Torch Voices: Rick S. Kurtz

Published: Dec 5, 2012

Dear Ferris State University Community:

I wanted to take a moment to address the sub­ject of The Torch and its fore­see­able future. Many of you are aware that there have been dis­cus­sions about the sus­tain­abil­ity of The Torch. Over time, and sim­i­lar to the sit­u­a­tion that many news­pa­pers have found them­selves in across the coun­try, our University’s news­pa­per has suf­fered rev­enue decline due to decreased adver­tis­ing sup­port. With nearly $50,000 in rev­enue lost due to adver­tis­ing cuts, The Torch has reached a point where its cur­rent bud­get struc­ture is not at a sus­tain­able level.

In the November 28, 2012, arti­cle, “Fighting for fund­ing: The Torch bud­get is under scrutiny” by Alex Wittman, our interim Department Head of Languages and Literature Katherine Harris was quoted as say­ing, “We need to work together as a uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity to main­tain com­mit­ment to the news­pa­per and be respon­si­ble for the way we fund and sup­port it.”

I whole­heart­edly agree with Dr. Harris’ sen­ti­ment. The Torch has been a long-standing and valu­able resource for the Ferris com­mu­nity and beyond. The Torch has received numer­ous acco­lades and awards at the state and national lev­els. Furthermore, The Torch is a prime exam­ple of the type of hands-on instruc­tion that you, our fac­ulty, pro­vide from which our stu­dents receive great benefit.

The tremen­dous value that The Torch brings to Ferris is the rea­son why a short-term “quick fix” is not the answer. Rather, we need to build a long-term sus­tain­able finan­cial model for The Torch to ensure that the news­pa­per which has been inform­ing our cam­pus com­mu­nity for over 80 years enjoys 80 years and more of a healthy future.

I have secured fund­ing to sup­port The Torch for not only 2012–2013 but also all of 2013–2014. During the next year, I intend to bring a group together who will work to iden­tify a long-term sus­tain­able model for The Torch so that this news­pa­per can con­tinue to be the valu­able resource to our University that it has always been.

I will keep you informed as we work to assem­ble this team of indi­vid­u­als and look for­ward to find­ing a viable solu­tion to sus­tain The Torch at Ferris State University.


Rick S. Kurtz

Dean Arts and Sciences

  • http://www.facebook.com/t0mm0r Thomas Wilson

    one pos­si­bil­ity I would highly sug­gest is down­siz­ing print dis­tri­b­u­tion and increas­ing the Torch’s web pres­ence. I think a great way to do this is to coor­di­nate with the uni­ver­sity and look into mak­ing the torch web­site the default home­page in the library and giv­ing stu­dents the option to receive a dig­i­tal copy of the print edi­tion in their stu­dent email. You may also con­sider ask­ing stu­dents to fund the Torch in the same way they fund the UREC or EU.