Update: Fight to reinstate former adviser to The East Carolinian heats up

By January 9, 2012

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The fight to get the ECU student run newspaper's student adviser his job back is heating up.

Last week, East Carolina University officials dismissed Paul Isom from the job he's had since 2008.

ECU would not comment further stating that it was a personnel issue.

Isom says it's due to the publishing of the full frontal nude pictures of a streaker at an ECU football game.

According to the Student Press Law Center, a public institution's student adviser cannot tell the editors of the paper what to and what not to publish if what they are publishing is legal.

The Foundation for Individual Right's in Education (FIRE) has contacted ECU on Isom's behalf and would like them to reinstate him.

They say if ECU fired Isom due to the pictures being published violates the First Amendment.

They university says they're working on a response to the letter from FIRE and could release it sometime later today.

You can read FIRE's entire letter here:

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Many of you remember the full-frontal naked pictures of the ECU football streaker printed and published online by The East Carolinian, which is the ecu student run newspaper.

Almost two months to the day, the paper's faculty student adviser was let go.

And his dismissal has many people crying foul.

Journalism is about finding the truth and at times pressing the envelope to do that.

College is where you can tip-toe that line and make mistakes while with less of a consequence than had it happened in the real world.

But that might not be the case here.

"Personally I was stunned," said Dr. Cindy Elmore, ECU Journalism Professor.

Paul Isom's dismissal from East Carolina University was the talk of the journalism department.

On his facebook page, Isom said he was fired and that the published streaker photos started that process.

"Being a personnel decision, I don't know everything that went into it, but it certainly seems aimed at intimidation, punishment over the streaker photos and maybe other things that have been in the student newspaper," said Elmore.

For their part, the university released a statement confirming Isom's release and avoiding any further comment.

That lack of comment fueled the speculation.

"I think it is an unfortunate situation.  Paul is a wonderful person. I think he was in a difficult position apparently caught between the administration and the legalities of advising a student newspaper," said Dr. Brian Massey, ECU Journalism Professor...

Schools: East Carolina University