College Media Adviser’s Board of Directors voted in August to censure Georgia’s Fort Valley State University and condemn its firing of its media adviser.
This is the first time CMA has censured a university under its Adviser Advocate Policy, which was adopted in 1998, according to a press release issued by CMA.
John Schmitt’s contract was not renewed in the spring of 1998 after he had worked for one year as an assistant professor of mass communications at the school. Schmitt also served as the adviser for the university’s student newspaper, The Peachite.
During Schmitt’s tenure as adviser, several stories critical of the university were published in The Peachite. One story alleged that Josephine Davis, the university’s vice president for academic affairs, engaged in questionable financial dealings in her former position at York College in New York. Another story suggested that campus security may have improperly treated the asthma attack of a student who later died.
Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the university claiming that his firing was an attempt to censor the newspaper.