Studio One Students, Alumni and Friends:
Recently President Ed Schafer met with the staff members of the TV Center. I appreciated his taking time to meet with us and talk about the budget restructuring process for our unit. I have made a commitment to him that we would roll up our sleeves and help redefine our mission. He told us that Studio One was not something he wanted to cut. He said he did not make the decision to discontinue our academic mission. The statement that we would no longer have an academic mission was not his. It was given to me by our former Vice President, who has since left UND. While this communication glitch has caused a lot of pain and frustration, the reality is that our budget reductions will not allow us to continue the program next year.
I know this is a difficult message to hear. However, we will be working with our Interim Vice President, Peter Johnson, to look at how our department might partner with other production units on campus. We will simply need time to determine what our priorities will be and how our units will function together. President Schafer encouraged us to reimagine how we could incorporate students into our mission. My goal has always been to be an advocate for students and I will work my hardest to first meet the important needs the president has outlined for us and then determine how we can fold in a great student experience.
Many of you may not know this but this is not the first time Studio One has been shut down. Many years ago the state had a similar budget crisis and Studio One was discontinued. When the financial problems were resolved, the show was revived. We moved to a new building with all new equipment and more opportunities were created for students. I think we have an opportunity to rebuild and provide student experiences in the future but it will take time. I am asking for your patience as we go through this process. Many people have already reached out to me with ideas and we'll be reviewing all of them to determine how they fit with our new mission.
I feel it is not necessary to continue sending messages of support to our president or other senior administrators. They all know how much we all value Studio One. Your voice has been heard. As I continue to learn more, I will post information on our website.
Director of Television