Monday, September 29, 2014

C. J. Huff responds to PSU logo controversy: We'll take money from anybody

In his latest blog post, Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff responds to the furor that took place after the posting last week on social media of a goal post at Jnnge Field with a Pittsburg State University logo on it.

Schools across the country are constantly challenged with coming up with new and creative ways to expand programming and support for students. In an era when state and federal dollars are reduced, withheld, and redistributed, finding new revenue sources is a necessity.

Not unlike colleges, universities, and private schools, public schools are beginning to wade into the world of marketing and advertising to secure new funding streams. At Joplin Schools, the Board of Education has taken steps to move forward into this world by aligning policy and establishing protocol for the sale of advertisement and naming rights on school campuses. Particularly at the new Joplin High School, it’s athletic complexes, and Franklin Technology Center. 

The idea of advertising on school property is not a new concept. For decades, banners have been hung from football stadiums, inside basketball arenas, and on the outfield fences of baseball and softball fields. Corporate sponsorships of teams and student organizations have also not been unusual. Like most school districts, we’ve done it for years. Just not in a structured, well organized, and intentional way.

One of the things I am most proud of is the fact that in Joplin Schools we don’t believe we exist in a vacuum. Joplin is a regional hub and depends on the surrounding region to support our community. Smart initiatives such as the Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative and Bright Futures look for ways to engage the resources in the four state area to build bridges, instead of walls, between communities and across state lines. No small task, but a necessary and important effort in this time where resources are limited and collaboration is a must for progress and prosperity. 

For the last seven years, we have been building partnerships regionally between Joplin Schools and human service agencies, other school districts, colleges and universities, faith-based organizations, businesses, and industry. They are all partners in our on-going efforts to provide ample opportunities to support our children’s education. Today it is not uncommon for competing businesses and other organizations to set at the same table and problem solve together.

A great example of this effort in action was the recent collaboration between Missouri Southern State University, Crowder College, Franklin Technology Center and Joplin Schools. Because of these partnerships we are now able to offer more advanced certifications, dual credit, advanced placement courses, and the opportunity for high school students to earn an associate’s degree at the same time they earn a high school diploma. I challenge you to try and find another high school in the country that has such a menu of high quality programming opportunities for students. Operation College Bound is another great example. Northeast Oklahoma State, Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University, University of Arkansas, Crowder College, and Missouri Southern State University work with us by supporting this great program for our elementary students as they begin thinking about life after high school. 

So don’t be surprised if you come to a game, music performance, or some other special event and find it is sponsored by an organization inside or outside of our community. The world is bigger than Joplin and we rely heavily on the support of many organizations across our region to support the work of our students. Allowing advertising on our campuses provides an opportunity for those partners to visually demonstrate their support of Joplin Schools, while at the same time providing new resources to support programming that supports our children. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership. 

If you have additional questions about sponsorships or naming rights, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to provide you with further information.

Until next time,


Anonymous said...

In other words, I'm begging anyone to help get me out of the money pit I've dug. I'll sell my soul to the devil to keep the auditors off my a**!!

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen, I have respectfully sold naming rights to my bowel movements. Henceforth, I will be excusing myself periodically so I may go take a "CJ". Thank you.

Anonymous said...

These businesses are not "visually demonstrating their support of Joplin Schools." If they were truly benevolent donors, they would not require their logos and such to be aimed at a young, impressionable, captive audience.

Frank Lutz, the linguistuc genius behind "climate change, gottcha journalism," and a plethora of other midleading euphamistic pseudonyms would be proud of you CJ.

The dumbest people in the world truly believe that everyone else is stupid. You and your gang repeatedly express your contempt for the intellect of this community.