Student Editors at College of DuPage Continue Push for Faculty Adviser’s Reinstatement

Student staffers at an Illinois community college newspaper are continuing to speak out against the ouster of the paper’s longtime adviser.  At a board meeting Thursday, editors of The Courier at the College of DuPage implored school officials to reinstate Cathy Stablein as their faculty overseer.

As I previously posted, DuPage admins. abruptly removed Stablein from the adviser positon at the start of the month for the stated purpose of enabling her to concentrate more on the school’s flagging journalism program.  Current Courier editors and other critics were not convinced about this claim, calling the school’s decision instead a “sly attack on free speech and college media.”

In an email to college media advisers, Northern Star adviser Jim Killam at Northern Illinois University wrote: “Cathy has been removed from her advising position, with the official reason being the college wants her to spend more time revamping the college’s journalism program. She was told she doesn’t have time to do both (she disagrees). The suspected real reason for this action is that the paper has been doing reporting critical of administration and the school’s board of trustees, and that this is a first step toward eliminating the journalism program. . . . A temporary adviser was appointed this week and– you guessed it– it’s a PR person from the college.”

As one attendee at the recent board meeting stated, “When a state school removes an adviser and it doesn’t involve incompetence, unethical behavior or illegal activity, it falls under political motivation.”

According to The Chicago Daily Herald, the university is holding to its stance that the move was not motivated by content concerns or political machinations.  Instead, admins. argue it is in everyone’s best interests, allowing Stablein to concentrate solely on “breathing life into a journalism program currently at risk.”  A DuPage PR spokesman: “If the program is ultimately not found to be viable, then Ms. Stablein’s own employment at the college would be jeopardized.  We are attempting to avoid this by giving Ms. Stablein and her fellow journalism professors every opportunity to strengthen the program.”

An online petition against the decision was filed at the start of the month and now sports 480 signatures.  More recently, a DuPage faculty senate resolution was unanimously passed voicing “deep concern” over Stablein’s removal.

2 Responses to “Student Editors at College of DuPage Continue Push for Faculty Adviser’s Reinstatement”
  1. Brett says:

    The journalism program shortcomings have previously been addressed there is a new degree program that has been created a digital broadcasting degree. This t combines the motion picture tv with the journalism program to give students the chance to prepare to be mobile production journalists who can meet the demands of todays instant news world. Students will take classes in both print journalism and tv production. Meaning both programs at COD will receive a boost.

  2. JR says:

    You’re wrong Brett.

    Currently, the journalism program at COD is not aimed at providing a degree, it’s aimed at providing courses which transfer to a four-year journalism program. As history can attest to, the journalism program, THROUGH THE COURIER, has a big hand in producing fine journalists in the Chicago area.

    By focusing on making it a two-year degree oriented program or certificate-centered curriculum, you bastardize the program and limit graduates’ options when they come out of COD. Because there’s no way a four-year college of journalism would accept an associates degree in journalism or a certificate. It’s wasted money going to a useless program.

    And the new program you talk about isn’t a degree, the digital broadcasting program is a certificate…meaning you can’t compete with people with four-year degrees unless you have one already. Useless program.

    People aren’t stupid. They’ll see this and not enroll…leading to the journalism program being as pitiful as Harper College’s program.