• University of California at San Diego: First Amendment Violations at UCSD

    February 22, 2010
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    In a victory for freedom of the press on campus, the student government of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) voted last night to end an ongoing moratorium on funding for student media. The vote restores funding for student media organizations and makes no changes to the current policy governing student media. FIRE has been working with student media to end the funding freeze.

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  • Southwestern College: Professors Banned from Campus after Students Stray Beyond ‘Free Speech Patio’

    November 3, 2009
    Category: Due Process

    In October 2009, within hours of being seen with students who took their peaceful campus protest outside of Southwestern College’s unconstitutional “free speech patio” to a more visible and audible location, three professors were banned from the SWC campus and placed on immediate administrative leave. SWC’s administration later claimed that the professors had incited the protesters to leave the free speech area and had physically confronted police. While the professors were reinstated just two days after FIRE intervened, SWC’s policy restricting expressive activity to its tiny “free speech patio” was not revised to more closely conform with the First Amendment […]

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  • East Georgia College: Professor Fired Without a Hearing over Mysterious ‘Sexual Harassment’ Charge

    August 1, 2009
    Category: Cases, Due Process

    During a faculty training session in 2009, Professor Thomas Thibeault argued that East Georgia College’s (EGC’s) sexual harassment policy was flawed for not offering protection against false or malicious accusations of harassment. Two days later, EGC President John B. Black ordered Thibeault to resign his position or be fired and have his “long history of sexual harassment … made public.” Thibeault had never before faced such charges. He refused to resign and was escorted from campus by police. Black later informed Thibeault that he had only been “suspended” but that he faced termination for sexual harassment, and failed to provide […]

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  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Professor Investigated for Sending E-Mail to Class

    June 10, 2009
    Category: Due Process

    UCSB subjected Professor William Robinson to a months-long investigation after he sent the students in his Sociology of Globalization class an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. Although students were not required to read, discuss, or agree with the content of Robinson’s e-mail, two students filed formal complaints. The resulting outside pressure threatened Robinson’s academic freedom and free speech. FIRE argued that the initial assessment of the students’ claims should have led to immediate dismissal of the complaint since the single e-mail was both protected expression and relevant to the course. The investigating committee […]

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  • University of Wisconsin: Students’ Due Process Rights

    March 13, 2009
    Category: Due Process

    FIRE successfully persuaded the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents to affirm due process rights for students, including the option of a hearing before a committee including student peers, attorney representation in the case of serious allegations, and both e-mail and paper notification of proceedings. The Board had proposed changes to the State Administrative Code governing infractions and judicial procedures within Wisconsin’s public universities that would have limited due process rights and granted more discretion to administrators. FIRE’s Adam Kissel engaged in a speaking tour of University of Wisconsin schools in opposition to these changes, even speaking before the Board […]

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  • Saint Louis Community College: Student Punished for E-mailing Classmates

    December 4, 2007
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    Having already completed his Ph.D at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and postdoctoral work at M.I.T and Columbia University, Jun Xiao was attending St. Louis Community College to prepare himself for medical school. Unhappy with the performance of his organic chemistry professor, Dr. Xiao sent an e-mail to several of his fellow students stating that he intended to withdraw from the course and suggesting that his fellow students do the same. A few days after this e-mail and without any notice or a hearing, Xiao received an e-mail from an administrator stating that he had been placed on “Disciplinary Probation” […]

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  • Valdosta State University: Student Expelled for Peacefully Protesting Parking Garages

    October 23, 2007
    Category: Due Process, Free Speech

    The University of Georgia System’s Board of Regents reversed the expulsion of student Hayden Barnes from Valdosta State University (VSU) after he filed a federal lawsuit against VSU for violating his constitutional rights. Barnes had protested former President Ronald Zaccari’s plan to use $30 million in student fees to construct two parking garages on campus. To protest the planned garages, Barnes posted flyers and sent e-mails to Zaccari, student and faculty governing bodies, and the Board of Regents, in order to detail his environmental concerns with its construction. President Zaccari sought Barnes’ expulsion on the grounds that Barnes was a […]

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