Monday, March 19, 2012

Federal Judge Orders School to Reinstate College Paper Faculty Advisor

Chicago State University
Chicago State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer last week ordered Chicago State University ("CSU") to reinstate Gerian Steven Moore as faculty advisor to the Tempo, CSU's student paper.

In her 40-page decision in Gerian Steven Moore & George Providence II v. Wayne Watson, President of Chicago State University, et al. (Case No. 1:09-cv-00701), Judge Pallmeyer did not award Moore monetary damages, but required the college to restore Moore, CSU's former executive director for communications, to his post for at least one year and to delete any negative material in his personnel file concerning his dismissal in 2008.

According to a Chicago Tribune article, Moore, who joined the public university in 2007, was terminated a year later by then-interim president Frank Pogue, shortly after a Tempo article questioned how a student-run fashion show was paid for. Although the CSU administration and the Tempo had a bumpy relationship, the school claimed Moore was ousted because the press releases he drafted were of low caliber.

Moore and former Tempo editor-in-chief George Providence II sued the college in 2009 for allegedly infringing on the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights and allegedly violating Illinois's College Campus Press Act [110 ILCS 13 (2007)], which protects students attending public colleges and universities against administration censorship.

According to the Tribune report, CSU will comply with Judge Pallmeyer's decision, which it considers a victory because no monetary judgment was imposed.
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