Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Tech Administration's Intentions

The most complete statement of the Tech administration's intentions about WREK is provided in a Letter to the Editor in the Dec. 1 Technique from James Fetig, Tech's Associate Vice President for Institute Communications and Public Affairs. Here is the text of Mr. Fetig's letter in full:
While I appreciated the coverage of the WREK proposals in the Nov. 17 issue, I am afraid that the story and editorial are a bit ahead of the facts and schedule.

As the story indicates, I have been asked by President Clough to lead the process that will examine the various proposals related to WREK radio and provide him a fact-based analysis and recommendation.

It is important to note that change to the status quo is not preordained. Moreover, there always will be a student-controlled WREK signal in an independent HD format and on the Internet.

The station's staff and the physical integrity of the station facility would also be unaffected. The crux of the matter centers on how the FM analog signal might be used, whether partnered with National Public Radio in some form, in a student-run commercial format, or by maintaining the status quo.

After talking to a range of student and administrative leaders, I believe the most effective way to move forward is to ask the Radio Communications Board (RCB), WREK's governing body, to analyze the proposals and possibilities.

The RCB membership is composed of four faculty and staff members, and includes six students constituting a student majority. I believe the Board is positioned to best represent the interests of the station, the student body and the Institute as a whole.

The analysis will take place over several weeks and should involve a thorough fact-gathering process and a complete examination of WREK's mission and all proposed options. It should include a survey of the student body to determine the station's actual listening audience in terms of demographics, size, listening habits and desires.

The process also should be open, and additional comments should be invited through open fora and the Web. In addition, each party with a proposal related to WREK should be invited to campus to present their ideas in person.

Before any recommendation can be reached, many questions must be asked and a great deal of data must be collected. It is my hope that every interested student will follow the process closely and provide valuable input along the way.

James Fetig
Associate Vice President,
Institute Communications and Public Affairs

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