On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Pasadena City College Assistant Professor Warren Swil of the Visual Arts and Media Studies division was placed on paid administrative leave by PCC Assistant Superintendent and Senior Vice President of Student and Learning Services, Dr. Robert Bell, pending an independent outside investigation into allegations of misconduct pursuant to a formal complaint recently lodged with Dr. Bell.
The complaint is not connected in any way with Professor Swil’s performance as advisor to the student newspaper, the Courier, or with his performance as a journalism teacher.
As this is a confidential personnel matter, the college is required to zealously guard the privacy of the process and of the individuals involved. The college cannot divulge the nature of the complaint filed with Dr. Bell and will make no further comment on this personnel matter.
Dr. Bell will appoint a new acting advisor to the Courier next week as well as a substitute for Swil’s classes.
“I want to assure all students and the entire staff of the Courier that this award-winning newspaper will continue business-as-usual,â€ Dr. Bell said. â€œAll normal operations and publication will continue without a hitch. The Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees, the PCC superintendent/president, and I fervently support freedom of the press and academic freedom at PCC. It is the formal policy of the college for the administration not to have any role in the reporting, editing, or publishing of the Courier. It will never have a role other than to fund and support the free and unfettered operation of this important educational program and news service to the PCC community.”
In the California Community College system, the student newspaper is an educational program supervised entirely by faculty. Students who write or work for the newspaper take journalism classes from faculty while they are serving on the newspaper.