carey, and Tim Counts
 
 
        In 1983, Dennis warned that journalism education "appears to be on the ragged
edge of
 being so hopelessly outdated that its usefulness may soon be severely
questioned."[1]
 Since then, other authors have asked whether journalism education is becoming
"an
 endangered species."[2]
        The question arises because journalism and mass communication (JMC) programs
are
 experiencing a multitude of problems.  At the same time, severe financial
pressures are
 forcing colleges and universities to cut back, even to eliminate some programs
and fac
 ulty members.[3]
        To learn more about JMC's ability to survive in this era of retrenchment, the
authors
 surveyed more than 600 academicians from all disciplines and all types of
colleges and
 universities.  The authors asked the respondents about cutbacks at their
institutions,
 about problems that might justify a program's elimination, and about which
programs
 they would eliminate.  The results reveal more about JMC's status, the reasons
for some
 of JMC's problems, and the support that JMC can expect from colleagues in other
 fields.
        AN ERA OF RETRENCHMENT.  Beginning in about 1990, huge deficits and a myriad
of new
 demands forced legislatures to re-examine their priorities and to insist that
every
 state agency, including colleges and universities, increase their productivity.
 Private institutions, too, have experienced cutbacks.  By 1996, Newsweek
estimated that
 only 20% of the nation's colleges and universities were healthy financially,
and that
 60% were struggling to adjust.[4]
        Colleges have increased their productivity by increasing teaching loads and
class
 sizes, freezing or eliminating some positions, and -- in extreme cases --
eliminating
 entire departments.  Examples include:
 
 
      *The University of Virginia's 15-campus system eliminated 49 degree
      programs and hundreds of faculty members.
 
      *The president of Northwestern eliminated programs in geography, nursing,
      and evolutionary biology "after deciding they could never be
first-rate."[5]
 
      *The University of Rochester announced plans to reduce its student body by
      20% and faculty by 10%.  Four graduate programs were threatened with
elimination.[6]
 
      *The University of Pennsylvania eliminated the departments of American
      civilization and regional science.  A third department, religious studies,
was
      also threatened.[7]
 
 
        The most pessimistic observers expect entire institutions to close, as many as
1,000
 of the 3,600 in the United States.[8]
        JMC'S PROBLEMS AND STATUS.  JMC programs face serious internal problems,
including
 low budgets; large enrollments; a scarcity of jobs for their graduates;
technological
 changes that require new and expensive equipment; and professionals who, at
times, seem
 impossible to satisfy.[9]  Some critics also dislike JMC's structure.
Traditionally, JMC
 programs have offered sequences in reporting, broadcasting, advertising, public
 relations, photojournalism, magazines, etc.
        Blanchard and Christ warn that universities with limited resources will no
longer
 tolerate duplicating specializations with separate courses such as writing for
 television, writing for newspapers, writing for public relations, and writing
for
 advertising.  Blanchard and Christ add that the communications revolution (the
media's
 convergence and related trends) is making JMC's traditional sequences obsolete.
They
 continue:
 
 
        ...there are often competing, sometimes warring, departments, schools, or
      divisions of speech, journalism, broadcasting, telecommunications, mass
      communications, communication arts, communication and theater, and film
and other
      industrial or technological rather than intellectual, designations.  Even
when
      not overtly competing for resources and intellectual turf, separate
programs
      related to the mass communication field by their very division tend to
inhibit
      the development of its potential.[10]
 
 
        Other critics, especially professionals, dislike JMC's emphasis on Ph.D.'s and
 research.  Many want schools to hire only experienced practitioners, and to
place more
 emphasis on skills courses.[11]  Medsger, for example, complains that 17% of
the field's
 educators have never worked full-time as journalists and that 47% have fewer
than 10
 years of journalism experience.  "It's a dangerous trend," Medsger says.  "It
means
 we're taking the expertise out of the classroom."[12]
        Reese Cleghorn calls Medsger's findings shocking.  "Work in the field,"
Cleghorn
 states, "...is being demeaned.  Academic departments (and their universities)
are
 engaged in a foolish effort to gain or hold respectability with even the most
ordinary
 kind of paper credentialing, often at the expense of quality and intellectual
 substance."[13]
        Other faculty members warn that JMC's status in academia is dangerously low,
and some
 suggest that efforts to implement the professionals' demands may aggravate the
problem.
        Dennis declares that:  "On campus, by any economic measure, journalism schools
are
 second- or third-class citizens.  They have massive enrollments and tiny
faculties...."[14]
   Blanchard and Christ agree that JMC has a second-rate status "even among the
other
 professional programs on campus."[15]
        To survive and prosper, McCall believes, JMC must become "a more active
partner, even
 an intellectual leader in the university."  McCall explains that universities
expect
 every field to contribute to the academic environment of the entire campus, and
that,
 "Typical J-school skills courses directed at vocational preparation can hardly
meet
 this challenge."[16]
        To make JMC programs more central to their institution's mission,  reformers
want
 them to become more involved with other fields and to offer more courses for
non-majors.[17]
   To  achieve parity with other programs, JMC programs may also have to
"satisfy
 faculty qualifications of the entire university community."
        Still other observers suggest that JMC is not well-accepted in academia
because the
 discipline:  (1) is new, (2) has failed to develop a unique theoretical base,
and (3)
 has never served a true profession.[18]
        ELIMINATING JMC.  Several JMC programs have already been eliminated, or
threatened
 with elimination.  A partial list includes:
 
 
                     *The Department of Communication at the University of Michigan.
 
      *The Department of Journalism at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
 
      *The Department of Journalism at Oregon State University.
 
      *The School of Journalism at Ohio State.
 
      *The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Western
Ontario.[19]
 
 
        Units at other institutions have been merged or reorganized:  at Penn State,
San
 Diego State, Southern Illinois University, the University of Miami, and the
University
 of Southern California, for example.  Furthermore, two states -- Louisiana and
Tennesse
 e -- have threatened to eliminate every program unable to obtain
accreditation.[20]
        Dennis cites four reasons for the closures, consolidations, and other threats:
(1)
 university downsizing and budget-cutting; (2) duplication, especially between
 journalism and communication; (3) the issue of centrality to a university's
mission;
 and (4) a leadership vacuum.  "The field," Dennis believes, "has relatively few
leaders
 who are highly visible and notably effective on their campuses.  In instance
after
 instance, people in our field have been naive and ineffectual in the
competitive campus
 scene."[21]
        Despite the topic's importance, there has been little systematic study of
JMC's
 problems and status.  Rather, the debate has been based largely upon opinions,
 warnings, demands, and counter-demands.  To obtain more factual information
about JMC's
 status and ability to survive in this era of retrenchment, the authors surveyed
faculty
 members in other disciplines.  The authors wanted to determine other faculty
members'
 attitudes toward JMC and their support (or lack thereof) for its continued role
in
 academia.
 
