Email from University of Wisconsin-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen to all faculty and staff, September 27, 2011

By on September 27, 2011

From: Chancellor
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 4:01 PM
To: All Faculty & Staff
Subject: Memo from Chancellor Sorensen, Provost Furst-Bowe and Vice Chancellor Nieskes

TO:                       UW-Stout Faculty and Staff                                         via electronic mail

FROM:                  Charles W. Sorensen, Chancellor
                            Julie Furst-Bowe, Provost
                            Ed Nieskes, Vice Chancellor

DATE:                   September 27, 2011

RE:                       Poster Incident Involving a UW-Stout Professor

There have been recent news reports about an incident in which two posters hung by a UW-Stout professor outside his office were removed by campus police.  There are some important points to consider in the wake of these incidents:

UW-Stout administrators believe strongly in the right of all students, faculty and staff to express themselves freely about issues on campus and off.  This freedom is fundamental on a public university campus.

However, we also have the responsibility to promote a campus environment that is free from threats of any kind—both direct and implied. It was our belief, after consultation with UW System legal counsel, that the posters in question constituted an implied threat of violence.  That is why they were removed.

This was not an act of censorship.  This was an act of sensitivity to and care for our shared community, and was intended to maintain a campus climate in which everyone can feel welcome, safe and secure.

Schools: University of Wisconsin – Stout Cases: University of Wisconsin – Stout: Censorship, Referral to Threat Assessment Team, and Threat of Criminal Charges after Professor Puts Posters Outside Office Door