Journalism, meet architecture. Education, meet the arts and sciences.
Florida International University on Tuesday announced its journalism school and College of Education will be consolidated into other colleges beginning Jan. 4, 2016.
Over the objection of an advisory panel of media executives, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) will merge with the College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA). The College of Education will become part of the College of Arts & Sciences.
In an email, Provost Kenneth Furton said the consolidation “provides unique opportunities for trans-disciplinary research, creative activities, and entrepreneurship.”
“Our new partnership will create opportunities for SJMC to build on the strengths of its acclaimed professional programs and offer a broad range of options,” said a separate email from the journalism department. “Joining with CARTA, for example will give us access to state-of-the-art facilities in 3-D printing, virtual reality and animation.”
But local and national media leaders who serve on the journalism school's Dean's Advisory Board have criticized the consolidation, saying the school’s image will suffer.
Alex de Carvalho, a Miami Beach social media strategist who also serves on the advisory board, took to Facebook to lament the decision.
“Of course, this move will save some administrative costs,” he wrote. “But this is penny-wise and pound foolish, for the program will lose luster, funding from prestigious foundations, and recruitment from media organizations.”
Both the journalism and education schools will get new names. The College of Education will be led by Dean Brian Schriner from CARTA and Dean Mike Heithaus from the College of Arts & Sciences, respectively.
The current dean of SJMC, Raul Reis, will go on sabbatical for one semester and his final position in FIU is still being negotiated, according to a spokeswoman for the university. The dean of the College of Education, Delia Garcia, will go back to teaching.