 
 
 Methodology
        The 26th edition of the National Directory of Faculty Members was published in
1996
 and, in three volumes, lists more than 650,000 names and addresses.  The
entries are
 arranged alphabetically, by last name, and represent every discipline and every
type of
 college and university:  a total of 3,600 institutions in the United States and
240 in
 Canada.
        To draw a sample of more than 600, the authors selected Page 5, then counted
down to
 the 15th name in the first column.  They repeated the selection process on
every sixth
 page, but excluded faculty members who teach (1) at community colleges or (2)
outside
 the United States.  If the 15th entry on a page did not teach at a four-year
 institution in the United States, the authors proceeded to the next entry that
 satisfied their criteria.  Both the initial page number and the row were
selected at
 random.
        In the spring of 1996, the authors mailed questionnaires to a total of 647
 respondents.  A cover letter explained that the authors wanted to learn more
about
 academia's problems and about faculty members' priorities in this age of
retrenchment.
 One week later, the authors mailed all 647 respondents postcards, asking them
to
 respond if they had not already done so (and thanking them if they had).
        The questionnaire was limited to 12 items that filled both sides of a single
sheet of
 paper (See Appendix A, which follows the four tables).  The first questions
asked for
 information about the respondents and their schools:  the respondents' gender,
rank,
 and field; whether they taught at a public or private institution; the highest
degree
 offered by their department; and the total number of students enrolled in their
 institution.
        Question 8 asked whether the respondents' institution had experienced any
cutbacks
 during the past three years.  Question 9 asked for the respondents' priorities.
If
 their institution was forced to reduce its payroll, would they want it to:  (A)
cut ever
 yone's salary, (B) eliminate new faculty, (C) eliminate incompetent and
unproductive
 faculty, (D) encourage older faculty to retire, or (E) cut only the salaries of
 highly-paid faculty?
        Question 10 asked about cutting programs.  If need be, would the  respondents
want
 their institution to:  (A) cut every program equally, (B) eliminate only
graduate
 programs, (C) eliminate expensive programs, (D) eliminate small and
unproductive
 programs, or (E) eliminate programs not central to the mission of their
institution.
        Question 11 asked respondents which problems they considered most serious:
"possible
 reasons for eliminating a program."  The problems included:  (A) few students,
(B) weak
 students, (C) high expenses, (D) a failure to seek accreditation, (E) a failure
to
 obtain outside funding, (F) an emphasis on vocational training, (G) a weak
record of
 scholarly activity, (H) a failure to employ many Ph.D.'s, (I) a duplication
with
 programs elsewhere in the state, and (J) a weak demand for its graduates.
        The respondents were then given an alphabetical list of 37 departments or
programs
 common at many universities and asked, "If you were an administrator and had to
 eliminate several departments, which five would you be the most likely to
eliminate."
 The list included, as separate entries:  (1) advertising/public relations, (2)
 broadcasting, and (3) journalism.  The list also included several other fields
that
 prepare students for a particular type of work:  agriculture, architecture,
criminal
 justice, education, hospitality management, nursing, and social work.
        Finally, an open-ended question asked respondents to explain their choice of
the five
 departments to be eliminated.
 
 
 Findings
        DEMOGRAPHICS.  Twenty-six questionnaires (4.0%) were returned as
undeliverable.  The
 authors received 225 replies from the 621 questionnaires that were delivered,
for a
 response rate of 36.2%.
        An analysis of the completed questionnaires revealed that 154 (68.4%) of the
 respondents were men and 69 (30.7%) women.*[22]  The respondents were also
divided by
 rank:  5.8% were instructors, 18.2% assistant professors, 29.3% associate
professors,
 and 41.8% professors.
        English departments, with 8.4% of the respondents, were most heavily
represented.
 Departments with the next largest representations included  business and
education,
 6.7% each; biology, 6.2%; math, 5.8%; chemistry, 5.3%; psychology, 4.4%; and
political s
 cience, 4.0%.  Only 5 responses (2.2%) came from faculty members in the fields
of
 journalism and/or mass communication.  Four of the respondents listed their
field as
 journalism, 1 as broadcasting, and none as advertising/public relations.
        Sixty-six (29.3%) of the respondents taught at private institutions and 156
(69.3%)
 at public institutions.  Seventeen percent said the highest degree offered by
their
 department was a bachelor's degree, 33.8% a master's degree, and 44.4% a
doctorate.  A
 mean of 14,165 students enrolled in their institutions.
        The average faculty member reported devoting a majority of his or her time
(52.6%) to
 teaching.  By comparison, the respondents devoted 20.9% of their time to
research,
 14.2% to administration, 10.3% to service, and 1.5% to other activities.  The
emphasis
 on research varied significantly from department to department.  Nearly a
quarter
 (24.6%) of the respondents in the hard sciences said they devoted a majority of
their
 time to research, compared to 6.3% or fewer of the faculty members in other
fields.  (X
 2 = 63.5, p    .001)
        Within the past three years, large numbers of the respondents had witnessed
cutbacks
 at their institution.  Eighty percent said their institution had delayed
filling
 faculty lines, and 72.4% said their institution had cut department budgets.
Only 35.6%
 of their institutions had increased faculty teaching loads, the least popular
of the
 listed options.  An analysis of all the answers to Question 8 revealed that:
 
 
      --80.4% of the respondents' institutions had delayed filling      faculty
      lines during the past three years
 
      --72.4% had cut department budgets
 
      --64.0% had increased class sizes
 
      --62.7% had encouraged early retirements
 
      --61.8% had eliminated faculty positions
 
      --43.6% had eliminated some departments
 
      --41.8% had imposed a salary freeze
 
      --35.6% had increased teaching loads
 
 
        FACULTY PRIORITIES.  The respondents were also asked about their priorities:
the
 types of cutbacks they would favor if given the responsibility of deciding how
their
 institution should reduce its faculty payroll.  The most popular idea was the
 encouragement of early retirements.  The next most popular idea was the
elimination of
 deadwood, regardless of tenure.  The least popular idea was the elimination of
new
 (untenured) faculty:
 
 
      --58.2% of the respondents favored offering inducements to
         encourage older faculty members to retire early
 
      --31.6% favored eliminating their institution's least competent    and
      productive faculty, regardless of tenure
 
      --20.9% favored cutting everyone's salary
 
      --12.9% favored cutting the salaries of only their institution's
      highest-paid faculty members
 
      --4.0% favored eliminating the newest (untenured) faculty         members
      at their institution
 
 
        Senior faculty members -- the ones most likely to be affected by the proposal
-- were
 significantly more likely to favor the idea of offering inducements for early
 retirements, suggesting that many would welcome the idea.  Thirty-one percent
of the
 instructors, 46.3% of the assistant professors, 65.2% of the associate
professors, and
 63.9% of the professors supported the idea. (X2 = 11.2, p   .05)
        The respondents' answers to another question were not encouraging for any
program
 that fails to clearly help an institution achieve its central mission.  If
their
 institution was forced to cut some programs next year, more than half the
respondents
 would eliminate programs not central to their institution's mission.  More
specifically:
 
 
      --57.8% of the respondents would eliminate programs not central    to the
      mission of their institution
 
      --38.7% would eliminate their institution's smallest and least
      productive programs
 
      --12.4% would cut every program equally
 
      --3.1% would eliminate their institution's most expensive
         programs
 
      --1.8% would eliminate only graduate programs
 
 
        The respondents were also asked which three problems they considered most
serious:
 possible reasons for eliminating a program.  The respondents did not seem to
care
 whether a program received outside funding or employed few Ph.D.s.  The
respondents
 were, however, concerned about (and more likely to eliminate) programs with few
or weak
 students, and programs whose students were unable to find jobs in their field:
 
 
      --53.8% of the respondents would eliminate programs that attract    few
      students
 
      --44.4% would eliminate programs that attract weak students
 
      --42.7% would eliminate programs unable to place their graduates    in
jobs
 
      --36.9% would eliminate programs with a weak record of scholarly
activity
 
      --29.8% would eliminate programs duplicated elsewhere in their      state
 
      --24.9% would eliminate programs that emphasize trade or
      vocational training
 
      --22.2% would eliminate programs that never seek accreditation
 
        --22.2% would eliminate programs that are unusually expensive
 
      --7.1% would eliminate programs that have more M.A.'s than        Ph.D.'s
      on their staffs
 
