Resolution Three 2006
Resolution Three: Censuring Ocean County College for Violating the Free Press Rights of Students, and Calling for Reinstatement of Prof. Karen Bosley as Adviser to the Student Newspaper
Moved: Barbara Reed, Rutgers.
Whereas, Karen Bosley has served with distinction as adviser to the Viking News, the student newspaper at Ocean County College, for more than 30 years, and,
Whereas, the Viking News has been a consistent winner of national and state awards for college journalism, with 24 national awards from the Society of Collegiate Journalists since and 42 awards from the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association over the same time period, and,
Whereas, College Media Advisers, the national organization of advisers to college newspapers and other student media, named Professor Bosley “Distinguished Newspaper Adviser for the Nation’s Two-Year Colleges” in 1978 and this year nominated her for it’s Hall of Fame, and,
Whereas, Professor Bosley started the first journalism program at a two?]year college in New Jersey at Ocean County College more than three decades ago and created most of the journalism courses currently taught at Ocean County College, and,
Whereas, the college’s Board of Trustees, at the urging of President Jon Larson, terminated Professor Bosley’s contract as adviser to the Viking News, effective in June of this year, and,
Whereas, the college administration has barred Professor Bosley from teaching any journalism classes during the coming academic year and reassigned her to teach only English classes, and,
Whereas detailed fact-finding reports completed earlier this year by two national journalism organizations, College Media Advisers and the Society of Professional Journalist, found that these actions by the administration were unjustified on administrative or pedagogical grounds, and,
Whereas, both fact-finding reports concluded that the administration’s action came after stories critical of or embarrassing to President Larson appeared in the Viking News and appeared, despite administration denials, to be aimed at intimidating the student editors and curtailing future reporting seen as critical of President Larson and the college administration, and,
Whereas, three student editors of the Viking News have sued the college for abridging their First Amendment rights as students and journalists by dismissing Professor Bosley and taking other actions to control the content of the campus newspaper and have asked the court to order her reinstatement, and,
Whereas, both College Media Advisers and the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, have all urged Ocean County College to immediately renew Professor Bosley’s contract as adviser to the Viking News and allow her to continue teaching the journalism courses she normally teaches, and
Whereas, a judge hearing this case has granted a temporary order restraining Ocean Community College from preventing Professor Bosley to act as adviser to the student newspaper, although her suspension from teaching journalism courses remains in effect.
Therefore, be it resolved that
- AEJMC censures President Jon Larson and the Trustees of Ocean County College for attempting to control the content and violate the First Amendment rights of student on their campus by unjustified retaliation against the faculty adviser to the student newspaper, and,
- AEJMC calls on the administration of Ocean County College to reinstate Professor Karen Bosley as adviser to the Viking News and to restore her normal journalism course load, and,
- AEJMC asks that the parties involved attempt to resolve their disputes in the interests of the students and their right to a free press, and,
And be it further resolved, that
- The Executive Board of AEJMC should sign this resolution and send it to the President of the Board of Trustees of Ocean County College, President Jon Larson, Professor Karen Bosley, the entire AEJMC membership, and to newspapers and other news media in New Jersey.
Offered to the business meeting of the annual convention of the Association for Education and Journalism and Mass Communication, Aug. 4, 2006.Print friendly