Just three months ago, the future of The Post seemed bleak.
As of Friday, however, this outlook has changed. Through the gracious support of the local and global Bobcat community, we have finally secured a long-term plan for future funding of The Post and other student media organizations at OU.
The university has pledged to continue funding our student media sales internship manager, Andrea Lewis, until at least 2027, with the Scripps College of Communication being solely responsible for the funds beyond then. Lewis’ title will change to director of student media.
Although her name may not appear in bylines, Lewis’ role at The Post is invaluable. She allows us to focus entirely on making content for our readers while she and her team work hard to ensure that the publication can survive and thrive financially. We are incredibly grateful to have her on our team and are thrilled to see her continue being an integral part of what makes The Post operate.
But there’s more good news.
Beyond Lewis’ funding, a Post alumna, Laura Landro Salomon, has given us a gift of $100,000, establishing the Laura Landro Salomon Fund, which will provide The Post with the means to create more quality journalism. We are incredibly appreciative of Salomon’s generosity.
However, we are keenly aware that announcements like this are quite rare. We’ve seen student media outlets on campuses all across the country fall victim to immense cuts, including but not limited to Southeastern Louisiana University’s Lion’s Roar, which is now forced to run solely online; Doane University’s Doane Student Media, which is facing cuts from university administration; and University of South Carolina’s The Daily Gamecock, which is running almost wholly online thanks to budget cuts from COVID-19. We realize just how fortunate we are to be handed this situation because there’s never been a more uncertain time to be a student journalist than the present.
We also realize we aren’t the only ones on OU’s campus facing funding issues. OU’s financial state has reached a rocky point in recent years, leading to budget cuts, mass layoffs and more being put on the line. Students, faculty and union employees have rallied around those in the community in danger — such as university professors and the Center for Law, Justice and Culture — sometimes to no avail. In 2020, 53 instructional faculty members did not have their contracts renewed, 81 employee positions were cut and 140 workers who were a part of OU’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, were laid off. The English Language Improvement Program was eliminated after the 2019-2020 academic year. Those moves have hurt the community, and for the faculty who will never teach at OU again, the pain and stress of finding a new job has been a deep cut.
The Post has what some of those faculty and programs who were cut did not: a large, influential base of alumni and donors who have our backs and were willing to fight for us. We’re aware this is a privilege, and it’s one that we can’t stop using once our personal battle is won.
No matter our major, class or campus involvement, we are all one university. A cut to one department, the loss of one beloved professor and the looming fear of more cuts to come impacts us all and the quality of our education. The Post may be safe, but there is still so much work to do. Don’t forget about everything else at risk at OU just because The Post is safe. Stand with them just as you would for us. Rest assured that as the fight for all those on campus goes on, we’ll continue with our reporting. Let’s work for a better campus together.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Abby Miller, Managing Editor Bre Offenberger and Digital Managing Editor Matt Geiger. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.