With a nosedive in the school’s enrollment, programs like student media are struggling to reach double digits in the journalism department.
IU Southeast as a whole has had a decrease in student enrollment for the past decade and with an almost three year pandemic has only continued to be exhausted.
IU Studios said high schoolers considering a four-year college has declined from 71% in May 2020 to 48% in Sept. 2021.
The start of the avalanche
Once Adam Maksl, the associate professor of journalism, took a position at IU’s Bloomington branch for e-learning design & innovation, The Horizon was left without an advisor. A series of “visiting professors” were hired before even the start of the pandemic.
The pandemic made a large impact on The Horizon’s publishing. With little to no students on campus the need for physical, print newspapers went away. Stories were still posted to The Horizon website during the first peak of the pandemic.
Jane Dailey, a professor of public relations, left to take care of her sickly mother and IUS was left without a public relations instructor as well.
The Coordinator of Journalism and Media Ron Allman said, “We were not allowed to hire a replacement due to budget cuts.”
A strong tree amidst the storm
Last semester began with Allman as the only full-time, on campus faculty member for the journalism program.
“There needed to be a change,” said Allman.
Hope for the future
As of the Fall 2022 semester, the Strategic Communication program and the Journalism and Media program will be integrated together. After various negotiations, lots of meetings, and intent hard work, from both parties, this request has been approved.
This move will strengthen both programs and the biggest difference will be that Journalism and Media will be under Communications and considered to be a degree under the School of Arts and Letters.
“The opportunities for collaboration with other programs in Arts and Letters are great,” Allman said.
IUS is still ranked as number three in the state for our college journalism program and is the only college in the greater Louisville area to offer a four year journalism degree.
“We will come back better and stronger,” Allman said.