An article in yesterday’s Syracuse Post-Standard addresses FIRE’s recent case at Le Moyne College. Le Moyne was censured by College Media Advisers (CMA), a national association of newspaper advisers, for dismissing Alan Fischler as adviser from the student newspaper, the Dolphin. The Dolphin’s student staff has been on strike to protest Fischler’s dismissal all year.
Le Moyne spokesman Joe Della Posta told the Post-Standard that he was surprised to see Le Moyne on FIRE’s and the CMA’s websites, because “college officials were not contacted by either group for their side of the story.” But representatives from the CMA say that they spoke with Le Moyne’s Vice President for Student Development Shawn Ward prior to the censure, to see if the college was open to mediation about Fischler’s position as adviser. Ward reportedly communicated that the college was not open to such a possibility. CMA officials say that Ward even dissuaded the CMA from contacting Le Moyne’s president, saying it would have no effect.
And to turn the tables on Della Posta, Fischler says that the entirety of Le Moyne’s attempts to discuss any problems with him consisted of a single meeting with Dean of Arts and Sciences Linda Le Mura a year before his dismissal. If the administration’s main problem with the paper was that it had grammatical errors, then why did the college not make a greater effort to work with Fischler to solve the problems that it saw?
In short, Le Moyne acted rashly and heavy-handedly in dismissing Fischler, without entertaining the possibility of negotiation, and now Della Posta is crying over the fact that FIRE and the CMA didn’t have long heart-to-hearts with him before taking Le Moyne’s administrative abuses to the public.
We can understand Della Posta’s dismay that Le Moyne has once again graced FIRE’s website—last year Le Moyne dismissed student Scott McConnell from its education program because he wrote a paper supporting corporal punishment. Le Moyne defended its position even after FIRE exposed the situation and even after McConnell sued the college. McConnell won that lawsuit in an appeal, and is currently attending Le Moyne again.