Tag Archives: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Provost Weixlmann on Administrative Leave

If you’ve been following the Avis Meyer story (and this blog) for the last couple years, you’ve heard a great deal from the Saint Louis University provost, Joseph Weixlmann – including his email responses to several alumni.

If you’ve been following the St. Louis Post-Dispatch or the press releases coming out of SLU this week, you already know that Provost Weixlmann has stepped down from his position to take a two month administrative leave.

Much like the Post-Dispatch journalists, we’re wondering what lead to his resignation and what’s coming next for both Weixlmann and the university.

For more info, read:

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Avis Meyer among media professionals to receive Quest Award

We mentioned earlier this year that the Missouri Professional Communicators, an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, is honoring Dr. Avis Meyer with a lifetime achievement award. For more information about the honors and details about the awards luncheon, please see below.

Taken from http://suburbanjournals.stltoday.com/articles/2009/03/10/north/news/0311flo-questawards0.txt

Also see http://www.blacktie-stlouis.com/calendar/index.cfm?FuseCalendar_ID=16877&CurntDate=04/18/2009&region=0&FUSEACTION=ShowEvent

Media professionals to receive Quest Awards

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 1:17 AM CDT

Seven people have been chosen to receive the Virginia Betts White Quest Awards from the Missouri Professional Communicators, an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women.

An awards luncheon will be at noon April 18 at Ces and Judy’s in LeChateau Village in Frontenac. Christine Buck, news reporter for KPLR-CW Channel 11, will host the event. Proceeds from the luncheon support scholarships for journalism and communications students.

The award recipients are Suzanne Corbett, food writer and consultant; Bill Fronczak, public relations director for Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club; Margaret Gillerman, columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Dan Martin, cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Kay Quinn, news anchor at KSDK-Channel 5; Art Silverblatt, Ph.D., communications professor and editor at Webster University; and Mary Ann Wagner, promotions director for the Suburban Journals.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Avis Meyer, Ph.D., professor at Saint Louis University.

The Quest Awards recognize individuals whose work reflects an enduring quest for the highest standards of professional ethics and excellence. Initiated in 1981, the award honors the memory of a member of the Missouri Professional Communicators, Virginia Betts White, who was a leader in communications in the St. Louis area for more than 40 years.

Cost of the luncheon is $50 per person; tables of 10 are available. Reservation deadline is April 11.

For reservations or more information, call Marge Polcyn 314-416-4074 or Susan Fadem at susanfadem314@yahoo.com.

Avis Meyer Movie Trivia Night on May 3rd

The 18-month-long lawsuit that Saint Louis University waged against Avis Meyer is now over. And even though the attorney charged Avis a highly-discounted rate, he’s still incurred quite a legal bill.

The friends of Avis Meyer have organized a fundraiser on May 3. Please show your support by spreading the word, coming to the event and contributing to the cause.

When:
Sunday, May 3
Doors open at 6 p.m.

Why:
To help our friend pay legal expenses

Where:
Richmond Heights Community Center
8001 Dale Ave.
Richmond Heights, MO 63117
Map and Directions

What:
Movie Trivia Night
Avis has created 100 questions, 10 each for 10 movie genres, to challenge even the most avid moviegoers. Joe Holleman, columnist and movie critic of the Post-Dispatch will host the event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Awards:
Avis is donating books about movies. The first-place table’s winners will choose their books first; then the second-place table; then the third. In addition, three lucky players will receive a $50 gift certificate to Pietro’s, Spiro’s or Dressel’s.

Cost:
The minimum cost per ticket is $25**. Anything beyond that would be welcomed, but not expected — especially if you’re in education or journalism. The room seats 288 well-wishers.

BYOE:
Please bring your own snacks and soft drinks. Alcohol is not permitted at this event. Baked goods, some created by Anna Marie, herself, will be available for purchase.

RSVP:
Please RSVP by May 1 by adding your name and number attending to the responses on this site. The “Responses” link can be found at the top of the page under the “Movie Trivia Night” header.

