Two national organizations have publicly criticized Le Moyne College for planning to replace the adviser of its student newspaper, The Dolphin, against the wishes of the student staff.
The two groups are the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, and the College Media Advisers, which serves faculty and staff advisers to college media.
College officials in November told Alan Fischler, a tenured English professor who lives in Fayetteville, that they did not intend to renew his contract for the advisory position for the fall 2006 semester.
Officials told him the newspaper looked unprofessional because of grammatical and typographical errors. Fischler, the adviser for about 10 years, said at the time that those mistakes were part of the learning process.
In November, the student staff stopped publishing in protest of Fischler’s removal. Fischler chose not to finish out the year as newspaper adviser.
Joe Della Posta, a Le Moyne spokesman, said college officials were not contacted by either group for their side of the story.
“We were surprised to be on both their Web sites,” he said.
The FIRE group refers on its Web site (www.the- fire.org) to a column Fischler wrote in The Dolphin that was critical of the college. Della Posta said the statement incorrectly indicates the column influenced the college’s decision not to renew Fischler’s contract, he said.
The College Media Advisers group said in a statement that its censure of Le Moyne “serves as a warning to potential faculty and, by extension, to students that Le Moyne fails to value the exercise of free speech and the value of a free press on the college campus.”
The statement by CMA (www.collegemedia.org/) contained several suggestions for Le Moyne administrators, including reinstating Fischler as the newspaper’s adviser and that the college provide training and conference travel money for the newspaper staff.
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