The University of San Francisco is already feeling the pressure from the community to back off the sale of the college radio station, KUSF. There have been protests, rallies, and even the city's politicians are supporting the student body in its effort get its indie radio station back.
Now, some its own faculty is asking the university to reverse the sale. A committee with the San Francisco University Faculty Association, a union representing 300 faculty members and librarians, has signed off on a resolution, requesting that USF and the Federal Communications Commission cancel the sale of 90.3 FM, and give the community a chance to obtain the radio station itself.
Last week, angry faculty members showed up to a USFFA meeting, asking that the governing board pass a resolution opposing the sale of KUSF. It was approved, and today, members of the union will attend the Board of Supervisors hearing to show their support for the radio station, which was abruptly shutdown on Jan. 18. The university decided to sell 90.3 FM to a classical public radio network, which is starting a noncommercial classical music station in the Bay Area.
Without consulting the community, the university decided that shifting KUSF to an online only format would increase its listening base. However, music directors, had told SF Weekly that they were having trouble pulling listeners into the station, and as of last week, there were only 15 people tuning into KUSF online.
"They are hoping to put pressure on the FCC to reject the sale," said Elliot Neaman, a history professor and president of USFFA. "It will be difficult, nobody has any illusions about that, but they want to turn this ship around."
Last week, Gary McDonald, spokesman for the university, told SF Weekly, that it was not possible for USF to rescind the $3.75 million sale of KUSF, even if it wanted to. The fate of the radio station is now in the hands of the FCC, which is expected to review the transaction later this month.
"There's no backtracking for us at this point," McDonald told us. "You can't just decide you can't go through
with the contract you've signed. The FCC can undo the deal. USF can't