No astute leader would give away a global brand such as KPLU, known the world over.
Pacific Lutheran University has never associated KPLU with its mission and its potential to recruit students globally. KPLU was held at arm’s length instead of embraced.
The claim that PLU “contributes” $1.5 million is a con. That is market pricing, not the cost to PLU. KPLU’s actual costs to PLU are marginal at best.
The so-called strategic decision based on a “careful analysis” and “concern about how best to sustain public radio in the region” is a fig leaf covering what must be recognized as shame. If there was a shred of honesty in that concern, the PLU regents would have consulted with KPLU since they are demonstrably, given their great success, experts in the field.
The decision to sell KPLU is uninformed and poorly justified and signals a lack of strategic foresight. The secrecy that concealed the decision process does not portend well for the future governance of PLU and its educational mission. We should expect more from leadership.
(Berniker retired as a professor from PLU's School of Business.)