University Station Alliance

Linking public broadcasting stations and their university partners since 2001

University Tenets of Public Radio Station Ownership and Operation

Mission and Planning

The university* recognizes that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses the station to serve the community’s interests and needs on a daily basis.

The station’s staff, board, university licensee, financial resources, and activities are focused around a clear sense of mission.

The station’s programs, underwriting, fundraising, and other services effectively advance its public service mission and that of its university licensee.

The station and university licensee demonstrate current and appropriate evidence of planning.


Fundraising provides a means for listeners, underwriters, major donors and grant providers to become involved and to express their support of public radio.

The integrity of the station membership data base should be protected.  The station is bound by law to safeguard its membership data base and adhere to restrictive sharing guidelines.

Fundraising practices should adhere to nationally accepted professional standards

Fundraising provides revenue for identified needs and advances the mission of public radio.

Finance and Regulation

The station follows generally accepted accounting procedures and complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and Federal Communications Commission requirements.

Resources are developed, managed, and allocated in a manner that advances the station’s mission and sustains its financial viability.

Human Resources

 As mandated by FCC regulations and in accordance with university policies, each university-licensee must control the selection of on-air talent and program content. This control is normally delegated to station management and professional staff.   Accordingly, if students and/or volunteers participate in the station’s operations, the station management and professional staff must be in a position of review and control of their work.

The station’s staff and volunteers have the appropriate education, training, experience, and support to accomplish their work.

  • Staffing should be adequate to meet work expectations and needs.
  • Responsibilities and reporting lines should be clearly defined and understood.
Programming and Public Service

With the FCC requirement that the station serve the community, the station automatically expands the university’s outreach and connection with the community daily.

Public service and programs extend the station’s capacity to provide quality life-long learning experience for the community.

There are firewall issues related to the news department.  The independence of the station’s news department should not be compromised.  The integrity of the station will reflect positively upon the university if it is seen as fair and impartial.

Continuous evaluation ensures the relevancy and viability of all program offerings.

University Reporting Structure

The governance structure and processes effectively advance the station’s mission.

The university and station administrations should have a clear and shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities and a commitment to the mission of the station and university.

*University – is a generic title that also includes colleges, school systems, and state agencies.