      --4.4% would eliminate programs that receive little outside       funding
 
        Finally, the respondents were given the list of 37 common programs and asked
which
 five they would be most likely to eliminate.  Thirty-seven respondents (16.4%)
did not
 answer the question and explained that the choices were not applicable to their
insti
 tution or that they were not familiar with the issues.  Others said their
choices would
 depend upon student needs and upon an individual program's strengths and
weaknesses.
 Several of the respondents explained that they would eliminate any weak
program, r
 egardless of its field.  They would look at a program's history, productivity,
possible
 combination with other departments, and a host of other educational and
political
 issues.
        Still, 188 of the respondents (83.6%) did list the programs they would
eliminate (See
 Table I).  The results were encouraging for journalism, but not for
advertising/public
 relations or broadcasting.  Programs that 10% or more of the respondents said
they
 would eliminate, and the specific number and percentage that would eliminate
each
 program, included:
 
 
        --Hospitality management, 132 (58.7%)
 
        --Home economics, 96 (42.7%)
 
        --Judaic studies, 88 (39.1%)
 
        --Women's studies, 84 (37.3%)
 
        --African-American studies, 76 (33.8%)
 
        --Advertising/public relations, 71 (31.6%)
 
        --Broadcasting, 59 (26.2%)
 
        --Physical education, 32 (14.2%)
 
        --Criminal justice, 26 (11.6%)
 
 
        Not a single respondent proposed eliminating chemistry or mathematics.  Only
three
 (or fewer) proposed eliminating art, biology, computer science, economics,
English,
 foreign languages, history, political science, and psychology.
        Generally, the respondents explained that their two top choices for
elimination --
 hospitality management and home economics -- were irrelevant to their
institution's
 mission or to the core of a liberal arts education.  Respondents also said that
those fi
 elds are too vocational and could taught at a community college.
        Respondents who favored eliminating African-American, Judaic, and women's
studies
 again explained that the programs were not essential to their institution's
mission.
 Many added that African-American, Judaic, and women's studies were "fringe"
programs  i
 nstituted for political rather than academic reasons.  "They resulted," said
one
 respondent, "from the political correctness movement."
        The final, open-ended question asked respondents to explain their choice of
the five
 programs to be eliminated.  The authors categorized the respondents' answers
and found
 that some repeated issues listed in Question 11.  Others, however, did not, and
the
 authors developed a total of 25 categories (See Table II).  The respondents'
No. 1
 reason for eliminating a program was that it could be combined with others.
The
 respondents also said that some programs were too vocational (Reason No. 2),
were not
 essential to their institution's mission (Reason No. 3), and were too narrow or
 specialized (Reason No. 4).
        JOURNALISM'S STATUS IN ACADEMIA.  Only 6 of the 225 respondents (2.7%) said
they
 would eliminate journalism.  Thus, journalism did better than  major fields
such as
 business, education, sociology, speech, statistics, and theater.
        However, 71 of the respondents (31.6%) said they would eliminate
advertising/public
 relations, and 59 (26.2%) said they would eliminate broadcasting.  Those
results are
 difficult to interpret (and may be much better -- or worse -- than indicated by
the st
 atistics alone).
        Many four-year institutions do not offer and, therefore, cannot eliminate
hospitality
 management or home economics.  Furthermore, some  administrators may be
reluctant to
 eliminate the newer and politically sensitive areas of African-American,
Judaic, and
 women's studies.  If an institution cannot eliminate any of those five
programs,
 advertising/public relations and broadcasting may become its No. 1 and No. 2
candidates
 for elimination.
        Why?  Six reasons predominate (See Table III).  Respondents who said they
would
 eliminate advertising/public relations and broadcasting (and also journalism)
said the
 fields:
 
 
      1.        Involve trade or vocational rather than intellectual    training
 
      2.        Should be taught at community colleges, trade schools, or private
           business schools, not universities
 
      3.        Can be taught on-the-job
 
      4.        Are peripheral to central mission of their institution
 
      5.        Contribute little to a liberal arts education
 
      6.        Are among universities' "least scholarly pursuits"
 
 
        Not a single critic mentioned the fact that JMC programs are new, or
complained that
 JMC education has failed to develop a unique theoretical base.
        There were inconsistencies, however.  Some respondents complained that fields
such as
 home economics, hospitality management, broadcasting, and advertising/public
relations
 were too vocational.  Others, however, said they would eliminate programs that
did not
 help students obtain jobs.  That was a criticism of African-American, Judaic,
and
 women's studies.  One respondent complained that a degree in ethnic studies
"has no
 future for jobs in the work world."  A second respondent agreed that, "These
are depa
 rtments which cannot provide clearly defined careers for their students...."
        The results for advertising/public relations and broadcasting may not,
however, be as
 dismal as the numbers suggest.  Many of the respondents who listed programs
they would
 eliminate explained in answer to another question that they would retain the
programs'
 content, moving it to other departments.  More than a dozen respondents
suggested
 moving broadcasting to journalism.  Others suggested moving advertising/public
 relations to journalism.  By a margin of almost 3-1, however, the respondents
favored
 moving advertising/public relations to business.
        That was part of a broader trend.  To save jobs and money, the respondents
proposed
 more than a dozen mergers.  Many suggested merging African-American, Judaic,
and/or
 women's studies with history, literature, philosophy, or sociology.  Even some
of the p
 rograms' proponents proposed merging them with other departments.  They
explained that
 mergers would expose more students to the programs' content.  "While
important," one
 respondent explained, "topics taught in specialized disciplines emphasizing
cultural
 diversity could be incorporated in core or basic education requirements, thus
 broadening their ideas to a larger group of students."
        Other respondents suggested merging hospitality management with business;
music with
 art; speech with communication (or English or theater); and theater into a
school of
 performing arts.
        There were also proposals for three mega mergers:  (1) both computer science
and
 statistics with math;  (2) anthropology, criminal justice, and social work with
 sociology; and (3) all of the communication fields into a single school that
would
 include advertising/public relations, broadcasting, communication, journalism,
speech,
 and theater.
        Support for the elimination or merger of advertising/public relations,
broadcasting,
 and journalism did not vary significantly by any of six other variables:  the
 respondents' (1) gender; (2) rank; (3) field; (4) whether the respondents'
department
 offered a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or doctorate; (5) whether the
 respondents' institution was public or private; or (6) the way in which
respondents
 divided their time between teaching, research, and service.
        There were significant differences for other fields.  Associate and full
professors
 were more likely than assistant professors to favor eliminating education (X2 =
9.6,
 p   .05).  Faculty members in the liberal arts were more likely to favor
eliminating e
 ngineering (X2 = 9.9, p   .05).  Faculty members in the liberal arts were also
more
 likely to favor eliminating hospitality management (X2 = 12.9, p   .05)
        DIFFERENCES BY GENDER AND RANK.  Men and women differed significantly in the
 allocation of their time.  Men were almost nine times more likely to report
devoting a
 majority of their time to research (X2 = 16.2, p   .05).  Men were also more
likely to
 have attained a higher rank.  Fifty percent of the men were full professors,
compared
 to 23.5% of the women.  Conversely, 13.0% of the men were assistant professors,
 compared to 30.9% of the women. Twenty-seven percent of the men and 35% of the
women
 were associate professors (X2= 17.1, p   .01).  The percentages of the male and
female
 respondents employed as instructors were almost identical:  5.8% vs. 5.9%.
        There were also two other significant differences by gender.  First, men were
almost
 twice as likely to favor eliminating women's studies:  42.2% vs. 24.6% (X2 =
6.3, p
 .05).  Second, compared to women, men were four times more likely to say that
they w
 ould eliminate programs not central to the mission of their institution.
        Other responses varied by rank.  When asked to explain why they favored the
 elimination of some programs, both senior faculty members and the faculty
members in
 departments that offered doctorates were more likely to explain that a program
was
 vocational or should be offered in a professional or trade school.
        Senior faculty members were also more likely to explain that the programs they
wanted
 to eliminate were not essential to the mission of their institution.
        DIFFERENCES BY ACTIVITY AND FIELD.  There were major differences by activity
and
 field.  Many of those differences seemed to reflect the respondents'
specialized
 interests.  For example:  76.2% of the faculty members who devoted most of
their time
 to research said they would eliminate programs that produce little scholarly
research,
 compared to only 29.0% of the faculty members who devoted most of their time to
 teaching (X2 = 23.5,  p   .01).
        Similarly, issues considered a problem by the faculty members in some of
academia's
 fields did not concern the faculty members in other fields.  The differences
were most
 apparent when faculty members were grouped by college (See Table IV).
        DIFFERENCES BY INSTITUTION.  Some differences by institution may be of
particular
 interest to faculty members in journalism.  The differences may also interest
new
 faculty members, especially those deciding where to spend their careers.
        Faculty members in departments that offer a doctorate were more likely than
average
 to favor eliminating programs that employ few Ph.D.'s.  Curiously, however,
they were
 less likely to favor eliminating programs that attract weak students.
        Thirteen percent of the faculty members in departments that offer a doctorate,
but
 only 2.6% of the faculty members at other institutions, would eliminate
programs with a
 preponderance of  M.A.'s (X2 = 8.9, p   .05).  Yet only 38% of the faculty
members in
 departments that offer a doctorate would eliminate programs that attract weak
students,
 compared to 50.0% of the faculty members at schools that offer a B.A. and 52.6%
of the
 faculty members at schools that offer an M.A. (X2 = 8.2, p   .05).
        Other differences by institution included:
 
