Research Opportunity

Research Opportunity

A research study designed to examine attrition from the student affairs profession is underway. Current student affairs professionals are being asked to help identify potential participants by providing the research team with the names and contact information of former student affairs professionals who left the field within the past 10 years; no longer work for a college or university; or have left student affairs but work in another division of a university or college. These participants will be asked to complete a brief online survey. Your contact information will only be used for the purpose of this study.

If you or someone you know meets the criteria for this study, please provide the study team with the name, current e-mail address, phone number and mailing address. This information should be forwarded to:

Ute Lowery
South University

[email protected]

(The study is sponsored by a subcommittee of NASPA’s Center for Women)

Project 3R Ends after Three Successful Years

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) college students face different challenges today than in years past. Because of the passage of laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, those students are allowed to attend practically any school they want, with the right to equal communication access. That has resulted in a wide dispersion of students into schools that have never worked with the D/HH before. Often, conflicts will arise because the school has limited knowledge and experience in the area of deafness, and does not accommodate the D/HH student properly. This is also complicated by the fact that students aren’t always aware of their rights and options and how to negotiate effectively. The big question is, how can we educate both students and schools, and avoid those conflicts?

Project 3R (Role, Rights, and Responsibilities of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students) can answer that question! This project’s purpose is to develop a curriculum for educating and training college students to become leaders in the future and advocates for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Educating those students will result in a ripple effect, where each teacher and staff they come in contact with will learn something from the experience and be better prepared the next time they encounter a D/HH student. Project 3R recently completed the development of this curriculum, which is now ready for distribution. The curriculum includes two phases:

  • Phase I: This comprehensive training program covers topics ranging from legal issues, advocacy, effective writing, and problem solving. These topics are separated into a series of 11 modules, including pre and post tests, writing exercises, and informative readings. The students participating in the training will first complete the 11 modules online then undergo on-site training lasting two days. The on-site training provides them with an opportunity to discuss in depth the information included in the modules, and perform role playing exercises.
  • Phase II: After participating in the on-site training, the students will be ready to conduct a series of one-hour training sessions upon request at both their own institution and at other postsecondary institutions. Specialized materials are available for three different possible audiences: faculty, administrators, and students.

The curriculum was developed based on input from faculty, administrators, and students from around the country, along with feedback from hands-on testing. Fifty students, mostly from the “big three” – California State University, Northridge, Gallaudet University, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology participated in Phase I testing. They provided valuable input in how to improve the training of student leadersprogram. During Phase II, a number of those students went to a variety of postsecondary institutions to test the one-hour training sessions. One interesting observation made during Phase II was that faculty and administrators reacted enthusiastically to our students, and took advantage of the opportunity to get input directly from the students on how to resolve a variety of issues they’ve encountered with D/HH students.

The curriculum is available on paper, multimedia CD-ROM, and online. The paper copy and CD-ROM are available free of charge. To obtain your copy, contact us via email or phone and we’ll be more than happy to send you one!


Until December 16, 2005:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (866) 621-2933 (V/TTY)



After December 16, 2005:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (818) 677-2099 (V/TTY)


The 3R website has information specifically for faculty and administrators who are new to working with D/HH students. It includes a quick reference guide with a compendium of tips, strategies, and other relevant information. Go to our website at, and click on either the Faculty or the Administrator link.

The Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Project is a three year federal grant funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. The grant expires December 31, 2005. If you’re interested in finding out more about the 3R project, check out our website at or call (818) 677-2099 (V/TTY).

California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has the largest mainstream program for deaf and hard of hearing students in the western U.S. Over 32,000 students attend CSUN and more than 200 of them are deaf or hard of hearing. Founded in 1962, the National Center on Deafness has provided student services, outreach and research facilities to and for deaf and hard of hearing CSUN students successfully for over forty years. NCOD strives to help meet the educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing students by making all university programs and services fully accessible. For more information on NCOD, check or call (818) 677-2611 (V/TTY).

Project 3R would like to thank the following institutions for hosting training sessions and for their assistance and input: Camden County Community College (NJ), Johnson County Community College (KS), Los Angeles Pierce College (CA), Montgomery College (MD), Ohlone College (CA), Santa Rosa College (CA), The University of Minnesota, and Utah Valley State College.

When does a Collegiate Newspaper Adviser have First Amendment Rights?

Freedom of the press rights of student publications were established in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. For example, the Courts have made clear that the editorial content of student newspapers is protected by the First Amendment.Dickey v. Alabama (1967) established that the editor of the school newspaper could not be suspended for the content of an editorial criticizing the Governor of the State (Henrickson, 1999). Joyner v. Whiting (1973) set the precedent that that school official could not control the content of school newspapers unless the content falls under the narrow guidelines defining obscenity. Other decisions found that while an institution is not obligated to fund student publications, the school cannot withdraw funds because it objects to the editorial content of the student newspaper (Henrickson). As a result of these cases, public colleges and universities and some private institutions formed a separate and independent corporation for the campus newspaper and many of these student newspapers became financially self supporting entities. Usually these student publishing companies had an employee of the institution who served as the adviser to the editors of the student newspaper.

