SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A group of current and former California lawmakers sent a strong rebuke of the recent KHSU shutdown to the chancellor of the California State University system, Timothy P. White, along with a list of requests going forward.
California Senator for District 2 Mike McGuire, Assemblymember Jim Wood, Retired Senator Wes Chesbro and Retired Assemblymember Patty Berg denounced the surprise shutdown as "a slap in the face to Humboldt State University students, employees and the community at large."
The lawmakers formally requested the chancellor's office not make any further moves with KHSU until the new HSU administration has been installed, and that any future decisions be made with transparency and community input.
“Just last week KHSU concluded a successful community fundraising drive, where local businesses and residents put their priorities and names on the line to support the station and their award winning programing. The reckless manner and timing of HSU shutting down this amazing station could not have been worse and it’s time for the long-term decision making by a short-term administration to stop,” the letter says.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Chancellor White,
We are writing today out of grave concern for the way our local community radio station, KHSU, was shut down and abandoned by Humboldt State's executive leadership. The shutdown occurred on a Friday, with police on scene, and zero notice given to employees and volunteers who were terminated or to the thousands of listeners who depend on the station every single day. The way this went down was completely avoidable and a slap in the face to Humboldt County and the North Coast.
For generations, the people of Humboldt have relied on the dulcet voices of long-experienced local broadcasters and first-timers alike. Time and again our community rallied around this station to preserve its mission of being a community gathering grounds for diverse voices, debate and the latest news from across the North Coast.
Just last week KHSU concluded a successful community fundraising drive, where local businesses and residents put their priorities and names on the line to support the station and their award winning programing. The reckless manner and timing of HSU shutting down this amazing station could not have been worse and it’s time for the long-term decision making by a short-term administration to stop.
Major decisions made behind closed doors, and with zero transparency, simply do not work for this community. It hurts the credibility of the University and makes everyone’s job harder (especially the incoming President). There was absolutely no reason for this situation to unfold as it has and we want it to stop.
We are formally requesting your office take action on the following:
Do not make any further moves with KHSU until the new administration has been installed. Specifically, immediately cease any effort to abandon, sell, transfer, or contract out KHSU until the new administration has reviewed any and all plans. And the community must be involved in any future dialogue with the station. KHSU goes far beyond being a university asset and should not be evaluated and disposed of without community input.
Require that any further decisions by the next administration be made with community transparency and respect.
Transparency is the foundation of any successful government. If you lead with openness and respect, the community will be with you.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and we look forward to talking with you very soon about this important issue.
Mike McGuire, Senator 2nd District
Jim Wood, Assemblymember 2nd District
Wes Chesbro, Former Senator
Patty Berg, Former Assemblymember