Four-Word Joke Results in Five Conduct Charges for University of Oregon Student

    EUGENE, Oregon, August 26, 2014—The University of Oregon (UO) has filed multiple, blatantly unconstitutional conduct charges against a female student who jokingly yelled “I hit it first” from a dormitory window. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE is calling on UO to immediately dismiss all charges against the student and reform its unconstitutional speech policies. “The University of Oregon’s absurd overreaction is the real joke here, and it’s not very funny,” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. “Using an unconstitutional speech code to punish a student […]

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    University of Oregon: Student’s Four-Word Joke Results in Five Unconstitutional Disciplinary Charges

    In June, a student yelled “I hit it first” out of a dorm window. She’s now being charged with five conduct violations.

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    University of Kansas: Anti-NRA Tweet Results in Professor’s Suspension

    The University of Kansas placed Professor David Guth on administrative leave after he posted a controversial tweet about the NRA.

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    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Heckler’s Veto Results in Termination of Emeritus Professor’s Network Access

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) succumbed to the “heckler’s veto” by revoking Emeritus Professor Elliot Cramer’s network access because of outside complaints about a website link to an organization that advocates for animal welfare. Despite telling the complainant that the dispute was “not a University matter” and that the university did not monitor website content, UNC nevertheless demanded that Cramer remove the link from his website and later canceled his network access. FIRE wrote UNC in protest, and General Counsel Leslie Chambers Strohm replied stating that UNC would not restore Cramer’s network access, redefining Cramer’s reasonable, […]

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    University of Alaska Fairbanks: Complaint Over Student Newspaper’s Articles Results in Months-Long Harassment Investigation

    University of Alaska Fairbanks student newspaper The Sun Star was subjected to sexual harassment investigations nearly a year after Professor Jensine Anahita filed complaints.

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    University of Delaware Releases Results of Residence Life Survey

    The University of Delaware has released the results of three of the questions on a survey about this year’s Residence Life program. Regular Torch readers will remember that last year’s program, before it was suspended, involved major violations of students’ rights to privacy, freedom of conscience, and freedom of speech. The survey asked students about “10 key issues, including the voluntary nature of the program, as well as privacy and rights being respected,” according to Matthew Robinson, chairperson of the Senate Student Life Committee, as reported by UDaily, the University of Delaware’s official news source. According to UDaily: About 51 […]

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    Facebook rant results in student’s suspension

    by David Ingram NBC Universal   HICKORY, N.C. – A Facebook post has gotten a Catawba Valley Community College student suspended and banned from campus. Marketing student Marc Bechtol said it was satire and free speech, but the college isn’t laughing. It all started with Catawba Valley Community College’s branded debit card. It doubles as Bechtol’s student identification. It’s something he said he told the school he didn’t want. It’s also something that came anyway, asking Bechtol to verify personal information he didn’t want a financial services company to have. Bechtol said he activated it because, according to the card […]

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    Bowdoin College Throws the Book at Professor over Embarrassing Research Results

    Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Ed reports today on FIRE’s case at Bowdoin College, where a professor and his research have been investigated after he distributed copies of a research paper that embarrassed the college in front of prospective students. Economics professor Jonathan Goldstein, who has been at Bowdoin for 29 years, was interested in the amount that a college’s academics appear to suffer as a result of emphasis on athletics. His research showed that among 36 colleges, Bowdoin came in last, with the greatest amount of lost academic potential. Goldstein was interested in what prospective students and their families […]

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    FIRE Gets Results

    Today’s FIRE press release celebrates a victory for free speech and expression at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), where students were threatened with punishment if they held an affirmative action bake sale protest. If you’re not familiar with these protests, we explain them in our press release, so take a look there. Unfortunately, the victory at NEIU is matched with a blow to free speech at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, where students under pressure from the administration buckled and apologized for exercising their First Amendment rights. Most of those who read FIRE’s blog and follow our work are people […]

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    Colorado Announces Results of Churchill Investigation

    Check out the article “U. of Colorado Will Investigate Allegations of Misconduct Against Controversial Professor”  (subscription required) in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education: Administrators at the University of Colorado at Boulder have affirmed that the First Amendment protects statements made by Ward Churchill, the ethnic-studies professor who likened victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks to “little Eichmanns.” But a seven-week review of the professor’s work, they said, turned up allegations of research misconduct that should be investigated by a faculty committee and could lead to disciplinary action, including his dismissal. FIRE started that Churchill’s speech was protected in our February […]

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