California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly): Bias Reporting System Targets “Politically Incorrect” Professors

Category: Free Speech
Schools: California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), which has already once been on the losing side of a free speech lawsuit, suspended an unconstitutional program targeting professors and students whose speech is “biased” or not “politically correct.” The program even planned to let students report complaints anonymously, meaning that those deemed “politically incorrect” might never have known whom they had offended or why. Under pressure from FIRE, Cal Poly has promised that any future CARE-Net program (short for Community Advocating REspect) “will not function to suppress controversial, offensive, or any other kind of protected speech.”

  • New CARE-Net program will allow students to report biased incidents

    May 3, 2009

    Mustang Daily Cal Poly is developing an outlet for  students to report grievances in order to foster a safer and healthier learning environment.  CARE-Net is a university-wide initiative. It is essentially a forum for students to report discriminatory incidents. CARE-Net will likely be launched later in May as a pilot program. “The university is interested in hearing about students’ experiences at Cal Poly and the university is committed to an inclusive community,” CARE-Net organizer Patricia Ponce said. The CARE-Net team defines a biased incident as “any speech, act, or harassing incident or action taken by a person or group that […]

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  • Cal Poly Establishes Neutral Ombuds as Successor to CARE-Net, Resolving Yearlong Controversy

    March 22, 2010

    Last spring, FIRE announced a victory for freedom of speech at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo when Cal Poly suspended an unconstitutional program targeting professors and students whose speech was “biased” or not “politically correct.” The program even planned to let students report complaints anonymously, meaning that those deemed “politically incorrect” might never have known whom they had offended or why. Under pressure from FIRE, Cal Poly promised that any future CARE-Net program (short for Community Advocating REspect) “will not function to suppress controversial, offensive, or any other kind of protected speech.” The successor to CARE-Net is […]

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  • Cal Poly Suspends Reporting on ‘Politically Incorrect’ Faculty and Students

    June 2, 2009

    FIRE’s June 1 press release announced a victory for individual rights at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), which has suspended an unconstitutional program targeting professors and students whose speech is “biased” or not “politically correct.” The program even planned to let individuals report complaints anonymously, meaning that those deemed “politically incorrect” might never have known whom they had offended or why. Cal Poly, which has already once been on the losing side of a free speech lawsuit, has promised that any future CARE-Net program (short for Community Advocating REspect) “will not function to suppress controversial, offensive, or any other […]

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  • Cal Poly Suspends Reporting on ‘Politically Incorrect’ Faculty and Students

    June 1, 2009

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., June 1, 2009—California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), which has already once been on the losing side of a free speech lawsuit, has suspended an unconstitutional program targeting professors and students whose speech is “biased” or not “politically correct.” The program even planned to let students report complaints anonymously, meaning that those deemed “politically incorrect” might never have known whom they had offended or why. Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Cal Poly has promised that any future CARE-Net program (short for Community Advocating REspect) “will not function to suppress controversial, […]

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  • Progress at Cal Poly, but Concerns Remain

    May 22, 2009

    Last week, we reported that California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) removed a disturbing bias incident policy from its website shortly after FIRE sent the university a letter criticizing the policy’s infringement on faculty rights to free speech, academic freedom, and due process. The “CARE-Net” initiative encouraged students to report any speech “that is perceived to be malicious or discriminatory toward another person or group based on bias or prejudice relating to [certain enumerated personal characteristics].” The website also promised that a mechanism for anonymous online reporting was forthcoming, a development that posed a serious threat to due process rights. […]

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  • Blogger Rips Cal Poly’s “CARE-Net”

    May 13, 2009

    Today, Roger Freberg, blogger and husband of Cal Poly professor Laura Freberg, has a post about the situation at Cal Poly, where, as FIRE reported yesterday, the university apparently removed information from its website about a bias incident reporting program called “CARE-Net” after FIRE sent the university a letter objecting to the program’s unconstitutional aspects. Under the proposed program, students were instructed to report to the university any speech, act, or harassing incident or action taken by a person or group that is perceived to be malicious or discriminatory toward another person or group based on bias or prejudice relating […]

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  • After Letter from FIRE, Troubling Bias Incident Policy Disappears from Cal Poly Website

    May 12, 2009

    Last week, FIRE sent a letter to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) President Warren Baker about a new bias incident reporting pilot program approved by the university. Several members of Cal Poly’s faculty had contacted FIRE to express their concerns about the initiative, set to become effective this month, which encouraged students to report any speech, act, or harassing incident or action taken by a person or group that is perceived to be malicious or discriminatory toward another person or group based on bias or prejudice relating to such characteristics as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national […]

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