Friday, May 9, 2014
* Last year, the folks who run SIUC’s student newspaper made an agreement with University President Glenn Poshard. They’d slash costs and Poshard would reallocate a little money to keep the paper afloat until a student fee could be approved. The Undergraduate Student Government approved a $9 fee to keep the daily paper going last December, while Poshard was still in charge. Carbondale Chancellor Rita Cheng backed the fee in February. The university’s Edwardsville campus has an $8 fee for a weekly newspaper, so the Carbondale fee wasn’t out of line at all.
Well, within six days of new SIU President Randy Dunn’s taking office, he and the board of trustees nixed the fee. Really bad move.
SIUC has the most committed alumni at the Statehouse. While the U of I alumni are incredibly organized statewide and are truly feared, Salukis have a tight-knit group of folks who make sure to unofficially watch out for the university’s interests. The Senate President’s chief of staff, the House Speaker’s spokesman, and on and on and on and on. That Saluki list is really long. I’m constantly amazed by it.
I’m assuming President Dunn is hearing from those folks this week.
What a wonderful little welcoming party they’ll be planning for his next Springfield visit.
* Then there’s this…
Several of those folks took to social media yesterday to voice their opposition to President Dunn’s move.
* I’m no fan of journalism schools. At all. But my brother Devin received great hands-on training at the DE. I’ve known several people over the years who had the same experience at the paper. To me, newspaper reporting is more like a trade. I’m not sure that extensive classroom training is hugely important, but on the job training - and especially learning from real-time, real-life mistakes - can be crucial. And the DE, by all accounts, does a very good job.
Since the chancellor was for it, and the student government was for it and the other campus has a similar fee, I really don’t see the problem with allowing this small fee to proceed.