The University of the Incarnate Word announced Friday that it will reinstate the library's print subscription to the New York Times after canceling it earlier this week to protest the publication of articles exposing the government's secret anti-terror program to monitor international banking transactions.
Dean of Library Services Mendell D. Morgan Jr., who gave the order to remove the newspaper, said in a hastily called news conference that he did not believe his decision to use the university library as a forum for personal protest was inappropriate, but did regret failing to consult library staffers.
"In retrospect, I made a personal decision perhaps in too great haste and did not seek other input," Morgan said, speaking in front of the university's library. "I wanted to send a message in protest."
Morgan e-mailed library staffers Wednesday announcing his decision to remove the newspaper and cancel the library's subscription. Library staffers protested, calling the decision censorship, and the subsequent publicity garnered national attention.
On Friday, Morgan stressed the New York Times still is available online and in several of the library's electronic databases. He said he again may cancel the print subscription, but not before engaging the university community in a discussion about the topic and reaching consensus.
"I do abhor censorship and its implications," he said.
But those who opposed Morgan's decision to remove the Times, including library staffers Jennifer Romo and Tom Rice, argued it was wrong to deny students access to the newspaper because of a personal disagreement with its coverage. Romo and Rice criticized the action publicly.
Morgan said he wished the staffers had voiced their concerns to him before going to the media, but said they would not be punished for their actions.