Seeking editor-in-chief for JOIE

In early 2021, I was browsing the UMRA website when I saw a call for a new editor-in-chief of the Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays (JOIE), an open-access journal hosted online by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. I hadn’t spent much time viewing JOIE, so I took a longer look at it. I found a delightful mix of articles on topics ranging from intellectual to entertaining, informative to enlightening. With my previous experience in editing and writing (reports, correspondence, grant applications), I was excited by the opportunity to work with authors on their submissions to the eJournal.

Alongside a savvy editorial committee of five members, some of whom had been with the journal since its inception in 2013, I worked to revitalize JOIE. The JOIE homepage was updated, reviewing guidelines were established, and new methods of recruiting authors were implemented. This has been a labor of love for me. 

The Farmer-Labor Movement, cropped

Since 2021, we have added 14 articles to JOIE, and in April we posted our first video, an extraordinary documentary on the Farmer-Labor Movement in Minnesota by UMRA member and video producer Randy Croce. 

Recent articles include a tribute to the founding mother of women’s studies at the University, a selection of retirement stories, and a commentary on life in a politically divided country. These articles, and more, have added substantially to my own knowledge base and stimulated my interest in subjects I had not encountered previously.

Alas, a change in family needs has necessitated my retirement as editor-in-chief. I will step down on June 1 as leader and become a JOIE editorial committee member. I look forward to working with a new editor-in-chief who brings fresh ideas for further development of the journal.

If you have questions or are interested in volunteering for the editor-in-chief position, please email me at [email protected] or Ron Matross, chair of the UMRA Membership and Communication Committee, at [email protected].

—Kris Bettin, JOIE editor-in-chief



The election of UMRA officers and new board members for 2024–25 will be conducted via an online poll from May 13 to 19, with the results to be announced at our annual meeting on May 21. Look for the ballot in your email inbox on May 13. Diane Young has been nominated to be president-elect.