 
      *Respondents at public institutions were more likely to say their
      departments offer advanced degrees.  Thirteen percent of the respondents
at
      public institutions said their department's highest degree was a
bachelor's
      degree, 35.8% a master's degree, and 47.7% a doctorate.  The percentages
at
      private institutions were 27.7%, 32.3%, and 40.0%, respectively (X2 = 8.3,
p
      .05).
 
      *Respondents at public institutions were more likely to value
      accreditation.  Twenty-six percent of the respondents at public
institutions,
      compared to 13.6% of those at private institutions, would eliminate
programs that
      fail to seek accreditation (X2 = 4.3, p   .05).
 
      *Almost 8% of the respondents at public institutions, but none at
 
        private institutions, would eliminate speech (X2 = 5.4, p   .05).
 
      *Perhaps because they offer fewer graduate programs, respondents at
private
      institutions were more likely to favor eliminating graduate programs in
times of
      economic hardship.  Still, it was not a popular option at any institution.
Only
      4.5% of the faculty members at private institutions favored eliminating
graduate
      programs, compared to 0.6% of those at public institutions (X2 = 4.0, p
.05).
 
      *Respondents at private institutions were more likely to favor eliminating
      expensive programs:  34.8% vs. 17.3% (X2 = 8.2, p      .01).
 
      *Respondents at private institutions were also more likely to favor
      eliminating physical education:  21.2% vs. 10.9% (X2 = 4.1, p    .05).
 
 
        CENTRALITY AND VOCATIONALISM.  Centrality was a major issue -- and not just
for
 journalism.  The respondents repeatedly stated that they would eliminate any
program
 not central to the mission of their institution.  Many explained that those
programs
 contribute little to a liberal arts education.  The respondents' wording
differed, but
 their statements delivered a consistent message, complaining that such programs
were:
 
 
             *"...the farthest from our core intellectual academic mission."
 
             *"...not important components of a liberal education."
 
             *"...peripheral to the primary liberal arts goal of education."
 
      *"...extremely narrowly focused or specialized and do not contribute
      substantially to a liberal arts education."
 
 
        Finally, the questionnaire also listed seven other fields that seem to train
students
 for a particular type of work:  agriculture, architecture, criminal justice,
education,
 hospitality management, nursing, and social work.  On average, each of those
fields
 received 32.3 votes for elimination, (a figure inflated by the 132 votes to
eliminate
 hospitality management). Without hospitality management, the remaining fields
received
 an average of 15.7 votes for elimination, still more than average.
 
 Discussion And Conclusions
        JMC educators worry about their field's problems and, especially, about recent
 cutbacks and the elimination of some programs.  The authors of this article
surveyed
 faculty members from every discipline and from every type of college and
university --
 and found that JMC's problems are not  unusual.  Rather, their problems reflect
 widespread changes within academia:  changes that affect most departments.
        Forty-four percent of the respondents reported that their institution had
eliminated
 some departments, obviously not all JMC departments.  At least five other
departments
 seem to be more vulnerable to elimination than any in JMC:  hospitality
management;
 home economics; and Judaic, women's, and African-American studies.
        The respondents' comments also suggest that other generalizations are
mistaken.
 Critics may exaggerate the amount of time that faculty members devote to
research,
 especially faculty members in the liberal arts.  JMC educators, on the other
hand, may
 exaggerate the importance of Ph.D.'s for acceptance in academia.  Also, JMC
programs
 seem more likely to be merged than eliminated.  Independent departments of
broadcasting
 and advertising/ public relations are especially vulnerable.
        Few respondents -- only 2.7% -- would eliminate their institution's journalism
 program.  Seeing a commonality not evident to everyone in the field, many would
 actually strengthen their institution's journalism program by creating a single
school
 that would also include advertising/public relations, broadcasting, film,
theater,
 speech, and communication.
        Other responses suggest that JMC's problems may be aggravated by the demands
of some
 faculty members and professionals.  Their demands conflict with the
expectations of
 colleagues in academia's other fields.  Some educators and professionals want
JMC prog
 rams to emphasize skills courses and to emphasize teaching rather than
research.  Yet
 faculty members in other fields often consider those reasons for eliminating a
 program.
        Many of the respondents who said they would eliminate advertising/ public
relations
 and broadcasting, for example, explained that the two fields involve trade or
 vocational training and are among universities' "least scholarly pursuits."
 Thirty-seven percent of the respondents favored eliminating programs with a
weak record
 of scholarly activity.
        Overall, faculty members in other fields do not seem to hold journalism and
its
 related fields in high regard.  They complain that JMC programs are more
vocational
 than intellectual or scholarly.  They are skeptical of programs not obviously
central
 to the mission of their institution:  that seem too specialized, and that do
not
 contribute to a liberal arts education.  Moreover, they group JMC education
with other
 programs of dubious status:  with hospitality management; home economics; and
 African-American, Judaic, and women's studies.
        JMC faculty members and administrators may dispute those criticisms, but
arguments
 alone seem unlikely to change the perceptions of colleagues in other fields.
And, at
 some point, those colleagues may influence JMC's role in academia.
        Finally, this study suggests eight strategies that JMC programs can adopt to
improve
 their status in academia.  Listed in their approximate order of importance, the
 strategies include:  (1) making themselves more central to the mission of their
 institution; (2) serving even larger numbers of students; (3) recruiting more
talented
 students; (4) doing more to help their students find jobs; (5) improving their
record
 of scholarly activity; (6) developing unique programs, ones not duplicated
elsewhere in
 their state; (7) emphasizing intellectual rather than vocational training; and
(8)
 seeking accreditation.
 
 
 
 
 Table I
 
 
 
 Faculty Priorities:  The Programs
 
 Respondents Would Eliminate
 
 
        This study's respondents were given a list of 37 programs and asked to mark
the five
 they would be most likely to eliminate.  This table lists all 37 programs,
beginning
 with those that the largest number of respondents would eliminate.  This table
also l
 ists the number and percentage of respondents that would eliminate each
program.
 
