05/01/2013 06:56 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

CU-Boulder Announces Plans For 2 New Colleges Focusing On Media, Environment

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The University of Colorado today announced that it is beginning the process of creating two new colleges on the Boulder campus: a college focused on media, communication and information that will replace its now-shuttered School of Journalism and Mass Communication, plus a second college centered on the environment and sustainability.

The two colleges, which would be the first created on the Boulder campus in 50 years, will require approval from the CU Board of Regents.

CU officials expect to submit plans to the regents within the next year, with the goal of forming the new colleges and enrolling students by 2015.

In the meantime, CU officials said they will form "implementation committees" to create plans for the new colleges, looking into issues such as funding, fundraising, curriculum development and how to integrate the work of the institutes into the new colleges.

"These proposed new colleges will create exciting synergies among related disciplines," Provost Russell L. Moore said in a statement. "They will build on CU-Boulder's programmatic strengths and excellence, attract new high-quality students and faculty, and facilitate scholarship and teaching that will prepare students for careers in a wide range of exciting fields."

CU officials said the college devoted to media, communication and information would house programs in journalism, advertising and design, communication, film production and film studies, media studies and a new department in information studies.

In 2011, the university formally closed its traditional School of Journalism and Mass Communication -- a rarity that required regents' approval.

Students can still earn degrees in journalism from CU, though. In fact, Christopher Braider, the campus's director of journalism and mass communication, said earlier this spring that the program's enrollment is slightly up. There are about 800 students in the department, of which roughly 10 percent are graduate students.

The proposed college of the environment and sustainability, Moore said, would "bring together some of the finest researchers and teachers on the campus" in disciplines that include environmental science, environmental policy and environmental design while "drawing upon assets from some of the campus's most dynamic institutes," including the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute.

In both instances, Moore said, the move to create the colleges is supported by three years of work and by recommendations from internal and outside committees that reviewed existing programs. ___



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