Note:
If you cannot attend the Movie Trivia Night but would like to donate to Avis’ defense fund, you may send checks** made  payable to Anna Marie Meyer, to:
10828 Woodforest Drive
St. Louis, MO 63128

Note (another):
If you cannot attend the trivia bowl, some alumni are planning a second event — a picnic in an area park, tentatively scheduled for May 24, a Sunday afternoon. This website will carry details, as they become available; and Avis and Anna Marie should appear at both events.

**This is not a tax-deductible donation.

RSVP by leaving a comment on http://friendsofavismeyer.wordpress.com/

Letter to the Editor: SLU’s Vendetta against professor is shameful

Julian Long’s Letter to the Editor was published on STLToday on March 5. We agree with many of  Long’s points, including that all the dirty details of the case have not been outted by the Post-Dispatch. We’re sure details will come to light as time goes on, but for now, Long’s claim that SLU required Mrs. Meyer sign an agreement that she would owe the University $6,000 if Dr. Meyer passed away before the end of June 2009 is true. Our advice to Avis? Wear a bullet proof vest and look both ways before crossing Grand.

Read Long’s letter on STLToday.com

03.05.2009 5:10 pm

SLU’s vendetta against professor is shameful

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I was present in the courtroom last Monday at the close of Saint Louis University’s lawsuit against Professor Avis Meyer. Having watched your reporter speak with SLU administrators I am not surprised that your story entitled “SLU and professor settle lawsuit” seems to consist almost entirely of university spin, though apparently Post-Dispatch representatives contacted Professor Meyer before the story ran.

Your story’s lead states that Professor Meyer has agreed “to pay the university $6000 plus certain legal fees” and “refrain from illegally using the university’s name.” Then the next five paragraphs give what appears to be the university’s version of the history of the lawsuit and imply that the university won its case. That simply isn’t true. The university “won” only one point, a claim that Professor Meyer had deleted certain email messages.

SLU lost this lawsuit on the merits, and not with any grace or dignity. In a final sorry gesture, SLU administrators demanded that Mrs. Meyer—yes, Mrs. Meyer—sign an affidavit agreeing to pay the university in case of Professor Meyer’s untimely death. The real story of the SLU vendetta against Avis Meyer is equally sorry. It shames Saint Louis University, and it shames the Society of Jesus. It’s too bad the Post-Dispatch won’t report it.

Julian Long

St. Louis

Post-Dispatch: SLU and professor settle lawsuit

Click here to read this story on STLToday.com.

SLU and professor settle lawsuit
Avis Meyer

Avis Meyer
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

St. Louis University communications professor Avis Meyer has agreed to pay the university $6,000 plus certain legal fees and to refrain from illegally using the university’s name, in a settlement approved by a federal judge Tuesday.

This resolves the final count remaining in a copyright infringement lawsuit SLU brought against Meyer in October 2007. In December, Judge Carol Jackson had thrown out six other counts in SLU’s case because she said the school hadn’t shown that Meyer had used the university’s name for commercial gain.

The dispute arose after Meyer filed paperwork with the Missouri secretary of state’s office to create a nonprofit organization with the same name as the student newspaper. Meyer, who has been the newspaper’s official and unofficial adviser, said he did so in case students wanted to take the newspaper off campus.

Students had been fighting with administrators in the spring of 2007 over proposed changes to the newspaper’s charter. But in the end, the students decided to stay on campus. So Meyer dissolved the corporation.

Jeff Fowler, a SLU spokesman, said Tuesday: “We feel like this is a victory for the university. ”

But Meyer offered a different take on the outcome.

“I think losing one out of seven might be considered a victory for us,” he said, referring to himself and the newspaper staff.

When the federal trial began on Monday, Jackson ordered Meyer to pay SLU’s legal fees related to their complaints over his destruction of certain e-mails. Jackson said she didn’t believe Meyer was trying to thwart SLU’s case, but she said his actions were “thoughtless and reckless.”

SLU believes that if those e-mails had not been destroyed, then the first six counts would have been upheld, Fowler said. He said SLU has not yet decided whether it will appeal the dismissal of the other six counts.