 
      132 (58.7%) Hospitality management
        96 (42.7%) Home economics
        88 (39.1%) Judaic studies
        84 (37.3%) Women's studies
        76 (33.8%) African-American studies
        71 (31.6%) Advertising/public relations
        59 (26.2%) Broadcasting
        32 (14.2%) Physical education
        26 (11.6%) Criminal justice
        21  (9.3%) Agriculture
        19  (8.4%) Pharmacy
        18  (8.0%) Social work
        15  (6.7%) Geography
        14  (6.2%) Anthropology, statistics, and theater
        13  (5.8%) Business, education, and "other"
        12  (5.3%) Speech
        10  (4.4%) Sociology
         9  (4.0%) Architecture
         8  (3.6%) Engineering
         7  (3.1%) Nursing
         6  (2.7%) Journalism
         5  (2.2%) Philosophy
         4  (1.8%) Music
         3  (1.3%) Art, foreign languages, and political science
         2  (0.9%) Biology, computer science, history, and psychology
         1  (0.4%) Economics and English
         0  (0.0%) Chemistry and mathematics
 Table II
 
 
 
 Reasons For Eliminating Programs
 
 
        An open-ended question asked respondents to explain their reasons for
eliminating
 programs.  The authors categorized the respondents' answers, and this table
presents
 all 25 categories in the order of their importance.  The table also lists the
total numb
 er and percentage of respondents that mentioned each reason.
 
      54 (24.0%)        No need for a unique program; can be combined with another.
      36 (16.0%)        Program is vocational in nature or should be offered in a
                professional or trade school, not a university.
      31 (13.8%)        Not essential to the university mission.
      19  (8.4%)        Program is too narrow or specialized.
      17  (7.6%)        Can't answer.  Depends upon the situation.
      11  (4.9%)        Program attracts few students.
       9  (4.0%)        Program exists because of political correctness.
       8  (3.6%)        Community college-level program.
       8  (3.6%)        Program does not prepare graduates for careers.
       8  (3.6%)        Knowledge can be obtained without university or other formal
                training.
       8  (3.6%)        Weak research program or program is intellectually deficient.
       8  (3.6%)        Not applicable.
       6  (2.7%)        Respondent would not accept any program cuts.
       5  (2.2%)        Program turns out too many graduates for employment
                opportunities.  Its graduates are hard to place.
       4  (1.8%)        Program is useless.
       4  (1.8%)        Program duplicates others in the state.
       4  (1.8%)        Program is unnecessary.
       3  (1.3%)        Program is not socially relevant.
       2  (0.9%)        Weak academic program.
       2  (0.9%)        Program attracts weak students.
       2  (0.9%)        Program does not bring in enough outside money to sustain
                itself.
       1  (0.4%)        Program is fraudulent.
       1  (0.4%)        Program's discipline is becoming obsolete.
       1  (0.4%)        Little demand for the program's curriculum.
       1  (0.4%)        Program is too costly to sustain.
 
 Table IV
 
 
 
 Differences By College
 
 
        Other significant differences emerged when the respondents were grouped into
four
 common colleges:  (1) business, (2) education, (3) the liberal arts and social
 sciences, and (4) the hard sciences.  The differences between faculty members
in those
 colleges include:
 
      *The percentage of women in academia's different fields ranged from a high
      of 50% in education to a low of 15.0% in business.  Thirty-one percent of
the
      respondents in the liberal arts and social sciences and 29.5% in the hard
      sciences were women.
 
      *85.7% of the respondents in business would eliminate programs that
attract
      few students, compared to 77.8% of those in education, 48.1% of those in
the
      liberal arts and social sciences, and 41.0% of those in the hard sciences
(X2 =
      17.9, p     .01).
 
      *29.1% of the respondents in the liberal arts and social sciences would
      eliminate programs that never seek accreditation, compared to 19.7% of
those in
      the hard sciences, 16.7% of those in education, and 0.0% of those in
business (X2
      = 9.8, p   .05).
 
      *44.3% of the respondents in the hard sciences would eliminate programs
      with a weak record of scholarly research, compared to 41.8% of those in
the
      liberal arts and social sciences, 19.0% of those in business and 5.6% of
those in
      education (X2 = 13.4, p     .01)
 
      *61.1% of the respondents in education would eliminate programs unable to
      place many of their graduates in jobs, compared to 57.4% of those in the
hard
      sciences, 47.6% of those in business, and 27.8% of those in the liberal
arts and
      social sciences (X2 = 16.2, p   .01).
 
 Table III
 
 
 
 Comments Explaining Why Respondents Would
 
 Eliminate Journalism, Ad/Pr, & Broadcasting
 
 
        In response to an open-ended question, many of the faculty members who said
they
 would eliminate advertising/public relations, broadcasting, and/or journalism
explained
 their decisions.  This table quotes every respondent who favored eliminating
one or mo
 re of those programs.  The table is limited, however, to quoting only the
respondents'
 reasons for eliminating a JMC program (except in cases where a single comment
explains
 why a respondent would eliminate every program he or she listed).
        For comparative purposes, this table lists all the programs that each
respondent
 would eliminate.  The lists show that journalism is rarely linked with
academia's
 mainstream fields, such as economics, English, history, mathematics, and
psychology.
        Abbreviations include:  "A-A studies" for African American studies, "hosp.
man." for
 hospitality management, "physical ed." for physical education, and "w.s." for
women's
 studies.
 
