Late yesterday, Valdosta State University (VSU) President Ronald M. Zaccari announced that he will be retiring in June 2008, at the end of the 2007-2008 academic year, rather than December 2008, as originally planned. Zaccari’s early retirement comes at a time when both Zaccari and VSU are under increasing fire for the unconstitutional expulsion of former VSU student T. Hayden Barnes. Zaccari played a central role in Barnes’ expulsion for peacefully protesting Zaccari’s plans to spend $30 million of mandatory student fees to construct two parking garages on campus, personally ordering Barnes to be “administratively withdrawn” from campus. Zaccari claimed that Barnes presented a “clear and present danger” to both Zaccari and the VSU campus on the basis of a cut-and-paste collage Barnes had posted on his personal page on popular social networking site Facebook.com. With FIRE’s help, Barnes is appealing Zaccari’s blatantly unconstitutional actions. A hearing before Georgia’s Office of State Administrative Hearings is scheduled for November 26, 2007.
FIRE submitted a formal comment to the Florida Board of Governors on a proposed regulation that requires tenured faculty at Florida’s public universities to undergo a comprehensive post-tenure review every five years.