Monday, February 19, 2007

In support of WMUB

My husband and I are longtime listeners and financial supporters of WMUB. We came here from Cornell University and were delighted to find that WMUB was actually far superior to the public radio stations in the Ithaca area due to the large amount of programming it carries. I also lived in Bloomington, IN for awhile, and again found their local public station considerably lacking as compared to WMUB. So why would Miami University, which aspires to be first in the nation and a nationally renowned university, consider eliminating funding for one of its jewels?
WMUB consistently has good programming and makes an effort to increase and change their lineup in responses to listeners' requests. While there are indeed other public radio stations in the area, none that I have heard carry anywhere near the amount of paid programming that WMUB does. This programming costs money.
As a librarian, I am familiar with the ever increasing costs of paid-subscription databases. These are increasingly important to the students and faculty but also increasingly expensive. Luckily, the university has realized the importance of the library and has continued to fund us at a level that enables us to add and maintain our level of resources. I hope the same will be true for WMUB.
WMUB is an excellent educational tool and is central to the mission of Miami University. Keeping WMUB as a great station with excellent programming is certainly worth the continuing investment. The funds we are talking about here (approximately $100,000) are relatively modest in relation to a 2006/07 budget of over $626 million.
There are many ways to save money rather than cutting the funding for WMUB. These include lowering the temperature in the dorms (so the students no longer have to open their windows in the winter to stay comfortable), raising the air conditioning temperature in the summer so that staff no longer wears sweaters indoors in July, turning off copiers and computers in the evenings, using less paper for internal documents, and less color copying and color printing overall, etc. These all are examples of small things that would result in consistent savings that would probably far outweigh any current expenditures for WMUB.
WMUB is a unique resource in Oxford and one that is sorely needed.  It is doing an excellent job and if anything should be given additional funding, not less. Every day it is on the air it is a testament to the culture of excellence we are always speaking about at Miami. Let's put our money where our mouth is.

--Susan Hurst, Business Librarian, Miami University


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