July 01, 2006
And it's back

That was quick.

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.

"I just don't fully grasp what the word means, as this incident should make clear," he did not add.

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.

Awfully magnanimous of you there, old bean. Perhaps if you'd consulted your staff before issuing your edict, we wouldn't be having this whole discussion right now. I just hope that now that you have committed to actually discussing this with everyone who will be affected, you'll really listen to them and take their wishes and concerns into account. Otherwise, this is all just a waste of time.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 01, 2006 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

He comments that his STAFFERS will not be punished for going to the media? My first thought was why wasn't Morgan fired? Especially after he admits he made a decision for the University based on personal opinion? How totally unprofessional.

Posted by: muse on July 1, 2006 10:24 AM

"I do abhor censorship and its implications."

This is, as we say, a crock.

Posted by: Dennis on July 1, 2006 11:56 AM