ECU Says Adviser Firing Not First Amendment Issue

By January 10, 2012

East Carolina University says the firing of its adviser to the student-run newspaper is not connected to a First Amendment issue of the university interfering with editorial decisions of the paper.

Last week Paul Isom was fired nearly two months after The East Carolinian published an uncensored photo of a streaker at a football game. Isom said publishing the photo caused him to be let go as director of student media at the university.

A national group, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has called for Chancellor Steve Ballard to reinstate Isom, saying his firing violates the First Amendment.

But in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy says there are two separate issues. Hardy says those who are connecting Isom's dismissal with the First Amendment don't have full knowledge of the facts. "We ask all advocacy groups and the public to trust our internal process, which has been deliberate, correct and legal, as we move forward to address these two separate issues," Hardy said in the statement...

Schools: East Carolina University