The future of EWU journalism majors

By Emily Driskel, News Editor


Currently, the journalism program is on the list of degrees that will be cut from EWU in the next few years. 

Dr. Christina Valeo, English department chair, discussed with The Easterner on what this process will look like for students. Anybody who has declared a journalism major by June 12 of 2021 will get to complete their degree at EWU. Although there is a time constraint, there is a guarantee that students will get to complete all their journalism classes.

Valeo said the English program decided it was time to bank the journalism program. 

“Banking is a technical term which means we didn’t officially eliminate the major, we just stopped offering it for now,” said Valeo. 

EWU has not cancelled journalism with the state or accrediting bodies, it was just the timing of how everything worked out. 

In the past couple years, two of the journalism professors, Dr. Jamie Neely and Dr. Bill Stimson, retired from EWU. 

Dr Jamie Neely at the Manito Gardens. (Mckenzie Ford)

“The program had gotten so small that we couldn’t justify hiring a tenure track faculty member to replace either one of them,” said Valeo. 

Resources have been scarce in the past year, but Valeo said the department will be relying on professors who already have an expertise in certain areas to finish out the journalism requirements. 

Journalism was also originally on the list the provost suggested in October that should be discontinued. Valeo said this is when the department agreed to bank the program because without faculty who specialized in certain areas of journalism, it was not ethical to offer the program. 

Valeo said EWU will keep the journalism minor and will maybe shift the minor to create a certificate. 

EWU had a Bachelors of Science in Public Relations and a Bachelors of the Arts in News Editorials. 

“Banking is a technical term which means we didn’t officially eliminate the major…” –Dr. Christina Valeo, English

“That is one of the places where we had some inverted duplication on campus because communication studies… has an enormous undergraduate program in Public Relations,” said Valeo. 

If students want to pursue a Public Relations degree, they can continue to do so through the communications program. Valeo said other students who have declared their journalism major can be served by other English programs. 

Valeo said the major that students are interested in may not be there, but if there is another way EWU can help students pursue their writing dreams, there are other choices.

“We have technical communication, we have creative writing, we have English studies with a focus on professional writing,” said Valeo. 

Valeo said it is about connecting students to their plans and dreams which is the best part about her job. 

If students have more questions, Valeo can be reached by email [email protected]