Editor of McMaster’s student paper says he was fired without cause
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
By Dave Ward
Student newspaper editors might have more reason to watch what they say following the dismissal of Chris Jaic, executive editor of McMaster university’s undergraduate newspaper, The Silhouette.
“We still don’t know why I was fired,” Jaic said.
He said he was informed he had been terminated without cause on Nov. 3 in a meeting with McMaster Student Union business manager John McGowan and MSU VP administration Ryan Moran.
“[McGowan] gave me a letter and said ‘give me your keys and we’ll arrange to clear out your office,’” Jaic said.
Moran said the process and specifics can’t be discussed.
“He wasn’t fired ‘without cause,’ the phrasing was ‘not for cause,’” Moran said. “It allows us to terminate an employee in good standing.
“MSU recognizes that [Jaic] has contributed a great deal. We appreciate what he has done.”
Jaic said the relationship with the Board of Directors had numerous problems during the year.
“There wasn’t a specific issue that caused [the dismissal]; it was a culmination of issues,” Moran said.
Jaic said he was once told quotes for his stories from a board member must be verified by another member of the board before being printed.
“The relationship has not been positive,” he said. Jaic said a story relating to racial profiling at the campus bar raised concerns, along with other stories about improprieties by MSU.
“I don’t know if [the dismissal] was because of [Silhouette] investigations,” Jaic said, adding “MSU didn’t look positively on the investigations.”
“There are problems between the Board of Directors and [Jaic],” said Shaeen George, acting executive editor. “We’ve covered some issues relating to MSU operations.”
“It was not a content issue, it was a personnel matter,” Moran said.
“I’m going to submit a formal appeal,” Jaic said. “As well, my staff is working as members of the community to submit appeals and gather support.”
“Why would you remove an employee without cause?” George said. “Following his firing, [*Silhouette *staff] all wanted a cause.
“There was no consultation with us and a lack of transfer of knowledge.”
According to George, Jaic was fired under the full time employee policy. George said the executive editor isn’t listed in that policy.
George said by *Silhouette *policy, the executive editor can only be fired through a series of disciplinary measures.
“[Jaic’s] hiring letter was drafted in violation of our operating policies.”
University Students’ Council President Fab Dolan said the odds of The Gazette’s Editor-in-Chief being fired are slim.
“The USC is not going to step in in terms of any of the editorial content, unless it’s libelous and we are consistently getting sued,” Dolan said.
“*The Silhouette *is still running,” George said. “We all stand united behind [Jaic].”