Although Quinnipiac Chronicle staff members cut all ties from the print edition last week, university administrators are moving full steam ahead with plans to change the structure of the student newspaper.
In line with a proposal approved by Quinnipiac President John Lahey to change the Chronicle editorial structure, administrators have employed Quinnipiac Business School junior Griffin McGrath as student publisher. Next year, McGrath will have full editorial and financial control of the print edition. They have also asked Quinnipiac deans to nominate any interested students to serve as the next editor in chief.
The actions follow a decision by current Chronicle editors to sever ties with the weekly print edition. This week, the editors formed an editorial board for next year’s online paper, The Quad News.
In an interview Wednesday, Quinnipiac’s Vice President for Public Relations Lynn Bushnell said administrators welcome the online initiative, which she does not think will detract from the quality of the Chronicle.
“There are other talented students who will step forward to continue the activities of the student club,” she added.
On Tuesday, Quinnipiac officials appointed McGrath as publisher, according to an online post by McGrath. That day, McGrath met with Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Manuel Carreiro. Although the agenda of the meeting was not posted, soon after, McGrath edited an online version of his resume to include the publisher position.
In a Wednesday e-mail, McGrath relayed comment to the Public Relations department “as it is the only area authorized to speak on behalf of the University.”
Bushnell said she thinks McGrath will make the Chronicle “an even more successful student newspaper.”
“I wish him well and hope other students will join him,” she said in a Wednesday statement.
Although administrators have found a publisher, they have yet to find an editor in chief.
Last week, Carreiro asked several school deans to compile a list of interested students, according to an e-mail written by School of Communications Dean David Donnelly and obtained by the News. The e-mail — sent to his students — highlighted the position’s responsibilities and said that he wanted to nominate “several qualified students.”
“You will have the opportunity to garner highly marketable leadership and management abilities, tackling challenges to the real world realities of professional journalism,” Donnelly wrote.
According to the e-mail, Donnelly set a Tuesday deadline to seek students for nomination.
On Wednesday, Donnelly relayed comment to Bushnell. When asked about the candidate list, Bushnell said “it’s too early to answer.”
The conflict between the school’s administration and the newspaper began when the Chronicle published an article about two student arrests. The Connecticut Post soon contacted Lahey, who was unaware of the arrest at the time.
Almost immediately after, school officials created a Web publications policy, which banned online editorial content that did not appear in print.
After a back-and-forth battle between Chronicle editors and administrators, three high-level administrators formed a Media Task Force to propose changes to the newspaper. Two weeks ago, Lahey approved the task force’s proposal — which removed the Web publications policy, created a publisher position and set up a temporary publishing board of administrators and student body president — but he added a statute: Administrators will also create a list of student candidates and select from that list an editor in chief.
In response, Chronicle staffers withdrew applications to work on the newspaper next year and met last week to begin planning for the creation an independent online version.
At this point, they have reserved quadnews.com and selected an editorial board. Former Chronicle Editor in Chief Jason Braff will become The Quad News’ first editor next year, according to a Tuesday Chronicle press release.
Braff said Tuesday night that the editorial board will select a business manager this week to head funding initiatives for the online newspaper.
There is currently no faculty advisor position for The Quad News, editors said. Yet Diaz said on Tuesday night that she has been serving as a consultant for online newspaper.
But “it’s really the students’ operation,” stressed Diaz, who added that she does not want to serve as Chronicle faculty adviser again.
In a statement, Bushnell said the administration had no qualms about the initiative.
“We always encourage our journalism students to look for opportunities to hone their reporting and writing skills,” she said.
Braff said he hopes the Web site will be live by next semester.