After the jump, yet another outraged letter about the Zach Fox affair — this one from Dane, a.k.a. dcl, to Peter Starr, Dean of the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Dear Dean Starr,
In years past, I have regrettably not been able to contribute to the USC Annual Fund; however, this year is different. This year, though I am able and would like to help make USC a better place, I fear that my contribution would fail in achieving these goalsÃ¢â‚¬â€œso I must respectfully decline your fundraising request.
It was with great dismay and sadness that I learned yesterday the degree to which Dr. Michael L. Jackson, Vice President for Student Affairs, has interjected himself into the operations of the independent Daily Trojan. I regret that I cannot donate to a University that treats its students and the principles of journalistic integrity in such an impudent and perfunctory manner.
I recognize that there are usually two sides to every story, but it seems unconscionable that the VP of Student Affairs would unilaterally dismiss the duly elected Editor-in-Chief of one of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best student run newspapers and not even deign to give a sensible explanation to anyone. The way this situation has been handled and the issues surrounding Student AffairsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ handling of the DTÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s budget give a very strong appearance of impropriety and malfeasance. In the absence of any competing explanation for what is going on from the University of Southern California I must conclude the worstÃ¢â‚¬â€œthat Mr. Fox is being pushed out because Dr. Jackson does not want to give him control of his own budgetÃ¢â‚¬â€œfor a paper that is ostensibly independent. I am disgusted. And worse, I cannot be confident that any contribution I may make to my alma-mater, which I care very deeply for and about, will be handled with care and used in an appropriate manner.
I recognize that in my case this is only a token gesture, but you may be assured that I will urge every USC alumnus and contributor that I know to withhold all contributions to the University until this matter is resolved in a satisfactory manner. At a minimum, Mr. Jackson should give the DT full control of its budget, immediately re-instate Mr. Fox and apologize sincerely, in person and in writing, to him and the entire staff of the Daily Trojan. If he refuses to take these measures he should be asked to resign his position at USC.