Friday, January 06, 2006

Journal-Sentinel on Dental School Blogger Reduced Punishment

From the Journal-Sentinel, a good story on the fact that Dental School Dean William Lobb has reduced the punishment of the student blogger who made unkind remarks about an unnamed professor, and some unnamed fellow students on his blog.

The story broke right here yesterday.

Not only were we quoted at length, but Ryan Alexander of the 1832 blog told the paper:
“We thought the decision would have set a very dangerous precedent for all students, not just bloggers,” said Alexander, who often criticizes the Marquette administration on his blog. “If allowed to stand, we worried that the university would start punishing students for all kinds of comments made online — whether it’s a blog, message board, or instant messaging. We were wondering — where will it end?”
We tend to think that the threat to bloggers outside the Dental School is rather minimal. It’s now established that blogs such as 1832 and the GOP3 can freely comment and criticize the University, as well as specific individuals.

Student blogs such as Eminent Domain in the Law School and Agrestic in the Business School have been emphatic that they are not intimidated by any threats of University action. It seems that something particularly perverse in the administrative culture of the Dental School was at fault.

Still, one can’t dismiss Alexander’s concerns.

On the radio:

Jeff Wagner dealt with the issue yesterday, less than an hour after the story broke here. He viewed the most recent news as a positive development for Marquette, which he stressed, has endured a string of public relations fiascos during 2005.


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