University president halts new prior review policy after meeting with student editor

KANSAS — Newman University officials backed down Friday from a new policy of prior administrative review of the school’s student newspaper after a meeting between the school’s president and the paper’s editor.

After the meeting, President Aidan Dunleavy e-mailed a memo to students, staff and faculty at the Wichita school announcing the administration would not institute prior review.

"This is a real success story, the students have really stepped up to the plate…nobody thought that the administration would back down," said Nick Jungman, adviser of The Vantage.

Prior review became a topic of discussion at the beginning of the school year, after the newspaper was moved from the department of academic affairs to the department of student affairs, Jungman said.

Jungman resigned from his position as newspaper adviser Sept. 13 when Tom Corti, vice president of student affairs, told him that the newspaper could not be published without Corti’s approval.

"He definitely wanted to see it and that point was non-negotiable," Jungman said.

As a result of the meeting, Dunleavy moved the newspaper back to the department of academic affairs and called for the formation of a board to oversee the newspaper.

"While not without tension, the recent discussions regarding the operation of The Vantage have, by and large, been a good example of healthy discourse for a college campus," wrote Dunleavy in his memo.

Jungman said he thought the issue was resolved fairly and has decided to come back as the newspaper’s adviser.

"We aren’t against prior review by an adviser," said Editor Andrea Allen in an article in The Wichita Eagle, a local newspaper. "And we are completely for post-review. But we are very uncomfortable having our work up for prior review by a member of the administration, who we cover."

by Kim Peterson, SPLC staff writer