 1.     We do not have the departments listed above.  They seem less essential to
what I
      believe to be the mission of a university.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies,
broadcasting, hosp.
      man., w.s.)
 2.     These specialties could easily be folded into existing, larger departments.
(A-A
      studies, criminal justice, home ec., journalism, Judaic studies, w.s.)
 3.     Combine journalism and broadcasting.  (A-A studies, broadcasting, hosp.
man.,
      Judaic studies, statistics)
 4.     While these programs are potentially valuable I don't see them as necessary
for the
      progress/functioning of society and see duplication in some areas -- for
example --
      broadcasting & journalism.  (A-A studies, broadcasting, hosp. man., Judaic
studies, w
      .s.)
 5.     I consider them less necessary than the remainder on the list.  (Ad/pr,
      agriculture, geography, home ec., hosp. man., w.s.)
 6.     They are fraudulent.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, education, hosp. man., sociology,
w.s.)
 7.     First, all five are structured and taught more on the order of professional
schools
      than on the order of mainstream arts and science programs.  Second ...
these five tend
      to be mediocre in mainstream arts and sciences-oriented universities
because they
      attract less ambitious and less well-prepared students....  (Ad/pr,
agriculture,
      architecture, criminal justice, hosp. man.)
 8.     Not relevant to my college, department, or field.  (Ad/pr, agriculture, home
ec.,
      hosp. man., physical ed.)
 9.     Peripheral to critical mission in this state university.  (Ad/pr,
broadcasting,
      pharmacy)
 10.    Not conducive to higher education or too narrowly targeted.  (A-A studies,
      broadcasting, home ec., hosp. man., Judaic studies)
 11.    Low need, can be combined with other departments very easily.
(Broadcasting, home
      ec., Judaic studies, statistics)
 12.    Only architecture is an appropriate university subject.  The other four are
more
      professional or vocational.  (Ad/pr, architecture, home ec., hosp. man.,
physical ed.)
 13.    I view broadcasting as a vocational skill.  (Broadcasting, physical ed.,
theater)
 14.    Broadcasting can be combined in a communications area.  (Anthropology,
      broadcasting, home ec., Judaic studies, philosophy)
 15.    Relevance to university mission in this state.  (A-A studies, broadcasting,
Judaic
      studies, speech, w.s.)
 16.    May be covered in on-the-job training.  (Ad/pr, home ec., hosp. man., w.s.)
 17.    Can be part of other departments.  (A-A studies, broadcasting, home ec.,
Judaic
      studies, w.s.)
 18.    Are available in private business schools.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting, hosp.
man.,
      pharmacy)
 19.    These departments can be left to the home, culture, or church for
education.  (A-A
      studies, broadcasting, home ec., Judaic studies, social work, w.s.)
 20.    No rationale for expertise.  (Ad/pr, education, home ec., Judaic studies,
w.s.)
 21.    A trade school type of course of study.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, hosp. man.,
Judaic
      studies, w.s.
 22.    Ad/pr and hospitality management are subsets of business.  Further
redundancies
      appear in broadcasting, theater, and journalism.  A Department of
Communications could
      combine speech with the other three.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, hosp. man.,
Judaic studies,
      w.s.)
 23.    Not central to liberal education.  (A-A studies, broadcasting, criminal
justice,
      journalism, w.s.)
 24.    Not central to academic mission.  (Ad/pr, hosp. man., Judaic studies,
theater,
      w.s.)
 25.    Not important components of a liberal education.  (Ad/pr, home economics,
      pharmacy, social work, theater)
 26.    They are all handled well in community colleges -- or could be.  (Ad/pr,
criminal
      justice, home ec., hosp. man., speech)
 27.    Not central to academic mission.  Can handle under journalism.  (Ad/pr,
home ec.,
      hosp. man., physical ed., social work)
 28.    These topics are better handled at a trade school.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting,
criminal
      justice, hosp. man., social work)
 29.    Are vocations well staffed by liberal arts graduates.  (Ad/pr,
broadcasting,
      geography, hosp. man., physical ed.)
 30.    I don't see these as vital to the major role of most universities.   (A-A
studies,
      broadcasting, hosp. man., Judaic studies, w.s.)
 31.    Not essential to the core learning experience.  All could be integrated
into other
      programs.  (Broadcasting, home ec., hosp. man., physical ed., w.s.)
 32.    Not centrally intellectual enterprises.  (Ad/pr, agriculture, home ec.,
hosp.
      man., physical ed.)
 33.    Could be taught in other departments, e.g., advertising in marketing ... or
      eliminated altogether.  (Ad/pr, home ec., hosp. man., speech, statistics)
 34.    As for ad/pr, all society needs is more liars.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, home
ec.,
      theater, w.s.)
 35.    No intellectual content -- except Judaic studies, too specialized.  (Ad/pr,
      broadcasting, business, hosp. man., Judaic studies)
 36.    They are the farthest from the core intellectual academic mission.  (Ad/pr,
      broadcasting, hosp. man., physical ed., speech)
 37.    They are most nearly vocational training rather than an intellectual field.
      (Ad/pr, home ec., hosp. man., nursing, social work)
 38.    Some emphasize segregation or isolation between groups.  Others do not need
to be
      in a university.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, broadcasting, home ec., w.s.)
 39.    Subject matter is duplicated regularly in higher educational
institutions....
      (Ad/pr, A-A studies, broadcasting, Judaic studies, w.s.)
 40.    I've chosen only four -- those for which on-the-job training seems more
      appropriate or for which another field provides adequate background.
Journalism can
      train adwriters and publicists, for example.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting,
business, hosp.
      man.)
 41.    These can be better served by non-academic institutions and on-the-job
training.
      (Ad/pr, business, hosp. man.)
 42.    They are either too narrowly defined or useless or divisive.  (Ad/pr, A-A
studies,
      home ec., hosp. man., w.s.)
 43.    These are applied fields which need sound liberal arts education rather
than
      specific, capitalistic content.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting, business, home ec.,
hosp. man.)
 44.    They are more job-training oriented than research-scholarship. Students
have
      non-college alternatives for job training.  For example, I would keep a
communication
      department but not a broadcasting department.  They are peripheral to the
primary
      liberal arts goal of education.  (Ad/pr, agriculture, broadcasting, hosp.
man.)
 45.    Ad/pr, broadcasting, journalism could be blended into one.  (ALSO:  A-A
studies,
      agriculture, architecture, criminal justice, home ec., hospitality man.,
Judaic
      studies, pharmacy)
 46.    Not central.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, home ec., hosp. man., w.s.)
 47.    I don't believe these departments are central to a university's general
mission
      and could be offered by technical/vocational schools.  (Ad/pr,
broadcasting, criminal
      justice, home ec., hosp. man.)
 48.    Some contribute least to the liberal arts in general (are too specific)
while
      others do not provide critical vocational skills.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies,
home ec., hosp.
      man., Judaic studies, w.s.)
 49.    Not academic disciplines.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting, hosp. man., nursing,
pharmacy)
 50.    Advertising/public relations, African-American studies, and Judaic studies
could
      be incorporated into other departments.  (Ad/pr, A-A studies, home ec.,
hosp. man.,
      Judaic studies)
 51.    Primarily emphasizes trade or vocational training.  Not very academic.
(Ad/pr,
      broadcasting, hosp. man., journalism, Judaic studies)
 52.    These departments are not central to the mission of a university.
Journalism,
      advertising, and pr can be learned with on-the-job training.  (Ad/pr, home
ec., hosp.
      man., journalism, physical ed.)
 53.    These programs offer little of positive value and in some instances are
really
      negative.  Often their functions can be handled by other disciplines.
(Ad/pr,
      education, hosp. man.)
 54.    Would be least critical in a well-rounded liberal arts university.  These
programs
      may also be available at technical or professional schools.  (Ad/pr, home
ec., hosp.
      man., pharmacy, physical ed.)
 55.    Many of these are trade oriented and have little relevance to society.
(Ad/pr,
      broadcasting, education, home ec., hosp. man.)
 56.    These departments seem more vocational in content and aims.  The least
scholarly
      pursuits.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting, home ec., hosp. man., theater)
 57.    Least related to my most important goals for a university:  research,
liberal arts
      education, professional training....  (Ad/pr, broadcasting, home ec.,
hosp. man.,
      physical ed.)
 58.    Need not be a separate department.  (Ad/pr, agriculture, hosp. man.,
statistics)
 59.    Specialized training institutions predominate in ... three areas.
(Agriculture,
      broadcasting, home ec., hosp. man., Judaic studies)
 60.    These departments are more vocational than academic and could be taken at
junior
      colleges or specialized schools.  (Broadcasting, criminal justice, home
ec., hosp.
      man., pharmacy)
 61.    They provide curricula peripheral to the arts and sciences and humanities,
i.e.
      they are vocational training, and involve little or no material of general
value or
      likely to integrate easily with general educational goals.  (Ad/pr,
broadcasting, home e
      c., hosp. man.)
 62.    Not relevant to a research-oriented institution.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting,
home ec.,
      hosp. man., physical ed.)
 63.    These departments offer degree programs of questionable value.  Students
could
      major in substantive programs and learn technical skills on-the-job.
(Ad/pr,
      broadcasting, education, hosp. man., journalism)
 64.    These are peripheral to the core at most universities.  (Ad/pr, A-A
studies, hosp.
      man., Judaic studies, w.s.)
 65.    Selected because students could study these in other institutions.  (Ad/pr,
      business, hosp. man.)
 66.    Would merge with journalism.  (A-A studies, broadcasting, home ec., Judaic
      studies, w.s.)
 67.    All could be incorporated in other departments.  (Broadcasting, hosp. man.,
Judaic
      studies, speech, statistics)
 68.    Least justification intellectually.   (Ad/pr, business, home ec., hosp.
man.,
      physical ed.)
 69.    I question whether they truly belong in an academic setting.  (Ad/pr, home
ec.,
      hosp. man., physical ed., theater)
 70.    They are done better elsewhere.  (Ad/pr, agriculture, broadcasting,
criminal
      justice, home ec., hosp. man., pharmacy)
 71.    Broadcasting and political science are fields with few job openings and
could be
      entered, career-wise, through an alternative avenue.  (A-A studies,
broadcasting,
      Judaic studies, political science, w.s.)
 72.    Broadcasting and hospitality management seem to be sub specialties of
      communications and business management.  (A-A studies, broadcasting, hosp.
man., social
      work, w.s.)
 73.    Too many graduates, not enough jobs.  (Ad/pr, anthropology, broadcasting,
      economics, hosp. man.)
 74.    We're a liberal arts college, and these programs are
      professional/pre-professional.  (Ad/pr, broadcasting, business, hosp.
man., nursing)
 75.    The departments seem to me to be peripheral to a sound university-level
      education.  (Ad/pr, home ec., hosp. man.)
 76.    Not central to our mission.  (Ad/pr, architecture, engineering, home ec.,
hosp.
      man.)
 77.    Combine broadcasting with journalism.  (Broadcasting, computer science,
music,
      speech, statistics)
 78.    Programs are extremely narrowly focused or specialized and do not
contribute
      substantially to a liberal arts education.  Some could also be subsumed
under other
      departments/programs, e.g. advertising under business.  (Ad/pr,
broadcasting, home ec.,
      hosp. man., nursing)
 79.    Could combine instead of eliminate, e.g. broadcasting with journalism.
      (Broadcasting, business, geography, philosophy, theater)
 80.    This is a technical subject best taught in separate technical school.  (A-A
      studies, broadcasting, hosp. man., Judaic studies, w.s.)
 81.    Available many places and less career-oriented.  (Broadcasting, home ec.,
      geography, hosp. man., theater)
 82.    Can be absorbed into other programs, e.g. advertising into business.
(Ad/pr,
      geography, home ec., hosp. man., social work)
 83.    All could be included in established courses; if something has to be
eliminated
      other departments can incorporate the content.  (A-A studies,
broadcasting, journalism,
      physical ed., statistics)
 84.    More important to "educate" in basic English/history/language/ sciences,
etc.
      Many industries, i.e. broadcasting "train" personnel after they are hired.
      Universities should not be training people for too specific industries.
Should not be
      a "trade school"  Technical-community colleges are best for this.  (Ad/pr,
A-A studies,
      broadcasting, Judaic studies, theater, w.s)
 85.    Advertising should be part of business, broadcasting part of
communications.
      (Ad/pr, broadcasting, criminal justice, home ec., hosp. man., social work)
 86.    Advertising because the basics are in psychology/sociology/etc.  (Ad/pr,
      engineering, geography, home ec., Judaic studies)
 87.    Peripheral programs or they belong in a trade school.  (A-A studies,
broadcasting,
      criminal justice, home ec., hosp. man., Judaic studies, pharmacy, w.s.)
 
