Cal State Fullerton’s Faculty Council on Thursday created a committee to look into legal and ethical questions posed by a racial-separatist advocate’s using campus facilities to tape cable television programs.
The council also passed a resolution calling on the university to put disclaimers on all tapes made on campus for public-access television.
Both Faculty Council actions stemmed from the recent furor on campus about former Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Metzger, who makes “Race and Reason” tapes for public-access television, using facilities provided to the university by Group W Cable Television.
During discussion of the cable television recording activities on campus, the Faculty Council voted to have a committee look into three questions raised by the Metzger activities: Can public-access programs be syndicated? How open to citizens is the public-access service? Are university resources involved in the Cal State Fullerton public-access recordings?
Cal State Fullerton agreed in 1981 to allow the campus’s Televison and Media Support Center to be the recording site for public-access cable TV programs for Group W. Group W, in return, provided the university with $200,000 worth of television equipment.
Ernest Gourdine, director of the TV and Media Support Center, told the Faculty Council that the university’s five-year agreement with Group W is up for renegotiation this year. He indicated that changes would be sought in a new agreement, but the specifics were not mentioned.
Without dissent, the Faculty Council approved a motion by Cameron Stewart, professor of history, stating that in the future the university should have disclaimers on any cable-TV tapes that mention Cal State Fullerton as the recording site. The disclaimer would say that the university is disassociated from any opinions expressed in the tapes. While the Faculty Council can recommend such an action, it will be up to university President Jewell Plummer Cobb to implement such an order.