The Northfield News has a story in today’s paper titled WCAL controversy continues at St. Olaf: Attorney General rules college had no right to sell:
SaveWCAL, the group formed in August of 2004 to fight the sale, argued from the beginning that St. Olaf acted wrongly when it agreed to sell the beloved listener-supported station. The station should have been recognized as a charitable trust, members of the group said. Donations to WCAL by listeners were merely held by the college. St. Olaf had no right to sell the station without donor’s permission, they said.
On Wednesday, the state Attorney General’s office agreed with SaveWCAL. It declared WCAL a charitable trust. Michael Cunningham, St. Olaf’s attorney, and attorney Michael McNabb of SaveWCAL have until July 9 to respond to the Attorney General’s ruling. Depending on St. Olaf’s response, the case may be reviewed again by the Attorney General’s office, then turned over to Judge Gerald Wolf by July 17. The sale of WCAL could be declared void, McNabb said, which would be a major victory for SaveWCAL which has hoped for three years to reinstate what it sees as its members’ radio station.
Last week, City Pages ran a feature story titled WCAL: A Trust Betrayed: Alumni are cutting St. Olaf out of their wills in protest of the decision to sell WCAL. (Cynthia Child blogged the CP story on N.org.) There’s no mention of the CP story nor the Attorney General’s decision on the St. Olaf News web site.
The SaveWCAL weblog reports that St. Olaf, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Howard Hong…
“…is very concerned that a future administration might sell the highly valuable rare book collection in the Kierkegaard Library (the largest in the world and assessed in the millions of dollars), and then argue that since the Kierkegaard Library no longer exists, that the college be permitted to use the funds in the Kierkegaard Library endowment (and its sub-accounts) for purposes other than what the donors requested.”
Update 6/29: I’ve changed the headline of the blog post from “rules in favor of” to “agrees with” since only the court can ‘rule.’