March 29, 2013
The PCC Faculty Association (FA) was alarmed to learn that the PCC administration has seen fit to retaliate against the outstanding journalism of the students at the PCC Courier newspaper, by removing without notice, their faculty adviser, Professor Warren Swil. Mr. Swil’s tenure at the college has seen the development of a dynamic newspaper that has recently featured extensive coverage of the college’s managerial crisis.
The college has been in unprecedented turmoil for more than a year. Most recently, 92% of faculty responding to a poll expressed ‘No Confidence’ in the president of the college, Dr. Mark Rocha. This past fall, two similar surveys, one by the Faculty Association and one by the Academic Senate found strong negative opinions (80% and 76% respectively) of administrative decision making. The three separate statements of faculty dissatisfaction are unprecedented at the college.
In addition, the Associated Students Board unanimously approved separate ‘No Confidence’ and ‘Censure’ votes against the president which were presented to the Board of Trustees, March 13th. The Associated Students have never before made such extraordinary statements of concern.
In this context of faculty and student criticism of management, Professor Swil was removed from his position Thursday, March 28th. The FA will resolutely defend the freedom of expression for students and academic freedom for faculty. We cannot tolerate the stifling of dissent, especially as the college is in crisis. The Courier journalists have dared to speak truth to power and deserve our full support.
Professor Swil’s rights and academic stature will be defended as we move into what will likely be more turmoil in the weeks ahead.
We have been most heartened by the overwhelming support for Professor Swill that has already poured in from around the state. Many are seeing this attack on principled journalism as a dangerous threat to all.