Since the establishment of incorporated student newspapers, there has been a paucity of case law on freedom of the press issues. The exception was a 1990’s case involving student fees and separation of church and state issues based on the Christian editorial content of a student publication. The Court ruled that if student fees were used to fund student publications, a publication with a content orientation as a Christian publication could not be denied funding (Henrickson; Rosenburger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 1992/1994).

In 2005 a new issue involving freedom of press and content emerged. This new case Lane v. Simon et al. (2005) concerns the issue of what rights under freedom of press an adviser to a student newspaper possess. The Kansas State University (KSU) had established a corporation, Student Publications Inc. (SPI), to finance and govern its student newspaper the Collegian. For the past 15 years Professor Rolland Johnson held a joint appointment as a tenured professor in the School of Journalism and a yearly renewable contract as Treasurer and Director of SPI. In his capacity as Director he served as the advisor to the editors of the Collegian. However, the student editors had complete and ultimate authority over the editorial content of the newspaper.

During the spring of 2004 some students became dissatisfied with the selection of news items covered by the Collegian. Specifically, some students claimed that the newspaper failed to adequately cover diversity and other campus issues. Meetings were held among administrators, faculty and students and a student protest demanded that Professor Johnson be removed from his position at SPI. The Chairman of the Board of SPI, without consulting the SPI Board members, sent a recommendation to the Dean of the College of Arts and Science that Mr. Johnson not be reappointed to his position at SPI. He based his recommendation on a “content analysis,” a research methodology used in the social sciences, to compare the breadth and quality of news coverage in the Collegian to six other institutions’ campus newspapers. He found that news content had fallen below standards set by both professional and campus newspapers; that sub par scope and quality of news coverage had been the case consistently over the past four years; the Collegian’s content was more like a general interest newspaper than a campus publication; and news story content had developed a culture of mediocrity when compared to other campus newspapers where the standards where much higher. He also noted that Johnson’s behavior when working with others was detrimental to SPI. The Dean by letter in May of 2004 notified Johnson that he would not be reappointed. The 2003-2004 Co-Editors of the Collegian and Johnson filed suit in the Federal District Court of Kansas claiming their First Amendment freedom of press rights had been violated. KSU filed a motion with the court asking that the case be dismissed.

The Lane court noted that “content analysis” is a social science technique typically used in mass communications with precision that “measures specific aspects and characteristics of media content.” The court noted:

In this instance, Simon compared the total bylined items, the number of news stories, the number of feature stories, the percentage of campus stories, the number of sources per story, the number of sports stories, the number of bylined opinion items, and the number of diversity items in six campus newspapers comparable to the Collegian (Lane v. Simon et al., 2005, p. 12).

The Court also noted that Johnson was dismissed because of his failure to be a role model and by fostering conflict among the newspaper staff.

The Court agreed with the University’s motion to dismiss the claim, reasoning that Professor Johnson had no control over the editorial content of the paper. Judge Robinson argued that the “content analysis” findings were a measure of the quality of the campus newspaper and not the content of specific articles in the paper. The removal of the Director of SPI did not violate the freedom of press rights of the editors of the Collegian since the editors maintained control over the editorial content of the paper. The court noted that the failure to consult the Board of SPI as outlined in its by-laws could yield a state claim by the editors. In addition, Johnson’s contract may have been breached. The court noted that such state claims were not under its jurisdiction.

Some legal scholars have raised serious questions about this decision, noting that the court’s “content analysis” position of the Collegian “had nothing to do with particular stories appearing” in the newspaper and was an error (Hoover, 2005). This could serve as the basis for an appeal of this decision. Such an argument would hinge on whether the analysis conformed to the appropriate procedure required in a content analysis. Normally this technique does not consider and comment on the content of specific stories but rather is a comparative measure of the quality and overall coverage of news item across several newspapers. If “content analysis”, as a research methodology, was conducted appropriately it is difficult to determine how such an analysis would affect the content of individual stories and editorials.

While some may argue that this case will not withstand the scrutiny of an appeal, there are some things that student affairs administrators can learn from this case:

  • Institutions and their administrators should not challenge the editorial content of student publications unless this content violates a narrowly prescribed definition of obscenity.
  • Where control of editorial content is specifically designated to the student publication editor(s), the faculty/staff adviser may not have access to claims under freedom of press.
  • Administrators need to strictly follow the proscribed procedures involved in the employment or removal of a director or adviser to a student group.
  • When student groups complain about the editorial content of student newspapers, administrators should facilitate dialogue between the parties rather than taking sides or commenting on the issue.
  • There is an attitude within the public both from the left and the right that universities are being taken over by ideologies that are intolerant of others’ views. Institutional officials need to continue to work toward a campus environment where there is a free exchange of ideas and where diversity of thought and intellectual debate is fostered, not stifled.

