Torch Voices: Rick S. Kurtz

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


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.

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