By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Saved, for now, from the "right-sizing" list are the school's broadcasting majors. Hughes' critics say this move doesn't make much sense as a budget-cutting measure, in light of the high cost of maintaining training equipment for the broadcasters. "It's almost impossible to remain state of the art," says one observer.
Other critics say it makes perfect sense in light of one of Hughes' pet projects at the school: its satellite-campus program. Hughes has pushed for NAU to establish an annex campus in Yuma, where students get instruction via satellite from the main campus. Although that program is now maintained separately from the broadcasting program, critics and other conspiracy theorists see a connection. It's to Hughes' advantage to have lots of trained broadcast technicians hanging around campus; he sees a hundred or so print-journalists-in-training as somewhat less beneficial.
Understandably, many of those critics are endangered print-journalism students and profs. (Participants in other dead or dying programs seem to be equally sore over the cutbacks, but are not nearly so noticeable. "You probably don't hear about it as much," says current Lumberjack editor Erica Wilson. "We have the benefit of having a newspaper to bitch in.) And those profs and students are not yet ready to admit their fate is sealed.
They're meeting regularly to plan strategy, among themselves and with professors of other vanishing disciplines. They insist that reports of the demise of NAU journalism--which has produced such alums as former Boston reporter Lisa Olson, who tangled with the New England Patriots, and Arizona Republic political columnist Keven Ann Willey--are premature. With jobs to save, so far nobody has committed much time worrying about the fall of the Lumberjack.
"We feel very strongly about our program, a very valuable program on campus," says professor Manny Romero, "and we're not looking at what will be left when we're gone.