UISG votes to give KRUI funding to replace equipment

UISG voted to provide funding for KRUI to replace their old and outdated equipment in a bill passed in the legislative session on Tuesday.


Michael Guhin

Shannon Mulligan speaks for KRUI at a meeting of UISG on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

The University of Iowa Student Government passed a bill allocating $156,179.02 to KRUI to replace outdated equipment on Tuesday.

The funding will go toward equipment replacement and installment, covering equipment for the main control booth, production room, news booth, rack room, I-studio control room, fiber link, and labor costs for the replacement.

Current and former employees of KRUI attended the meeting to support the organization and advocate for the funding. The employees shared their experience at KRUI and how that has helped them be successful after graduation.

KRUI asked UISG for funding to replace its equipment before it became outdated in 2015-16. UISG didn’t pass the legislation at that time.

“This giant cost wouldn’t have come to us if we had acted sooner,” Sen. Sara Bultsma said. “UISG hasn’t maintained a deferred maintenance fund high enough to support this kind of equipment replacement for the past few years. We also didn’t really listen to KRUI earlier when they came to us for help.”

Through the bill, UISG will pay half the funding — $78,089.51 — immediately. UISG will pay the other half of the funding from contingency at the start of fiscal 2020.

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“We also need new mic processors,” said Shannon Mulligan, KRUI operations manager. “We also need a digital board. We currently have an analog board, and it’s irreplaceable. We just can’t replace anything on it because it’s not being manufactured anymore.”

The biggest priority is the main recording studio, but KRUI has three studios total, which include news and sports studios, Mulligan said. The news and sports studios haven’t been in use because staff have taken equipment from them to replace equipment in the main studio.

Prior to the meeting, more than 200 people voiced their support for KRUI on Twitter and described how the organization has affected them over the years. Bultsma also received emails from two alumni voicing their support for the organization as a result of the tweets.

Sen. Oscar Rodriguez asked members of KRUI what skills and professional development opportunities the organization offers students that no other organization on campus does.

“Being part of KRUI and working with the sports staff has given me valuable experiences to get on air,” Miles Klotz, back-up sports director at KRUI, said. “When I’m doing a play-by-play broadcasting, there’s no class for that at this university.”

KRUI gave current Iowa Public Radio employee Emily Woodbury experience working a soundboard and operating software commonly used at professional radio stations, she said. Without KRUI, she wouldn’t have been able to have those experiences because the journalism school is more writing-based, she said.

“KRUI, even without this funding, will never cease to exist. We will stick to our mission the best that we can and continue our goal of creating an educational, laboratory, and creative outlet for University of Iowa students,” said J.T. Ward, KRUI assistant general manager.