Monday, April 30, 2007

Vital function for Richmond and beyond

I am writing to give feedback on WMUB and its relation to Miami University.  I live in Richmond, IN and have been a loyal listener (and financial supporter) of WMUB for years.  I find its programming excellent; it is the primary way my partner and I keep in touch with local, national, and world news, and it has enriched us culturally, intellectually, and aesthetically in ways too numerous to list.   We keep the dial on WMUB when we are home throughout the day.  We would be far poorer in many ways without it.

I realize that supporting WMUB costs Miami University financial resources.  The station, however, performs a vital function in ways that seem to me central to Miami's educational mission.  First, it connect the University to the surrounding community in ways no other means would do--and in ways the reach over state, class, social, and other boundaries.  In so doing, it also connects people to the University who would otherwise have no connection.  Because of WMUB, I hear about Miami sports teams; I hear about and attend events on campus; I feel connected to the University as a center of regional cultural and intellectual life.

Cutting ties between the University and WMUB strikes me as a short-sighted policy, in that it would sever these ties, and in so doing,  vastly reduce Miami's educative impact on the local area and its communities.  I am distressed by the trend in higher education generally in recent years, to view everything in terms of bottom line revenues, as if education were primarily a business and everything that does not turn a direct profit should be outsourced or cut off. There are things so central to an educational mission, that to cut financial support simply because they do not turn a profit for the University would run directly counter to the whole purpose of a university in the first place-in Miami's case, as a public institution supporting intellectual and cultural life.  WMUB is an intellectual and cultural treasure.  I deeply hope Miami will continue to support it.

--Scott Hess, Richmond


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