 
 
 APPENDIX A:  QUESTIONNAIRE
 
 
 
 
 Academia's Priorities
 In an Era of Retrenchment
 
 
 INSTRUCTIONS:  To help us learn more about today's faculty members -- their
work,
 problems, and priorities -- please answer the following questions.  You can
simply
 circle the letter before your answer to most questions.
 
 Section I
 1.     What is your gender?     A.  Male     B.  Female
 
 2.     What is your academic rank?
        A.  Instructor                          D.  Professor
        B.  Assistant professor                 E.  Other
        C.  Associate professor
 
 3.     What is your department?________________________________________
 
 4.     About what percentage of your work time do you devote to:
        A.  Teaching___________________ D.  Service_________________
        B.  Research___________________ E.  Other___________________
        C.  Administration_____________
 
 5.     At what type of institution do you teach?   A. Private    B. Public
 
 6.     What is the highest degree offered by your department or unit?
        A.  Bachelor's  B.  Master's    C.  Doctorate   D.  Other
 
 7.     About how many students are enrolled in your school?____________
 
 8.     During the past three years, has your institution done any of the
        following?
        A.  Frozen salaries                     Yes      No
        B.  Increased class sizes               Yes        No
        C.  Increased teaching loads            Yes        No
        D.  Eliminated faculty positions        Yes      No
        E.  Cut department budgets              Yes        No
        F.  Eliminated some departments Yes      No
        G.  Encouraged early retirements        Yes      No
        H.  Delayed filling faculty lines   Yes    No
 
 9.     If your institution is forced to reduce its faculty payroll next year, would
you
      prefer it to:
        A.  Cut everyone's salary
        B.  Eliminate the newest (untenured) faculty members
        C.  Eliminate the least competent and productive faculty members,
 regardless of tenure
        D.  Offer inducements to encourage older faculty members to retire
early
        E.  Ask only your institution's highest-paid faculty members to accept      a
cut in
 pay
 
 10.    If your institution is forced to cut programs next year, would you prefer
it to:
        A.  Cut every program equally
        B.  Eliminate only graduate programs
        C.  Eliminate its most expensive programs
        D.  Eliminate its smallest and least productive programs
        E.  Eliminate programs not central to the mission of the university
 
 11.    Which three of these problems do you consider most serious:  possible
reasons for
      eliminating a program?  Place a check mark in front of the three:
        A.____Attracts few students
        B.____Attracts weak students
        C.____Is unusually expensive
        D.____Never seeks accreditation
        E.____Receives little outside funding
        F.____Emphasizes trade or vocational training
        G.____Has a weak record of scholarly activity
        H.____Has more M.A.'s than Ph.D.'s on its staff
        I.____Duplicates programs elsewhere in your state
        J.____Is unable to place many of its graduates in jobs in their field
 
 Section II
 If you were an administrator and had to eliminate several departments, which
five
 would you be the most likely to eliminate?  Place a check mark in front of
those five
 departments.
 
    1._____Advertising/Public Relations   20._____Home Economics
    2._____African-American Studies               21._____Hospitality Management
    3._____Agriculture                            22._____Journalism
    4._____Anthropology                           23._____Judaic Studies
    5._____Architecture                           24._____Mathematics
    6._____Art                                    25._____Music
    7._____Biology                                        26._____Nursing
    8._____Broadcasting                           27._____Pharmacy
    9._____Business                               28._____Philosophy
   10._____Chemistry                              29._____Physical Education
   11._____Computer Science                       30._____Political Science
   12._____Criminal Justice                       31._____Psychology
   13._____Economics                              32._____Social Work
   14._____Education                              33._____Sociology
   15._____Engineering                            34._____Speech
   16._____English                                        35._____Statistics
   17._____Foreign Languages                      36._____Theater
   18._____Geography                              37._____Women's Studies
   19._____History                                        38._____Other_________________
 
 Briefly, explain why you selected those five departments for elimination:
 _______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________
 ________________________________________
 __________________________________________________________________________
 Please mail the enclosed questionnaire to Prof. Fred Fedler, School of
Communication,
 University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.  32816.  You can used the stamped,
 self-addressed envelope we provide.
 
 Endnotes
 
 
 
 
 Fred Fedler
 School of Communication
 University of Central Florida
 Orlando, Fla.  32816
 
 Phone: 407-823-2839
 Fax:           407-823-6360
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Journalism's Status In Academia:
 
 A Candidate For Elimination?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 By Fred Fedler, Arlen Carey, and Tim Counts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
      Fedler teaches in the School of Communication and Carey in the Department
      of Sociology at the University of Central Florida.  Counts teaches in the
      Department of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida.
 
