Don't make me take this off.

Dear Mr. Vice President,

I've been wearing this cap for more than four years. Please don’t make me take it off.

The magazine we started wasn’t Larry’s or Gerry’s or mine. It belongs to the faculty. They own it. So before you decide to kill it, please go around and talk to the dozens of scientists and scholars and artists who appeared in its pages. Go to their offices and research plots and studios and labs. Hang out. Learn to care about their work and what it means, not just what it pays. Care so much that you can make their mothers proud. Care so much that educators and donors and public officials and students all over the country open the magazine and say, “I had no idea they were doing all of this. I thought they were just a football school.”

You can’t fake it. You can’t just tally up your grants and trot out some bragging points and flood the Web with facts. People don’t care about facts if they don’t trust the people behind them. Tweeting and posting are great for a buzz, but the actual readers will hunger for meatier fare. For the resonant stories behind the research, go long.

And please do your readers a solid; stick with print.

Close the spreadsheet. Fill the position. Hire an editor you respect and can't scare. Push each other. Learn from each other. And keep the stories coming. Make us proud.

#Clemson #stories

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© 2016 by Neil Caudle