The Longest Now

Rice University losing its wallet or its mind?
Tuesday September 14th 2010, 4:04 am
Filed under: chain-gang,fly-by-wire,Not so popular

The Rice University administration seems to be having a very bad summer. A few weeks ago, they secretly planned the sale of KTRU, their nationally-renowned independent campus radio station. They ‘managed to keep their ongoing negotiations completely quiet until about 12 hours before the sale was approved by Houston’s Board of Trustees’. I didn’t realize until today that the sale was considered final — students have been protesting since it became public, and the administration has offered no explanation.

Now last week they leaked the news hinting they would shutting down their promising digital Rice University Press contradicting the will of RUP’s Board of Directors. This, after commissioning an external review that recommended supporting it and integrating it better into the Library and related services — and again, with no public explanation.

I have fond memories of Rice University — I studied there during high school; they supported Connexions in its infancy; friends of mine teach there. (I try not to hold the whole Sidis incident against them.) So it pains me deeply to see this wanton self-destruction. I can’t imagine what they stand to gain from either move — they will lose any money from the sale to discontented KTRU alumni from the radio’s 40-year history. (No one seems willing to support that sale — here is a petition from 350 concerned UH alumni in support of keeping the radio station at Rice.) What gives?

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