College of DuPage in Illinois ousts Cathy Stablein as faculty adviser to school's student newspaper, editors question move
Cathy Stablein has been the faculty adviser for the College of DuPage student newspaper, the Courier, since 1987.
But college administrators stripped that title from her duties as a journalism faculty member effective Wednesday at the community college in Glen Ellyn. They say Stablein needs more time to work on restructuring the school's journalism program.
Newspaper staffers, though, argue her removal smacks of punishment for the publication's sometimes critical coverage of the administration.
In a meeting May 26, Stablein says she was told by Liberal Arts Dean Daniel Lloyd and Dean of Student Affairs Sue Martin that she was being administratively removed as the paper's adviser.
Stablein said she and Sandy Fries, the only other journalism professor at COD, were directed to retool the journalism program, which officials have given “Critical Program Review” status due to declining enrollment.
Stablein said neither Lloyd nor Martin gave any indication her work on restructuring would be a temporary reassignment.
Vikaas Shanker, who was the paper's editor-in-chief this year, said he thinks the move is in response to stories that were critical of school officials. That includes editorials that questioned cuts to the college's athletic programs and an endorsement of two candidates for the board of trustees who were favored by faculty.
“We feel this is kind of one of many things they (administrators) do that shows that student input and involvement aren't very high on their list of priorities,” Shanker said.
College spokesman Joe Moore said there's no connection between the content of the paper's stories and the decision to change advisers.