April 24, 1997

KTRU Format Changes Will Benefit Students

Rice News Staff

Rice University radio should broaden its programming to serve a wider audience while offering students more structured communications training, the Committee on Radio Station KTRU has recommended.

In a report submitted to Rice President Malcolm Gillis this week, the committee outlined how with an upgrading of space, expansion into new technologies, the addition of a full-time, professional general manager, and an expanded advisory board, "KTRU programming can begin to reflect the broader concerns of the entire university community and to reach more successfully into the broader [Houston] community."

"Ultimately, the greatest benefit would be in the enrichment of the experience of those students committed to the station," said Mary McIntire, chair of the committee and dean of the School of Continuing Studies. "The opportunity to learn more about broadcasting, new technology, and the university would benefit them, quite rightly, most of all."

The committee comprised of faculty, KTRU undergraduate volunteers, a graduate student, KTRU alumni, a board member, and administrators spent considerable time during the past year gathering data on university radio stations.

Surveys were mailed to KTRU alumni locally and nationally. More than 300 colleges and universities were asked to respond to a survey, with telephone interviews conducted with a number of officials at other institutions. A RiceInfo Web site survey inviting responses from the university community produced more than 250 replies.

After a review of KTRUÕs current operations and audience, the committee report presented a number of recommendations, including:

"The various constituencies -- students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends -- would benefit from this new structure," McIntire said.