THE BOARD IN CONTROL OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
AT a meeting of the University Senate on June 2, 1903, a report was made by Professor Volney M. Spaulding on behalf of a special committee on nonathletic student organizations, recommending that a board be created to regulate the U. of M. Daily, that it be authorized to acquire the stock, property, and good will of the paper, that the Board have full control of all questions pertaining to the paper subject to the Senate regulations, and that the board consist of seven members, four appointed from the Senate and three from the student body. These recommendations were adopted. The four Senate members of the first board were Professors Fred N. Scott, Allen S. Whitney, Alfred H. Lloyd, and Frank L. Sage.
At the first meeting of the newly formed Board in Control of the Michigan Daily on November 19, 1903, Professor Scott was elected chairman of the board, one of the student members was elected secretary, and Professor Lloyd was elected treasurer, and a constitution and bylaws for the board were adopted. In the same year the constitution was amended to provide for the election of the three student members of the board by the student body. At the third meeting of the board there was some discussion of the board assuming control of the Michiganensian, but nothing was done about it at the time.
On November 24, 1908, the University Senate changed the name of the board to the Board in Control of Student Publications and, except as regards the Michiganensian for 1908-9, its jurisdiction was extended to cover all periodical publications edited by members of the student body. In 1908 the board authorized the publication of the Gargoyle, in 1909 it took over the Student Directory, and in 1911 it took over control of the Wolverine, the summer session paper.
In the report of the treasurer of the board made on October 28, 1913, is to be found the first suggestion of a plan for a University-owned printing plant and offices for the student publications. At that time the board had $9,000 on hand. By 1915 this sum had grown to nearly $14,000, and to facilitate the accumulation of funds for obtaining a suitable building, the board petitioned the Regents for permission to turn over its funds for investment and safekeeping to the treasurer of the University. At this time the board was operating under a five-year contract made in 1914, by the terms of which the Ann Arbor Press printed the Daily and furnished office space for all of the student publications in its building on Maynard Street.
The board was incorporated in 1919 as a nonprofit corporation, consisting of seven members, four appointed by the president of the University from the University Senate and three elected by the students from the student body. The next year the publications moved into roomy quarters on the second floor of the Ann Arbor Press Building, where they remained until the Student Publications Building was completed. In 1922 it was decided to buy a flatbed press to be used for printing the Daily, at a cost of about $10,000, and in the same year an executive committee was appointed to consider definite plans for a new student publications building. Professors Edson R. Sunderland, Joseph A. Bursley, and Morris P. Tilley were appointed a committee Page 1905to purchase a site for the building.
Professor Scott retired from the board in 1927 after having served for twenty-four years as its chairman. His tolerant and sympathetic guiding hand had started the board on its successful career and had helped many generations of student editors. Professor Robert C. Angell was appointed to take his place, and Professor Tilley was chosen chairman.
In the fall of 1929, on the retirement of Professor Tilley, Professor Angell was chosen as chairman of the board. In 1930 plans for the new building, drawn by Pond and Pond, architects, were approved by the board. It was to contain office space for all of the student publications, but to have facilities to print only the Daily, since it was felt that the printing of the other publications could be done more advantageously by contract with commercial printers. In the following year the contract for the building was let, and it was ready for occupancy in the summer of 1932.
The first publication edited in the new building, the Summer Michigan Daily of 1932, was also the first publication to be directly under the control of the University administration. The plan provided that the managing editor and business manager of the Summer Daily should be full-time employees, not enrolled in the summer session, and that they should be responsible directly to the dean of the summer session. This made the Summer Daily the official organ of the summer session, and it was sent to all students enrolled for the summer, a part of the tuition fee being allocated for that purpose. A proposal that a subscription to the winter Daily be included in the tuition fee was rejected by the board in 1936, on the ground that such a move might tend to make the Daily more of a University organ, and thereby subject the administration to responsibility for what was said in the paper and reduce the responsibility resting on the student editors.
A committee on University publications of the Alumni Advisory Council held a meeting on May 7, 1932, at which it was pointed out that, whether the student editors liked it or not, the Daily was regarded by many as an official organ of the University. The committee advocated a somewhat stricter control by the faculty of the material included in the paper. As a result of the committee's recommendations, two alumni actively engaged in newspaper work were added to the Board in Control of Student Publications in the winter of 1933. The two men appointed to hold these positions were Lee A White of the Detroit News and Stuart Perry of the Adrian Daily Telegram.
In 1930 the board established scholarships for students who had worked for four semesters on any student publication and had during that time maintained a B average in their college work. At first these scholarships were for $100 apiece.
In the spring of 1932 Professor Louis A. Strauss was elected to take Professor Angell's place as chairman of the board. Professor Strauss retired from the chairmanship of the board after five years of service, at the end of the first semester of the year 1937-38, and was replaced by Professor William A. McLaughlin. In 1957 Professor John W. Reed was chairman, Maurice M. Rinkel was Business Secretary, Kenneth L. Chatters was Superintendent of Printing, and Werner J. Mattson was Office Manager.
At the time the board took over the management of the various publications, they were owned and operated by students, many of whom derived a considerable income from that source. For the first few years a policy was adopted of allowing the managing editors and business managers a percentage of the net Page 1906profits of the publication for the year. Later, a system of salaries was adopted, and a substantial number of salaried positions are provided on the various student publications.
It is the custom of the board to appoint the senior staffs of the various publications for the ensuing academic year at a meeting held in the spring. There is usually keen rivalry for these positions. The board considers all the information that it can obtain regarding the ability and capacity of the candidates, such as their experience on the publication, their college grades, the opinions of the outgoing senior staffs, the views of the candidates themselves regarding the problems involved in the positions, as shown by application petitions and personal interviews arranged by the different members of the board, and the promptness and efficiency of the candidates as shown by their records made on the publications and any other available data.