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A letter from an alumnus about Alumni Records' classifying alumni job categories

February 12, 2002

I apologize for the delay in returning this request for verification of my biographical information. It has been sitting on my desk for several weeks, waiting until I could find the time to respond and express my concerns.

I have for many years been disappointed that the university does not have a job classification to fit my profession. You have six categories under "law,", eight under "finance," and more under "government" than I want to bother to count.

But nowhere do I find "journalism" or "journalist."

It is, for your information, a distinct profession that has been around for a very long time. The founding fathers of our country certainly knew of it and in fact made mention of it and provided it with a special protection in our Bill of Rights. They may not have been too thrilled with it. But at the same time they made use of it, often using noms de plume, to the extent that many historians believe the Revolution might not have succeeded if the British had moved quickly to suppress the Press. There are professional schools that teach it, our great university has, I believe, two visiting professorships in it, and we have scores of alumni practicing it. I count several of them among my friends.

I believe recognition of this profession by the Office of Alumni Records is long overdue. Until then, I will have to be content with being employed by a B05 (Communications), which is a very broad category. I feel this is slightly better than a N09 (Other-Not for Profit) as I went from a B16 (Other for profit), CBS, to a N09, PBS, without changing my career at all.

For what I do I am content with being a 12 (Management/Administrator) which covers one of my hats butthen I shall insist on being in addition a 57 (Other) and be proud of it, since I really consider myself an 18(Radio/TV/Film/Theater), and a 16 (Printing/Publishing) as I've written also for print and our World Wide Web Site, and a 26 (Visual/Fine Arts), TV is seeing of course, and a 27 (Writing/Editing), plus a soupconof 33-37 (Faculty/Teaching) because this is public television after all, a pinch of 38-44 (Finance), a tasteof 53-67 (Technology), see all those Internet Bubble stories and, I must admit, a little 15 (PerformingArts).

Wouldn't it be easier to create a category for us journalists?

H. Scott Gurvey ’73
New York, N.Y.

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