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CMU consolidates communications departments into new school

Central Michigan University is shaking some things up and reorganizing, all in the name of better preparing students post graduation.

Starting this fall, the school will now have a School of Communication, Journalism and Media. This will be a consolidation of their broadcasting, journalism, advertising and public relations departments.

“How can we make our programs stronger? How can we have better offerings?” asked Jefferson Campbell, dean of the College of the Arts and Media. “Most importantly, how can we better prepare students for a 21st century career in media?”


As the last semester ended, CMU had the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts, the Department of Journalism and the Department of Communications. They were related but separate.

Starting this fall, they are all under one heading, the School of Communication, Journalism and Media. It will be blending all the programs into one, just like the media culture that awaits the students.

“The alums I met who were in journalism, public relations, advertising and broadcasting, all told me the same thing, that the landscape changed the expectations for people entering the field,” said Cambell. “Now we’re different than when they came in, when they could specialize in one area.”

Print journalists now record video. Broadcast journalists write articles and everybody uses social media. Before, students could major or minor in the different departments but scheduling would be tough. Now that can be streamlined.


“Which is why it has these three very distinct units now under one roof with one director,” said Campbell.

Students day-to-day are not going to see much of a difference at first, but when it comes to the ease of scheduling, and what courses can be offered, that’s when students will see a difference

“In a year, a year and a half, those new courses and offerings will really start to take affect and then they will start seeing a lot more movement from that,” said Campbell.

This is the most recent major overhaul CMU is implementing but more could be on the horizon as they look to adapt with the real world and offer more bang for the student’s buck.

“Specifically to enhance the student experience post graduation,” said Campbell. “So that when they leave here, not only are they going to land that job but they’re going to be successful and hopefully be ahead of the game once they land there.”

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