WSU To Restore Common Reading Program!

It's so nice to see that sometimes a little bit of activism works. Shortly after posting last night's blog In Defense of Michael Pollan, I received this (form) letter from Elson S. Floyd, President of WSU. Nice job! Here's the letter:

Thank you for writing to express your concerns. Censorship and academic freedom were never the issues since the faculty were always free to use the work in fooddemocracynow2their classes as they saw fit.  You will be pleased to know that today a generous offer was made by a private donor WSU alumnus and former Regent Bill Marler - to cover the $40,000-$60,000 costs associated with continuing the common reading program this year, and I have accepted his offer.

The books will be distributed at the "Alive" summer orientation sessions this summer, and the program will go forward with the assistance of the private funding. wsuThe decision to change the distribution of the books was made due to the severe financial constraints associated with a $54 million biennial state budget cut.

This drastic funding reduction has forced us to significantly reduce expenditures, staff positions, academic departments and extracurricular programs, including the common reading program. It is unfortunate that state funding cannot support business as usual at WSU. No one would like to see previous funding levels restored more than I, and we all look forward to more prosperous times.

I appreciate not only your concerns but also your understanding as we navigate this university through an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions. Sincerely, Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. President Washington State University