      A paper presented to the Newspaper Division at the national convention of
      the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in
Chicago
      from July 30 to Aug. 2, 1997.
 A B S T R A C T
 
 
 
 
 Journalism's Status In Academia:
 
 A Candidate For Elimination?
 
 
 
 
 
 By Fred Fedler, Arlen Carey, and Tim Counts
 
        Journalism and mass communication (JMC) programs are experiencing a
      multitude of problems.  At the same time, severe financial pressures are
forcing
      colleges and universities to cut back, even to eliminate some programs and
      faculty members.  To learn more about JMC's ability to survive in this era
of
      retrenchment, the authors surveyed more than 600 academicians from all
      disciplines and all types of colleges and universities.
        If their institution was forced to cut some programs, 58% of this study's
      respondents would eliminate programs not central to its mission.  Many
would also
      eliminate programs with few or weak students and programs whose students
cannot
      find jobs.  The respondents did not seem to care whether a program was
expensive,
      received outside funding, or employed many Ph.D.'s.
        The respondents would be most likely to eliminate hospitality management
      and home economics, followed by Judaic, women's and African-American
studies.
      Only 2.7% would eliminate journalism.  However, 31.6% would eliminate
      advertising/public relations and 26.2% broadcasting.
 
 
 
 
 
      Fedler teaches in the School of Communication and Carey in the Department
      of Sociology at the University of Central Florida.  Counts teaches in the
      Department of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida.
 
      A paper presented to the Newspaper Division at the national convention of
      the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in
Chicago
      from July 30 to Aug. 2, 1997.
 
 
 
 
 
 Journalism's Status In Academia:
 
 A Candidate For Elimination?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
        In 1983, Dennis warned that journalism education "appears to be on the ragged
edge of
 being so hopelessly outdated that its usefulness may soon be severely
questioned."[23]
 Since then, other authors have asked whether journalism education is becoming
"an
 endangered species."[24]
        The question arises because journalism and mass communication (JMC) programs
are
 experiencing a multitude of problems.  At the same time, severe financial
pressures are
 forcing colleges and universities to cut back, even to eliminate some programs
and fac
 ulty members.[25]
        To learn more about JMC's ability to survive in this era of retrenchment, the
authors
 surveyed more than 600 academicians from all disciplines and all types of
colleges and
 universities.  The authors asked the respondents about cutbacks at their
institutions,
 about problems that might justify a program's elimination, and about which
programs
 they would eliminate.  The results reveal more about JMC's status, the reasons
for some
 of JMC's problems, and the support that JMC can expect from colleagues in
     [1] Everette Dennis.  "Journalism education:  Failing grades from a dean."
ASNE
     Bulletin, October 1983.  Reprinted as Appendix C in "Planning For
     Curricular Change In Journalism Education."  Project on the Future of
     Journalism and Mass Communication Education.  Eugene, Ore.:  School of
     Journalism, University of Oregon, 2nd ed., 1987, p. 80.
     [2] Maurine Beasley.  "From The President..."  AEJMC News, July 1994, p. 2.
     [3] Robin Wilson.  "Scholars Off the Tenure Track Wonder If They'll Ever
Get On."
     The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 14, 1996, pp. A12-A13.
     [4] "What to Chop?"  Newsweek, April 29, 1996, p. 59.
     [5] "What to Chop?" p. 61.
     [6] Arthur Joffe, Joseph Lipman, and Morton Lowengrub.  "Scrap Math?
Rochester's
     plan to downgrade mathematics:  a recipe for disaster?"  The Chronicle Of
Higher
     Education, Section 2, March 1, 1996, p. B1.
     [7] Colleen Cordes and Paulette V. Walker.  "Ability to Win Grants
Increasingly
     Dictates Clout of Departments Within Universities."  The Chronicle of
Higher
     Education, June 14, 1996, p. A14.
     [8] A college official quoted in "Public Colleges Fight for Financial
Health:
     Public Institutions Find State Support Unreliable."  The Chronicle of
Higher
     Education, June 14, 1996, p. A15.
     [9] See, for example:  "Mass Communication Education Belongs to the
University" by
     Jeffrey M. McCall.   Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Broadcast
Education
     Association in Las Vegas, April 12-15, 1991, p. 1-3.
     [10] Robert O. Blanchard and William G. Christ.  "Beyond the Generic
Curriculum:
     The Enriched Major For Journalism And Mass Communication."  A paper
presented at the
     annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass
Communication in
     Portland, Ore., July 3, 1988, pp. 7-8.
     [11] McCall.  "Mass Communication Education Belongs to the University," p.
3.
     [12] Mary Geraghty.  "Report Says Journalism Schools Need to Change
Curricula and
     Faculty."  The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 1996, p. A23.  SEE
     ALSO:  "Dateline -- The Poor House?" by Dorothy Giobee.  Editor & Publisher
     , May 4, 1996, p. 13.
     [13] Reese Cleghorn.  "Data Show J-Schools Are Sitting On a Bomb."
American
     Journalism Review.  June 1996, p. 4.  SEE ALSO:  The Credential Society:
     An Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification by Randall
     Collins.  New York:  Academic Press, 1979.
     [14] Everette E. Dennis.  "Journalism Education -- Storm Swirls on Campus;
Changes
     Coming."  Presstime, September, 1983.
     [15] Robert O. Blanchard and William G. Christ.  Media Education And The
     Liberal Arts:  A Blueprint for the New Professionalism.  Hillsdale, N.J.:
     Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1993, p. 70.
     [16] McCall.  "Mass Communication Education Belongs to the University," pp.
4-5.
     [17] See, for example:  "What Makes A Great Journalism School."  A Special
Report On
     Journalism Education.  American Journalism Review, May 1995, p. 7.
     [18] "Responding To The Challenge of Change."  A Report on the Findings of
the AEJMC
     Curriculum Task Force.  Reprinted in Journalism Educator, Vol. 50, No. 4
(Winter
     1996), pp. 101-119.  SEE ALSO:  "On the Essential Contributions of Mass
     Communication Programs" by Richard F. Carter.  Journalism Educator, Vol.
     49, No. 4 (Winter 1995), pp. 4-10.
     [19] Beasley.  "From The President...," May 1994, p. 2.  SEE ALSO:
"Journalism
     education to 'disappear' at U. of Michigan" by Mark Fitzgerald.  Editor &
Publisher,
     Oct. 21, 1995, p. 32.
     [20] Elsie Hebert and Dale Thorn.  "Accreditation as a Tool of
Accountability and
     Incentive."  Journalism Educator, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter 1993), pp. 55-62.
     [21] Everette E. Dennis.  "Troubling Trends or Anomalous Problems?
Reflections on
     the State of the Field of Communication."  The Freedom Forum Media Studies
Center at
     Columbia University.  Opening address to the "State of the Field of
Communications"
     conference convened by the College of Communication, University of Texas at
Austin,
     Headliners Club, Austin, Texas, June 16-17, 1994, pp. 3-4.
[22]      *These and other percentages do not always add up to 100
     because some respondents did not answer every question.  Other
     respondents gave more than one response to some questions.  Also,
     some responses were unusable.
     [23] Everette Dennis.  "Journalism education:  Failing grades from a dean."
ASNE
     Bulletin, October 1983.  Reprinted as Appendix C in "Planning For
     Curricular Change In Journalism Education."  Project on the Future of
     Journalism and Mass Communication Education.  Eugene, Ore.:  School of
     Journalism, University of Oregon, 2nd ed., 1987, p. 80.
     [24] Maurine Beasley.  "From The President..."  AEJMC News, July 1994, p.
2.
     [25] Robin Wilson.  "Scholars Off the Tenure Track Wonder If They'll Ever
Get On."
     The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 14, 1996, pp. A12-A13.

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