Disclosure about The Lens and Loyola University

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The story about Loyola University President Kevin Wildes’ controversial tenure as chairman of the Civil Service Commission would normally carry a simple disclosure that The Lens is located on the campus of Loyola University.

However, that’s changing, and I believe we owe our readers a more complete explanation.

The Lens and Loyola signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012 that provided space within the School of Mass Communication for The Lens newsroom. In exchange, The Lens staff worked with students, professors and the campus newspaper in various capacities, for the benefit of all involved.

For example, a student’s freelance work for The Lens brought honors to the university when she won a national First Amendment award, and the presence of The Lens was cited in the School of Mass Communication’s application for national accreditation, which it received for the first time this year.

The Lens benefitted from free space, the energy provided by working with eager students and the general amenities offered by the campus.

The memorandum of understanding was for a pilot program to last two years, and it expires Dec. 30. The Lens began discussions of a renewal of the agreement last month, but we received no formal response from administrators.

Therefore, The Lens is leaving campus on Dec. 30. Our new home has yet to be secured, though we’ve got several promising leads for commercial rental space.

Also, the director of the School of Mass Communications, Sonya Duhe, served on the Board of Directors for The Lens for the past two years. She resigned her role as a Lens director as we prepared this story, citing the coverage of her superior as a conflict of interest.

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