Chicago State University has quickly reversed its decision to ban its faculty and staff from speaking with the media -- a policy which could have led to termination if violated.
The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that the university instructed its faculty and staff that any form of media community -- including via social media -- must be approved by the school's public relations division. The school, in response to the Tribune's inquiry, said the policy is currently under review.
Later Friday, however, university officials told the paper the policy "had not received proper review and approval through legal counsel prior to being distributed" and was being withdrawn.
Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, told the Tribune that the policy is "an obscenity and absurdity and is not tolerable."
The publicly funded South Side campus has been no stranger to controversy in recent years. The Better Government Association reported last month that, in 2009, Chicago State University President Wayne Watson banked as much as $800,000 in compensation when he left the position of City Colleges Chancellor. Watson is also reportedly collecting a $140,000 annual pension from City Colleges in addition to his $250,000 salary, plus perks, at Chicago State.
The school has also come under fire, and risked losing its accreditation, due to allegedly allowing failing students to continue to enroll in order to help boost its troubling enrollment and retention rates.
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