Mister Roberts – Right Here at ULM?

Do we have a real-life Mister Roberts here in Northeast Louisiana with a tyrannical Captain as adversary? The Mister Roberts we refer to is Joseph Roberts, late of The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s (ULM) student newspaper, The Hawkeye. The Captain would be ULM President James Cofer, whose run-ins with underlings who don’t sufficiently kowtow are well known. It is unclear if Cofer has a palm tree in his office.

Last week Roberts had penned a signed editorial “Why Cofer Should Share the Blame With Jindal.”

This week Roberts is no longer listed in the staff section of the masthead page.

Among the gems in the offending piece:

Ask if they (students) would rather see alumni donate money for the monstrosity of a house Cofer is living in, for free, or if there were better things to spend that money on. These cuts are supposedly handed down from the state, but the state can somehow still afford to pay for the utilities at Cofer’s new pad. How many hundreds of years could that money have doubled the semester budget allotted to the SGA and CAB?


My entire point is that even though we would be going through hardships because of the (budget) cuts, I don’t feel Cofer can claim he is doing everything in his power to mitigate the effects of the cuts on students and faculty. His yearly salary is enough to keep about seven instructors employed. I strongly believe he should take a cut in pay, if not forfeit it entirely, before he allows teachers, programs, classes and students to be lost.

We wondered when we saw this column last week how long it would be before Roberts was offed. We also wondered how it got through the editorial screen of Cofer’s hand-picked Director of Student Publications.

We wait with baited breath to see what reaction will be forthcoming from those stalwart First Amendment Guardians like The (Monroe) News-Star, KNOE-TV or KTVE-TV – our local versions of the state-run media.

18 Responses to “Mister Roberts – Right Here at ULM?”

  1. frank Says:

    Dont that boy know that you dont expose your betters in polite company?

  2. Widget Says:

    Might it have more to do with his racially insulting story regarding tipping and the ensuing online flame war, than with his views of Cofer? Just saying.

    • Walter Abbott Says:

      Could be. But that piece was over three weeks ago. If it were the problem, why wasn’t he fired then?

      Nah. Doesn’t pass the smell test. Plus you have the continuing reluctance to run the Vines/McGraw story by the toadies at The Hawkeye.

  3. Dr. Don A. Skelton Says:

    To whom it may concern:

    In the interest of good and factual journalistic practice, it is recommended that any questions regarding student-produced articles appearing in student publications (i.e., the Hawkeye) be directed to Drew Hardee, Editor-In-Chief of the Hawkeye.

    It is acknowledged that the Hawkeye is a student-run publication with no member of the ULM Executive Staff being responsible for its content or staff decisions.

    As Executive Director of the ULM Foundation, I would like to clarify any future reference to the ULM President’s Home (Bon Aire) by confirming that all decisions regarding site selection, construction, financing and future use of Bon Aire were made by and with the full support of the Board of Trustees of the ULM Foundation.

  4. JohnMartin Says:

    Skelton is hardly an arms length individual to comment. He owes his job to Cofer and can find himself on the street at the president’s whim.

  5. Dr. Don A. Skelton Says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    It is important to note that, as Executive Director of the ULM Foundation, I may find myself on the street not as a result of anyone’s “whim” but as a result of the recommendation and vote of the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees.

    As to the “comment” provided earlier regarding student publications policy at ULM – arms length or not – they are factual in their content.

  6. Bass Ackerds Says:

    Well, this is certainly a subject that everyone in Northeast
    LA is interested in, due mostly to watchful eye of the public
    waiting to see what program the Cofie is going to cut next!!

    It would seem that ULM & the Newstar are soooo in bed to-
    gether, covering each other’s back, and yes, Dorothy, the
    Newstar plays games with their employees just like Cofie does. Why else would the spouses of these stunted news
    people at the Newstar, be on that payroll, as of last count
    it was noted that 4 families were drawing checks from both
    of the fine institutions.

    As for the Foundation, it has mutated into a “sweethearts”
    of the property party. They conclude by the stroke of the
    Cofie pen that properties inherited by ULM/NLU are no longer needed for agriculture, etc. and sell it off to those
    who sit at the right hand of Cofie, ie. those who serve the
    Foundation as volunteers. Not only is this the case, the
    property that the Foundation owns looks like the 9th ward
    after Katrina hit!!So, yea, I guess if they sell it for nickles,
    someone else can let it sit and rot.

    Cofie has been an albatross around this community’s neck
    far too long, and I for one, wish I could see an Allied Moving Van parked at the “Presidential Palace”…What a
    fine example of leadership, NOT!!

    Anytime big high up officials like Skelton logs on and comments on blogs such as this one, means that the rat
    we smell is really really rotten.

  7. JohnMartin Says:

    The ULM Foundation has been the creature of whoever sits in the president’s office since well before Jim Cofer came to town. If Don Skelton wants to think he’s independent of Cofer, just let him utter a disparaging word about Cofer’s cutting out Occupational Therapy, Agriculture, etc. And unless he’s already gotten the wording cleared by Big Jim, he’ll be on the road back to where he might have fiends.

  8. Bass Ackerds Says:

    Mr. Leader’s wife, Barbara, is the person who covers the
    Monroe City School Board mess, and various other items
    deemed important to the NewstarULM newspaper.

    Is it a coincidence or is this just another back scratching

    • Walter Abbott Says:

      Thanks for the tip. We’re working on the story and will have it out later today.

  9. Monroe Shroud Says:

    The reporter in question was on Facebook trading profanity-laced barbes with individuals in all walks of life — including several borderline-racist insults last week. I wonder if the reporter was fired not for speaking the truth but rather for being an arse?

  10. OPNO: ULM Paper Faculty Advisor Fired « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] week, student journalist Joseph Roberts’ name was removed from the staff section of the newspaper’s masthead. Two weeks earlier he had penned a signed […]

  11. ULM Hawkeye Flap Finally Makes ‘Real’ News « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] Cofer Censors ULM Newspaper Vines/McGraw ULM Story Exists Mister Roberts – Right Here at ULM? OPNO: ULM Paper Faculty Advisor […]

  12. Tony Buchanan Says:

    Super interesting post! Really.

  13. Mr. Roberts IS NOT Dead « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) student newspaper. See here news stories from last spring about the flap. Mister Roberts – Right Here at ULM? ULM Hawkeye Flap Finally Makes ‘Real’ […]

  14. Michael DeVault Official Web Site Says:

    […] anyone goes Joseph Roberts on me, understand this: I was a waiter. A good one. And I never once “gratted” a check. […]

  15. On the Merits of “Service Compris” | Michael DeVault Online Says:

    […] anyone goes Joseph Roberts on me, understand this: I was a waiter. A good one. And I never once “gratted” a check. […]

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