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Emory students protest planned cuts

Former President Jimmy Carter addresses the crowd gathered for his 28th annual town hall meeting at Emory University on September 16, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, students are protesting proposed cuts to liberal arts programs at the school.

Emory University students took over a hallway in an administration building on Tuesday. They're protesting a reorganization announced in September at the Atlanta private college that will close several departments and degree programs.

About 50 students crowded into a hallway hoping to talk to Emory's president. They're protesting cuts to liberal arts programs like journalism and visual arts.

"I disagree with the vision of Emory University as a science and technology school. I believe that the liberal arts are beautiful and should be preserved," says Elizabeth Hennig, a sophomore at the school.

The university will still have liberal arts degrees, just not as many. And it makes room for new classes, like contemporary China studies and new media.

Gary Olson of Idaho State University has written about academic reorganizations. He says, not surprisingly, it's about doing more with less.

"Universities are examining themselves and saying 'Oh my God, we've grown in ways that sometimes weren't logical or certainly weren't good for efficiency's sake,'" he explains.

Emory will phase in the changes over five years. Current students in those doomed liberal arts programs do get to finish their degrees.

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I realize that this segment is only 1:26 long, but the coverage is terrible. It frames the issue as a fait accompli, reduces the students' position to a fleeting comment about science and techology, and then turns to an "expert" who addresses reorganization as a move toward greater logic. I don't think that the Emory administration could have paid for a better representation. I can't believe the reporter attended our event and came away with this.

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