Hey, want to be editor-in-cheif in the Office of Stuent Media? How about station manger?

Florida Atlantic University wants yew, er, you.

For details, though, don’t go to www.fau.edu/studentmeida – you’ll get an error message that suggests, “Make sure that the website address is spelled and formatted correctly.”

Alas, FAU administrators didn’t do that on Friday, when they posted fliers for editor of the student newspaper and station managers for both the TV and radio station. (That’s the flier above.)

This is silly for one reason and sinister for another…

Do as I say, not as I spell

How many times have administrators reprimanded your student newspaper for misspellings and poor grammar? I’m reminded of this story about a podunk school called Milwaukee Area Technical College, whose administrators seized an issue right off the printing press so they could “proofread for grammatical stuff.”

At FAU, where I’ve advised the paper for 12 years, Student Affairs has always attacked the paper for poor spelling and grammar (especially after investigative pieces that reveal, say, lax security in the dorms or a student body president embezzling money).

I’ve always countered with this…

The students are learning how to run a newspaper, so yeah, they’re gonna screw up before they learn to do better. And they’re publishing every week while going to class every day and usually working other jobs. Do you think you could do better under those circumstances?

The answer is apparently, “No.” Student Affairs can’t even spell correctly on a flier they distribute once a year. Talk about the pot calling the kettle balck.

Oops, you caught me!

While the spelling errors are funny, this isn’t…

Without telling anyone, Student Affairs added a line to the editor’s job description that reads, “This position reports to the Student Body President.”

The current editor called me Friday and asked, “That’s not right, is it?”

No, I said, it’s not. That’s like the editor of The Washington Post reporting to Barack Obama.

I suggested the editor call the associate dean of Student Affairs and politely inquire. The dean replied that he was pretty sure it’s always been that way.

The editor called me back.

“No,” I said, “in my 12 years here, it’s never been that way.”

I know of no public university that orders the newspaper to work for Student Government – which, of course, the paper should be covering.

So the editor called the associate dean again. After some conversation, the dean agreed to remove that line from the newspaper job description. But it remains for the TV and radio station managers. Probably because they haven’t complained yet.

That’s impressively sneaky. I’m always amazed how administrators can be so dumb and so devious at the same time.