President says student life director admits mistake
Administrators plan to meet again with student life director regarding his conduct with Ranger repor
Published: Thursday, November 3, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 13:02
President Robert Zeigler said today he and Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of student affairs, will have additional meetings with the student life director concerning his granting interviews to student reporters.
Zeigler and Vela met Thursday with student life Director Jorge Posadas to discuss
Posadas' suggestion in an Oct. 17 email that The Ranger pay him a consulting fee for an interview.
Zeigler declined to provide specifics of the discussion, but said Posadas realized he made a mistake and will make an effort to be more forthcoming in communicating with The Ranger. The date for the next meeting has not been set.
"I think we're heading in the right direction," Zeigler said, noting more meetings will follow.
Zeigler would not say if this meant Posadas will conduct face-to-face or telephone interviews with reporters.
However, when Posadas was asked this morning in the office of student life if he had a comment on the meeting, he softly said "no" and walked away without answering further questions.
Posadas said in an Oct. 17 email to the Ranger editor that if The Ranger wants to interview him, "we can set up a professional consulting contract and we can negotiate an appropriate fee."
San Antonio Express-News reporter Melissa Ludwig said Posadas did not request questions through email or a fee when she interviewed him via telephone Oct. 24.
Posadas has long demanded email exchanges with The Ranger and refused to conduct telephone or in-person interviews to provide information on the goings-on of the office of student life.
The Ranger does not allow student reporters to conduct email interviews except in unusual circumstances, such as military personnel serving overseas.
Until recently, he has prohibited his staff from speaking to reporters.
In his email, he refused to be interviewed because "by doing so it is in an official capacity with repercussions I am not willing to accept."
Posadas said the fee is for serving "as professional source on the subject of student affairs."
Posadas told a reporter Sept. 19 he does not give interviews, and the proper procedure for obtaining an interview with him is to go through the public relations office.
He refused to explain why he would not speak about his activities in a managerial position at a public institution, and then said he would charge the reporter with harassment if attempts to speak to him continued.
On Sept. 20, public information officer Julie Cooper said the office helps direct outside media outlets to proper sources, and Posadas may be misinterpreting policy.
On Oct. 21, he declined to speak to The Ranger on the record about his email statements and ignored questions from a reporter.
Other news outlets have written about the student life director who refused to be interviewed by the college newspaper.
The San Antonio Express-News wrote about it Oct. 25 and in an editorial Oct. 28.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post, Gawker, The Dartmouth and Poynter.org also reported on the situation.
Vela took a personal day today and could not be reached for comment.
To reach the office of student life, call 210-486-0125.
To reach the office of student affairs, call 210-486-0931.
To reach the president's office, call 210-486-0959.