The board that oversees the three state universities approved a consultant’s recommendation Thursday that would bring the public radio stations owned by the schools under the guidance of one person. The proposal calls for hiring an executive director to oversee an executive council made of up representatives from the three schools that would run the three stations. The proposal is designed to get the stations to share resources and work together more. Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy supported the plan. He says the plan does afford the opportunity to improve listenership and the service to Iowans, it presents the opportunity to increase the private support for public radio. He says it also will allow the stations to be more efficient and create a financial savings for the three universities. University of Iowa President David Skorton says the consultants sought to answer one question. He says it asked if public radio, “does this critical public cultural outreach belong in the regents enterprise.” He says the answer is “a resounding yes”, and says the regents have a history iof being bold and courageous in supporting cultural activities, even in tough economic times. Skorton says a good example is the start up of the Writers Workshop in the midst of the depression in the 1930’s. University of Northern Iowa President Robert Koob also supported the proposal. He says he was particularily interested that this be done in a way that improves service to the people of Iowa. Koob says that emerged as the first principle in the proposal and he’s pleased that happened. Koob says he’s also interested in a part of the proposal that would seek to improve the public radio stations’ signal in western Iowa. He says by creating a central entity they’ll be able to proceed a more effective way by providing one voice among the three groups that lets them work with those in the western part of the state. Geoffroy says they could get the proposal going by early next year. He says the next step is to appoint an executive director, which he says would take a couple of months, and then convene the executive council and get to work on implementing the plan. The proposal is expected to eventually save the schools 300-thousand dollars.