“Despite impassioned pleas from her supporters, the Ocean County College board of trustees voted unanimously Monday not to reappoint Karen L. Bosley as faculty adviser to the student newspaper, a post she has held for 35 years. ‘Are you committed to free speech and free expression on this campus?’ William Kanouse, an associate professor of English supporting Bosley, asked the trustees following the vote. ‘Because there seems to be an element of retaliation in this decision.’ Kanouse and other teachers and students charged that Bosley’s termination at the Viking News was in response to the newspaper’s periodic criticism of college President Jon H. Larson and his administration’s policies. The administration flatly denied the accusation,” Joseph Picard reports for The Asbury Park Press. “Bosley, a tenured humanities professor, will continue to teach, although she also has been reassigned from teaching journalism courses.”

Picard reports, “The teachers and their supporters, on the other hand, had plenty to say. The board waived its privacy policy regarding personnel matters at the request of the four teachers, and each addressed the board prior to its vote on their contract. Bosley rebutted the two reasons she was given for not being renewed as newspaper adviser — that the paper contains too many errors and that student staff, because they use Macintosh computers, are not being prepared for the real world.”

“Bosley pointed to awards the Viking News has won from the New Jersey Press Association and the Society for Collegiate Journalists. She also quoted research showing that 75 percent of U.S. colleges use Macintoshes, and claimed that Viking News students do not lack technical expertise. She then strongly implied that neither errors nor technology were at the root of her removal. ‘I hope you will not allow yourselves to become part of a pattern of punishing students for what they publish,’ she said to the board,” Picard reports. “‘This is not a reflection on the work of the students at the newspaper, but on the supervision there,’ said trustee Stephan R. Leone, as he moved the vote on Bosley’s nonrenewal. Stoically and without further comment, board members voted her out.”

“Elizabeth Mitchell, mother of Patrick Mitchell and a teacher at the college since 1968, was the most blistering in her comments, claiming that Larson had her son dismissed to retaliate against her. ‘I’m furious. I’m indignant,’ said Mitchell, an English professor and outspoken critic of Larson. ‘They’ve harassed Karen Bosley, trying to force her to resign. Now they’ve taken away her position. And her only fault was her failure to make the Viking News into a house organ under Larson’s control.’ Mitchell said administrators were Larson’s puppets and the board his rubber stamp. Bosley, who will remain as newspaper adviser until June 2006, said she is exploring possible legal action against the college. ‘They have not heard the last from me on this,’ she said.”

Full article here.

[bold emphasis added by MacDailyNews]
Macintoshes dominate newsrooms around the world; appropriately so, since Apple brought desktop publishing to the world with the Mac. To not use a Mac for a student newspaper would be a fine example of not preparing your students for the real world. But, you don’t teach platforms, you teach concepts. Platforms change too rapidly (recent Windows excepted). Schools should use Macs, since they’re easier to maintain, virus-free, and just plain better quality hardware and software overall. Students will be as okay as they can be with whatever Mac operating system copy that Microsoft has on the market when they graduate. It’ll still be a disappointing step down to learn on Macs and be stuck with Windows in a cubicle, but they’ll know how to use a computer when it’s working just fine. That’s the point, right? The amount of ignorant people in the world, who are for some reason or another allowed to make decisions affecting others, sometimes boggles the mind.

Contact information:
Ocean County College President Jon H. Larson
jlarson@ocean.edu
(732) 255-0400 x330

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