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President defers decision

Sept. 17, 1996

By Alyson Ward

Lariat Night News Editor

President Robert B. Sloan deferred an executive decision Monday about proposed research in the University's journalism department and told two professors they were free to make their own decisions about whether to continue research.

Dr. Larry Chonko, a professor in the marketing department, and Dr. Michael Mansfield, a professor of political science, were selected earlier this year for the project, a study made possible through a donation to the University.

Questions remain concerning the donor's identity and the reasoning behind the contribution, however.

Last week reports circulated that the money had been donated by the Harold W. Siebens Foundation, a conservative organization that wishes to work to remove a 'liberal agenda' in journalism education. President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said Thursday that the money was donated by an anonymous individual, separate from the Siebens Foundation.

Sloan told the professors that 'while very legitimate concerns have been raised,' he

encouraged them to continue with the project if they still wished to.

Sloan also told Chonko and Mansfield that he wanted them to understand they were 'under no constraint whatsoever ideologically to produce a certain result.'

Mansfield could not be reached for comment Monday, and Chonko said that all action is on hold until the matter is resolved.

(Editor's note: On Monday, the president's office provided The Baylor Lariat with a copy of the following letter sent to Professors Larry Chonko and Michael Mansfield from President Robert B. Sloan Jr.)

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