Thursday, May 24, 2007

Important educational asset

I am writing in support of WMUB during this time of review of the station.  I have been a longtime supporter and listener, since coming to Miami as a faculty member.  I always found WMUB to be an important asset in our educational community, but even more so since Cleve Callison became the general manager some years ago.  His move toward incorporating more "intelligent talk" from both national programming, such as Diane Rehm, Talk of the Nation, Science Friday, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, News & Notes (now Tell Me More), and locally produced programming such as the Help Desk, Sound Health, and WMUB Forum have all proven to be such an important source of meaningful connection to the greater world, as well as our own region.  I feel I can rely on the information and insights gained from these generally balanced programs at a time of increased politically biased "news" (bordering on propaganda), celebrity "news", and "infotainment" from other popular media sources.
I find the station not only very important personally, but also as a vital source of new information that I use frequently in the classroom.  I teach several different art courses including art appreciation and a U.S. Cultures art course on diversity, and my current Blackboard site for these two courses includes over a dozen links to audio files and text/image files first heard on WMUB and later accessed on  For example, as part of a section on ethnocentrism, students read or hear "The Clumsiest People in the World", a book review first heard on WMUB.  Part of my final exam in art appreciation is centered upon stories first heard on WMUB, including an interview with Thomas Kinkade about branding of art, J.S.G. Boggs "drawing money" to force a consideration of what we value in our society, and artistic ownership is considered after hearing about Warner Brothers use and distortion of a sculpture from the National Cathedral in one of their movies without permission.  I could continue with specific examples of how WMUB helps me keep my courses current and relevant.  After listening on the way to work, often the first thing I do is access on the computer items just heard on WMUB for future reference and use in my courses.  I would hate to see this important resource limited or become jeopardized in any way.  WMUB is such an important and effective emissary for Miami University in Southwest Ohio and greatly enhances Miami's mission as a state-supported university. 
If Miami wants to excel as an educational institution, we need to do all we can to help WMUB public radio to continue its excellence.
--Michael Hieber, Art, Miami University Middletown


At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What year did you hear the radio article on Boggs? Just curious. I'm a fellow NPR and public radio lover myself and I have often appreciated my local radio station WMNF for providing quality programming such as the ones you mention. Boggs has been a personal friend and colleague who I have admired much for his art and his commitment to his art.


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