Both parties finally decided to sit down to find an agreement after a bewildered Jackson asked them on Monday why they’re not able to find a resolution to the last issue. She said she understood there is a lot of distrust between both sides.

“But there’s really not a whole lot here,” she said. “I’m sorry, I just don’t know why we’re here.”

The court recessed as both sides then hashed out an agreement.

SLU has said all along that it was not treating Meyer any differently than it would anyone else who tried to unlawfully use the university’s name.

But Meyer and his supporters have suggested otherwise. In his opening statement, Brian Gill, Meyer’s attorney, said that the way that SLU has pursued this case “would impress even one of Victor Hugo’s inspectors.”

Meyer is a former part-time copy editor for the Post-Dispatch.

kkumar@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8017


Post-Dispatch: Trial of SLU v. Avis Meyer Begins

Click here to read the story on STLToday.com.

Trial of SLU v. Avis Meyer Begins
Kavita Kumar – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I checked in this morning on the first day of the trial of SLU vs. Avis Meyer. As you may remember, SLU filed a federal lawsuit against Meyer, a tenured professor, in October 2007 for copyright infringement. (Click here for some background on the case.)

Judge Carol Jackson threw out most of SLU’s case in December. But one of the seven counts still remains unresolved. The remaining issue is over the fact that Meyer used SLU letterhead and a SLU fax number to send a letter to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office to dissolve a non-profit corporation he had created with SLU’s name in it. Frank Janoski, a lawyer representing SLU, argued today that SLU had not authorized Meyer to use its address and letterhead for this purpose. (The main issue in the case had been that Meyer filed papers to create a non-profit with the same name of the SLU student newspaper. He later dissolved the corporation. SLU decided to sue later, but the court ruled in favor of Meyer because SLU did not show how Meyer had used SLU’s name “in commerce.”)

Judge Jackson seemed quite miffed that both parties were still fighting this last point. After both sides presented their opening statements, she said that she doesn’t understand why there was still a problem. She said she understood both sides distrust one another.

“But there’s really not a whole lot here,” she said. “I’m sorry, I just don’t know why we’re here.”

Janoski told the court that SLU wants Meyer to correct the record with the secretary of state’s office, wants assurances that Meyer will not use SLU’s name in the future, and wants compensation for attorney’s fees.

Meyer’s attorney, Brian Gill, said that Meyer is prepared to file the requested paperwork with the secretary of state’s office and that he does not plan to use SLU’s name to produce a newspaper in the future.

Janoski said SLU wouldn’t be in court if it had received assurances from Meyer upfront that he wouldn’t again try to use SLU’s name. He added that SLU must protect its name and is not treating Meyer differently than it would any other person or entity.

But Gill suggested otherwise in his opening statement when he said that the way that SLU has pursued this case “would impress even one of Victor Hugo’s inspectors.”

At the judge’s prodding, both sides decided to try to find a compromise. The proceeding was recessed this morning and both sides still appear to be hashing out some sort of settlement. So stay tuned to see what happens. If they can’t reach a compromise, then the trial will resume on the final count. Janoski told the court that testimony from his witnesses would likely take 4 to 5 hours.

Before the opening statements, Jackson also gave Meyer a strong rebuke for destroying some emails. She said she didn’t believe Meyer was trying to thwart SLU’s case, but she said that it was nonetheless “thoughtless and reckless.”

“I’m very troubled by the manner in which the emails were handled by Dr. Meyer,” she said. “This is the kind of behavior that should have never occurred.”

As punishment, she said she would charge Meyer for SLU’s attorney’s fees tied to the related motion.

A handful of SLU professors as well as Meyer’s family was in attendance to show support for him.

Update on today’s settlement

I received more information today about the SLU v. Meyer case this evening. The judge has two days to accept the terms of the settlement. Among the settlement terms there is a chance of a misdemeanor along with reimbursement of a small portion of SLU’s legal fees. These concessions would be made in return for continued tenure and a clean slate.

Given the matters of the last two years, what a relief to see the case coming to a close. Thank you again to all of the alumni, journalists and community members for your support.

Please check back soon for more information on the judge’s final decision.