Board for Student Publications (University of Michigan) Records

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Board for Student Publications (University of Michigan) records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Board for Student Publications (University of Michigan) record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

The Board for Student Publications was founded in 1903, as the Board in Control of the Michigan Daily, with the authority over all operation s of the Michigan Daily, including content and editorial issues. Its authority was extended to all student publications in 1908, and its name changed to The Board in Control of Student Publications. In 1969, the Board name was changed to the Board for Student Publications. It retained financial control over student publications, but only serves in an advisory capacity on editorial issues. The records mostly consist of the Board’s minutes, and also include correspondence of board chairmen, materials pertaining to various student publications, financial materials, U-M directories, and blueprints and drawings of the Student Publications Building during its various renovations. The collection also contains numerous photographs, digital, and audiovisual materials focusing on alumni, staff, and events.

The Board for Student Publications, initially entitled the Board in Control of the Michigan Daily, was established June 2, 1903, by the University of Michigan Senate. The Senate adopted the recommendation proposed by Professor Volney M. Spaulding, who reported on behalf of a special committee on non-athletic student organizations, that a board be established to regulate the Michigan Daily, the student newspaper. The Board was to be an agent of the Board of Regents. It was authorized to acquire the stock and property of the paper and was given full control of all questions pertaining to the paper, subject to Senate regulations. The Board consisted of seven members, four from the Senate and three from the student body. The four Senate members of the first board were Fred N. Scott, chair, Allen S. Whitney, Alfred H. Lloyd, and Frank L. Sage.

On November 24, 1908, the University Senate changed the name of the Board to the Board in Control of Student Publications. Its jurisdiction extended to cover all periodical publications edited by members of the University of Michigan student body (with the exception of the Michiganensian for the school year 1908-1909). The Board was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1919. In 1922, the Board appointed a committee to consider plans for a new publications building. The plans were approved in 1930. The new building, the Student Publications Building, contained office space for all the student publications but only had facilities to print the Michigan Daily, as it was felt that the printing of the other publications could be done more efficiently through contracts with commercial printers.

A committee on university publications of the Alumni Advisory Council held a meeting in May 1932 at which it was pointed out that the Michigan Daily was regarded by many as an official organ of the university. The committee advocated somewhat stricter control of the material printed in the paper. As a result, two alumni actively engaged in newspaper work were added to the board in 1933: Lee A. White of the Detroit News and Stuart Perry of the Adrian Daily Telegram.

At that time the Board took over the management of the various publications that were owned and operated by students. A policy of allowing the managing editors and business managers a percentage of the net profits of the publication for each year was eventually replaced by a system of salaries. Each year the Board appointed the senior staff of the various student publications for the ensuing academic year. In doing so, members of the Board considered experience on the publication staff, college grades, and views of the candidates regarding the challenges involved with the position. In recent years, responsibility for choosing senior staff has been placed entirely in the hands of students.

In 1969, the authority of the Board, and the name, were changed. In 1992 the Board formed a Co-chair position to assist the Board Chair. The Board is now called the Board for Student Publications. It continues to retain overall financial responsibility for the publications, but now only serves in an advisory capacity on editorial questions. In 1992 the Board changed their organization, and decided to have a chair and a co-chair.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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