One of numerous cost saving realignments within the University of Alaska system, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Journalism and Communications departments have merged. Professor Charles Mason said the merger should save money, and shore up the journalism department, which has seen a declining number of majors in recent years.Listen Now ”The point of this merger is to have, probably, a smaller core faculty over the long run, but increase the number of majors in the two programs together so that it’s a single department with a reasonable number of majors and a pretty large number of students,” Mason said. “And the savings will come in through that.”Mason says the combined journalism-communications program has more than sixty majors, and a dozen graduate students. He said the merger, which includes plans for co-location at a single facility, has resulted in the elimination of an administrative job, but that no other cuts are currently planned. He noted that the department hopes to hire for an open journalism professor position.