Yulsman said that this year’s incoming class of environmental journalism master’s students was “among the very best” he’s had since joining the faculty in 1996. Moreover, throughout this saga, the widely respected Center for Environmental Journalism—one of four centers and special programs at the journalism school—has received “unstinting support from the university’s administrators.”

“I would not be surprised if we experienced a drop in applications to our graduate level environmental journalism program during the next couple years,” Yulsman wrote in an e-mail. “But I’m beginning to think that by reinventing the curriculum, and strengthening already robust ties to Environmental Studies and other environmental units on campus, we could come out of this stronger than ever.”

His optimism notwithstanding, Yulsman was disappointed by the decision to close the journalism school, and he wasn’t alone. Last week, University of Colorado regents Monisha Merchant, Sue Sharkey, and Joe Neguse wrote an open letter explaining why they voted against the resolution to discontinue the school.

“For 49 years—nearly half a century—the School has provided a quality and first-rate education to generations of journalists across the State of Colorado and our great Nation,” they wrote. “Simply put, it has stood the test of time, and though it may be ripe for improvement, closing the School itself for ‘strategic alignment’ purposes was undoubtedly a drastic option.”

The dissenting regents voiced some support for the School of Information, Communication, and Media Technology and Journalism Plus plans. But the fate of teaching news gathering at Boulder remains uncertain.

“We won assurances about the future of journalism education,” Yulsman wrote. “Now, we’ll work hard to make sure those assurances are honored.”

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Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.