His actual facts are pretty straight, though like most people, Mouhibian does not mention that tightening requirements and expanding faculty were recommended as viable, even preferred, alternatives to closing it. It wouldn't have been a "BS degree" if they'd done so. Instead, the stigma of the department being shut down is a huge problem for the current program.
A typical symptom of the (BS degree) problem rose to the surface at Texas A&M in 2003, when a budget cut prompted scrutiny of its journalism department. Over 1,000 students were enrolled in the booming program. Yet the student newspaper couldn't recruit. No more than a tenth of those students, it turned out, had any interest in journalism. The rest were rejects from business.
"It was perceived as an easy degree," learned Charles Johnson, A&M's dean of Letters and Science. "The students were not too strong."
Whiff thusly caught, Johnson swung for the spray. He closed the department, relocated the faculty, and converted the program to an interdisciplinary minor to go along with study in a prospective beat. Enrollment dropped to 50, all of them committed. The sensible clean-up job ended up dooming Mr. Johnson's candidacy last year for the provost opening at American University, home to a robust journalism program on which its journalism professors pride themselves. They thought it reflected an out-of-touch, fuddy-duddy view of journalism as mere craft -- as opposed to a "way of thinking," defined by "strategic communications" -- and therefore a direct threat to its survival as a specialized academic discipline.