Journalism professor Bob Radziewicz has advised The Miami Hurricane staff for seven years, but on April 1, we found out that this year would be his last at UM.
Radziewicz, a former editor of The Miami Herald, was hired by the School of Communication (SoC) specifically to fill the role of The Miami Hurricane’s faculty adviser. Now, he is being laid off from his unique position because the SoC is making changes in budgetary allocations.
We acknowledge that SoC Dean Gregory Shepherd has the authority to make these decisions, but we disagree with the way that the SoC went about doing so.
We weren’t informed until the end of the semester that our faculty adviser was being taken away. On top of that, we’ve been assigned a new one without having any say.
In response, current staff members and alumni of the student newspaper have appealed to President Donna E. Shalala and Dean Shepherd – but to no avail.
We have been asked by the SoC administration, as student leaders, to demonstrate our support during the school’s transition period. But we feel that it is the responsibility of leaders to speak out when they think something is wrong.
When international studies (INS) adviser Steve Ralph was let go by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in the fall, INS students and faculty were up in arms.
Ralph’s position was eliminated as a result of efforts to centralize CAS advising, much like Radziewicz’s situation.
If these faculty and staff members were not doing an exceptional job in their roles at the university, there would not have been backlash. The overwhelming support for Ralph and now Radziewicz is proof that CAS and SoC have not made wise decisions.
When schools or colleges plan to make drastic structural changes within their departments, the respective administrations should consult a council of students who will be affected.
We know what it takes to be the adviser of this student media outlet – weekly meetings with student editors, a willingness to answer the phone at all hours and unyielding dedication to molding future media professionals.
The next time a pivotal adviser – or any other faculty member – is under consideration for being dismissed, students should be able to offer some advice of their own.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.