Saturday, September 22, 2007

J-Department Chairman

If this is really about poor management of the department, the timing really stinks. If not, it's a great First Amendment case.

Long Beach university removes journalism chairman

The Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif.—The chairman of the journalism department at California State University, Long Beach, lost his position after criticizing a plan to end print editions of the campus newspaper.

William Babcock was removed from the post he has held since 2001 because of "ineffective" leadership, Gerry Riposa, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, told journalism faculty on Friday.

The department lacks accreditation and has been unable to meet its budget, university spokeswoman Toni Beron said.

The student newspaper, the Daily Forty-Niner, has been running in the red. Riposa has sought a feasibility study of a cost-saving proposal to eliminate the print newspaper while retaining the online edition.

Babcock published an article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Sept. 15 that criticized the idea.

After the faculty meeting, Babcock said enrollment and faculty scholarship have increased under his tenure.

"At no time has Gerry Riposa ever indicated to me that my leadership has in any way been ineffective," Babcock said.

Babcock remains at the school as a tenured professor. Associate Professor Raul Reis was named department chairman until faculty elections to fill the post are held next spring.

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