[COMM-ORG] The final COMM-ORG message

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Fri Jun 5 16:07:59 CDT 2015

Dear friends, colleagues, and everyone else,

This is the final COMM-ORG list-serv message. By the end of this month,
I will shut down the list software and delete the list contents. 

Those of you who have been following events in Wisconsin know that the
strong tenure protection that university faculty have enjoyed, and thus
the academic freedom protecting free inquiry that comes with it, are
ending.  That by itself, of course, is not enough to make me stop the
list.  I will admit, however, that from a risk-benefit analysis, I
currently see almost no benefit and growing risk.  The list has been
reduced to pleas for money and phone calls.  The intellectual content,
which is how I have historically defended the list (and I don't just
mean intellectual content provided by academics but also by organizers
and leaders), is now almost entirely absent.  But the broader issue is
that the list simply doesn't add any value. It's not connecting people;
it's not exploring issues; it's not advancing the craft.  Whether that
is the weakness of community organizing today or the weakness of
academia or the weakness of me I don't know.  It's simply clear I have
not found a way to keep the energy and the intellectual content going. 
It is time.

The good news is that, since nearly all the list traffic has been
stranger-to-stranger e-mail blasts, you can just subscribe directly to
those lists and you won't miss anything.  That is what I am doing.

I plan to continue maintaining the website, and I will keep the papers
collection up for as long as I am able.  If need be, I will move the
papers collection to a corporate-sponsored site, much as I don't want to
do that.  Those papers are just too good to have them disappear.

I would love to regale you with a hearty retrospective on the history of
COMM-ORG in this closing, but  recent events have also redirected my
time and tasks.

All Good Things...

Randy Stoecker
moderator/editor, COMM-ORG
rstoecker at wisc.edu

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