Thursday, December 15, 2005

Advising student newspapers is dangerous 

Because any time students do something controversial, it's the advisor that takes it in the shorts. At Ocean County College, an advisor who's been there for 35 years was not only removed from advising the campus paper but shifted to the English from the journalism program. From a Chronicle of HIgher Ed article (subscriber's link)
She said that she had started getting pressure to retire last year, after a number of articles in the Viking News criticized, among other things, the cost of the president's inauguration and his decision to change a college logo.

The friction came to a head last spring, when student editors met with the president about an article that criticized him for not consulting people on the campus about a controversial class-scheduling decision. [College President Larson denied that he had avoided consultation on the matter and demanded that the article be retracted. The editors, who did print a correction, came out of the meeting saying that they felt the president was trying to intimidate them, and they wrote an editorial saying so.
The fit hit the shan, so to speak, just about then. English professors signed a letter of protest, including an untenured faculty member and a tenured woman who's son was an untenured math professor. Both untenured people have been non-renewed for next year.

It's not at all uncommon -- take the case of Ronald Johnson at Kansas State, who was driven from his advisor position for failing to cover a conference on black student government, for example -- so you wonder whatever will happen to the advisors to the Minnesota Daily for letting this diatribe against conservative appear in their paper? (h/t: Duane Oyen.) I could Fisk this I suppose, but it's finals week and we in the MOB play in the league with the designated fisker rule. We use this beam to signal for the DF.