Issues such as this one get at the very crux of the purpose of higher education institutions, where students, faculty and staff have the freedom to inquire and investigate in search of understanding. In order to insure the freedom of inquiry, student affairs administrators need to achieve a balance between what is considered politically correct and the rights of the individual to inquire and debate freely. Promoting an environment that embraces First Amendment Rights and Academic Freedom should guide administrators in policy development and behavior.


  • Dickey v. Alabama, 273F. Sup. 613 (M.D. Ala. 1967).
  • Hendrickson, R. M. (1999) The Colleges, Their Constituencies and the Court (2nd Ed), Education Law Association, Dayton, OH, p. 189.
  • Hoover Eric, (2005) Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit by Former Newspaper Adviser at Kansas State University. The Chronicle of Higher Education: Today’s News
  • Joyner v. Whiting, 477 F.2d 456 (4th Cir. 1973).
  • Lane v. Simon et al., 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexus 11330 (D. Kan. 2005).
  • Rosenburger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia., 795 F. Supp. 176 (W.D. Va. 1992) aff’d. 18 F.3d 269(4th Cir. 1994).


As Annette Gibbs retires from the University of Virginia, and as a co-author of this column in Developments, I wanted to publicly thank her for her contributions to the column, ACPA, and the field of student affairs. Dr. Gibbs has mentored a significant number of professionals in the field including me. Like others, I have benefited from her knowledge, scholarship, intellectual capacity and integrity. I am sure those who have had the opportunity to work with her join me in wishing Annette the best as she moves to a new phase in her journey.

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From One Dupont Circle

Welcome back to the beginning of another exciting academic year on the thousands of campuses and virtual networks across the globe. Our more than 8,000 members are once again ready and eager to assist students with their learning objectives for the coming year.

Here in the nation’s capital, all has not been slow over the summer. Let me highlight a few important issues:

  • Congress is still debating the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Given the diversion of attention to the nomination of a new justice of the Supreme Court, it is not clear if the HEA will be a topic of consideration in the Senate. The House is schedule to bring it to the floor of the full House sometime in September. The Act…“Which provided to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance to students in postsecondary and higher education”
  • The NCAA Executive Committee banned 18 Colleges from holding postseason events unless they discard American Indian nicknames and mascots. This has been an issue of high school and college sports for many years. We applaud the action of the NCAA in support of dignity and respect of all peoples.
  • The Association of Governing Boards has issued their top ten public policy issues facing higher education for the coming year. You will find them listed later in this issue of Developments. These are the issues that should receive attention from Presidents and Governing Boards as they plan for the future.

The Association’s leadership remained focused on five major areas for this year:

  • The Certification Task Force continues to review the feasibility of developing a certification program for our profession.
  • The Governance Task Force continues to examine the current governing structure and recommending a more “nimble” structure to carry the Association into the next decade.
  • The Generation and Dissemination of Knowledge Core Council continues to strategize on improving research in the field.
  • The Professional Development Core Council and the Educational Leadership Foundation are looking at the multicultural competencies needed in our profession.
  • The State and International Divisions continue efforts to strengthen and expand our divisions throughout North America and beyond.

There are many other programs underway that are designed to enhance your learning and knowledge of the profession and the field of higher education around us. Please check the website periodically for updated and new information.

In addition, our Convention Planning teams for 2006 and 2007 are well underway for the next two annual conventions. The 2006 Convention Planning team, under the leadership of Boyd Yarbrough is doing an excellent job creating a wonderful professional development experience in NEW Indianapolis! The Summer Leadership Meeting 2005 was held in Indianapolis, and you are in store for a truly exciting experience. In addition to outstanding speakers and programs, a lot has changed in Indianapolis since our last convention ten years ago!

The 2007 Joint Meeting between ACPA and NASPA is also underway for their planning in Orlando, Florida. Jill Carnaghi (ACPA/NASPA) and Michael Segawa (NASPA/ACPA) are leading this “every decade” event. We are proud that our two associations will be celebrating this forty year old tradition (1977, 1987, 1997, and 2007). If you are interested in assisting with this monumental undertaking, please contact either Jill or Mike.

Our national office has several personnel changes and I would like to share those with you:

  • Peter Brown has been promoted from Assistant Executive Director to Associate Executive Director.
  • Rita Bowers has been hired to replace Drew Williams as Coordinator of Marketing and Public Relations.
  • Ron Campbell has been retained as Director of Corporate Relations.
  • Michael Hernandez has been hired to replace Ramanand Nukala as Coordinator of Web Development and Technical Services.
  • Shilo Lillis joined the office as Administrative Assistant.

I want to thank Anthony Kraft for serving as our talented undergraduate intern in the national office this past summer. Tony worked on a variety of research projects, primarily targeted at Senior Student Affairs Officers.

We hope you enjoy the new format of this publication and many thanks go to Richard Stevens as Editor for this progress. Thank you Richie!

Until next time,


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