ECU Asks Fired Adviser Permission To Release Confidential Information

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

An East Carolina University professor fired from his adviser position from the school's newspaper, The East Carolinian, says he's been asked to consent to his confidential information being released.

ECU attorney Donna Gooden Payne says the school is seeking Paul Isom's consent which is required under state personnel statutes to release confidential information which they say is needed to describe the process the university took to make a the decision to let Isom go.

Gooden Payne says ECU disagrees with reports and statements by advocacy groups that say it was a first amendment issue after Isom claimed he believed nude photos of a streaker at a football game being published in the paper led to him being fired. So far, Isom has not agreed saying he wants to know what the information is first.


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  • by obamanot on Jan 12, 2012 at 03:33 PM
    Show a picture of a Naked Women streaking and see how far this story would go.Never would have been put on that paper,never would happen and you homosexuals know it.Clearly pushing the homosexual agenda on the normal people(whats left of us).
    • reply
      by dittos on Jan 12, 2012 at 06:34 PM in reply to obamanot
      amen obamanot! we have to stick together. i don't want homosexuals telling me what to think.
    • reply
      by AL on Jan 12, 2012 at 07:11 PM in reply to obamanot
      obamanot define "normal" people!
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jan 12, 2012 at 03:07 PM
    Time for a head's up.If you are asked to read&sign any papers be sure to read it all even the fine print.next if there is any extra space initial the last part so if anything is added later you will know.a manager once told be that a company could put anything to print they wanted to and mose employee's never or rairly see their personel file.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 at 01:43 PM
    They've really got him in a catch 22. Either he refuses to release the information and it looks like he has something to hide or he agress to it and they release what will likely be personal information that is very private that they can show as justification for his termination.
  • by Southern bred bigot Location: Priate territory on Jan 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM
    If the ECU administration is trying to clean out the homosexual behavior/agenda, keep at it. As for the student paper, it's freedom of the press all the way.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM
    Unfortunately this whole thing seems to be about control and power. "New direction"? Yet this apparently amiable move in a new direction would have been a 4 hour notice to clean out desk. People are reassigned all the time when they "mess up" This was a firing. Publications had won awards and Isom says he had all positive reviews. After publication of photos they treat him differently and don't respond to his emails. Paper trail will show this if true, and, if true, he will win this and if anyone lied about reason for firing, they will be in it real deep. There will be emails and every document created has a digital date stamp. Watch this unfold.
  • by inquiring mind Location: Pirate territory on Jan 12, 2012 at 08:13 AM
    What is he so concerned about his "confidential information" unless there is something he does not want the public to know about his behavior/personal conduct???
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM in reply to inquiring mind
      That is probably the very mindset that administrators want you to have to think there is something he doesn't want the public to know. The media here should be doing their job and rather than reacting to press releases they should be making public records requests for emails between senior administrators and from senior administrators about the publication of the photos. I am sure there is plenty for an investigative journalist to get their hands around and be able to find out what really happened.
    • reply
      by What??? on Jan 12, 2012 at 01:07 PM in reply to inquiring mind
      I would also want to know what was in the records before they were released. Employers have been known to put things in employees personnel files without their knowledge and it is just common sense for one to want to know personally before releasing it to the public.
  • by tIM Location: vANCEBORO on Jan 12, 2012 at 06:51 AM
    pro homo is NOT progress, its degress!! and as far as ECU being too wrapped up in homosexuality and diversity at the expense of good sense...it is a FACT. I used to work there and the arrogance and ignorance of decisions made is mind boggling. All you need to be is gay or a minority and ECU will give you anything you want....regardless if you are a genious, simpleton, or outright idiot.
  • by James Location: Greenville on Jan 12, 2012 at 03:13 AM
    This says to me that the personnel folks did things correctly in letting him go, which is documented in his sealed personnel file. Asking release permission is ECU's way of proving that the spin the media is putting on this thing is ridiculous. And he won't give permission if he reviews it and sees that it conflicts with the portrait these liberal groups have painted to the media about his release.
  • by James Location: Greenville on Jan 12, 2012 at 03:13 AM
    This says to me that the personnel folks did things correctly in letting him go, which is documented in his sealed personnel file. Asking release permission is ECU's way of proving that the spin the media is putting on this thing is ridiculous. And he won't give permission if he reviews it and sees that it conflicts with the portrait these liberal groups have painted to the media about his release.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM
    How much money was this employee making to sit back and drink coffee while the students ran the newspaper. There is a lot of waste at ECU.
    • reply
      by Andy Nonomus on Jan 12, 2012 at 05:25 AM in reply to
      $57,000
    • reply
      by Student on Jan 12, 2012 at 07:37 AM in reply to
      If you read the article, it also states that he also teaches at the university. He cannot legally interfere with the editorial process because that would violate PRIOR REVIEW. It protects the students 1st Amendment...therefore his hands are tied. Although the Editor-in-Chief decided to run the pictures uncensored, he could not have intervened. He is there to ADVISE the process, but has no control over the content that is printed. He was also the Director of Student Media at ECU...so it's easy to say that he had his hands full. Due to his position at the university, he was the category of employee that could be dismissed with a random reason. If ECU had stated that they had dismissed him solely due to the streaker photos, he would easily be able to file a lawsuit, but since ECU won't admit that is the reason other than "wanting to move in a different direction", it is more difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for which he was fired. I fully support him not wanting to release the confidential documents and I think it is a ruse for ECU to even ask him to do that. It is intended to distract from the obvious reason they decided to dismiss him and that was for the student media staff that allowed those pictures to go to print. He takes the heat, while the Editor-in-Chief (who got accepted into Campbell Law School) covered HER bases...but hung Mr. Isom out to dry. It's sad that she won't step down from her position or at least release a statement in support of him.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 at 08:54 AM in reply to Student
        I agree with you. The EIC and staff screwed him by publishing that article. I wonder, however, if as adviser, he advised them not to publish it? Did he use the moment as a teachable ,oment and explain the possible ramifications? The embarrassment to the school? Loss of ad money and support for the paper? Failing to properly advise the students sounds like reason enough to me if that is the case. If he advised them to print it, then he should have been fired for ineptitude. If he advised against it and they did it anyway, different story and the staff should voice this in support of him. Their lack of support is troubling.
        • reply
          by Student on Jan 17, 2012 at 06:40 AM in reply to
          Considering it is a 1st Amendment issue, he can "advise" all he wants, but violating prior review is more of a grievous act than allowing it to go to print. I wasn't thrilled to see the uncensored photos on the front page, but it is always liberating to see our Constitution working in our favor as U.S. Citizens. I just disagree that Isom should take the heat considering he couldn't have stopped the article. That's the entire point.
    • reply
      by Henry on Jan 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM in reply to
      Any and all money spent on education is a waste of our tax revenues. The entire ECU campus should be leveled and converted into a hog farming operation that would generate a profit.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 at 02:49 PM in reply to Henry
        time to feed the hogs henry.
      • reply
        by Student on Jan 17, 2012 at 06:44 AM in reply to Henry
        I sincerely hope you're being sarcastic. Obviously typed words don't allow for inflection. If you honestly believe that, then I strongly urge you to move elsewhere and continue living ignorantly away from those that are trying to receive an education to benefit our society. If you honestly think education, or ECU, specifically, are a waste of tax revenues, I am most apologetic and sympathetic when I say that you are a sad human being.
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