Columbia Will Shrink Journalism School as Media Woes Mount

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will reduce its class size and cut about six positions from its staff as the news industry retrenches.

The school will gradually reduce enrollment over several years and has already stopped filling some vacant faculty positions, Steve Coll, dean of the school since 2013, said in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff today.

News organizations around the world are cutting staff and budgets as advertisers and readers have fled traditional media for free online sources and social media sites, such as Twitter. While graduate student applications rose sharply after the recession that began in 2008, the school’s class size is headed back to a lower “historical norm,” Coll said.

“This adjustment will preserve our capacity for hands-on and intensive teaching that is a trademark of the school,” he said in the e-mail.

The staff reductions won’t be faculty positions, spokeswoman Elizabeth Fishman said in an e-mail.

The New York school will also focus on raising funds for student scholarships, Coll said. Estimated tuition, fees and living expenses for a full-time master’s degree student are $92,933, according to the school website. Coll said he will host a public meeting tomorrow to discuss the changes.

Columbia is seeing increased demand for training in digital media, Fishman said, adding that applications for the school’s dual degree in journalism and computer science were up 47 percent this year.

Columbia, which administers the Pulitzer Prizes, is the only Ivy League school to offer a graduate journalism degree. Founded in 1912 by Joseph Pulitzer, the school offers a one-year program.

The cuts were earlier reported by media blogger Jim Romenesko.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE