Location: Chicago, Illinois
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit
Chicago State University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.
Red Light Policies
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, StatementElectronic mail and all other electronic communication (including websites and
blog posts) should adhere to the University standards of conduct which
prohibits any communication which tends to embarrass, humiliate or shed a
negative light on any member of the community. Respect others you contact
electronically by avoiding distasteful, inflammatory, harassing or otherwise
Speech Code Category: Policies Restricting Freedom of Conscience, StatementAs a member of the Chicago State University Community, I pledge the following: ... I will respect the dignity of all persons. Behaviors which compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including hazing, intimidating, taunting, teasing, baiting, ridiculing, insulting, harassing, and discriminating are not acceptable. ... I will strive to abide by the principles of this code and will encourage others to do the same.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, StatementConduct and/or expressions that are obscene, inappropriate, acts of intimidation, or
blatantly offensive to the prevailing standards of the living-learning community are prohibited, and subject
to disciplinary actions and/or contract termination.
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, StatementChicago State University is a community where the means of seeking
truth are open discussion, free discourse, spirited debate and
peaceful dissent. Free inquiry is indispensable to the purposes of the
University and should be protected as a matter of academic freedom
within the institution. Accordingly, conditions must exist
which allow and encourage this freedom for all students.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementThe second category, "hostile environment," refers to patterns of behavior or incidents (including verbal, non verbal, physical, or other) which may seem harmless as individual events, but which may be considered intimidating, hostile, or offensive when taken together.
ARTICLE X: STUDENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Section 2. Policy on Student Conduct Policy 2.1: Grievance Procedures
Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement
Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement
January 9, 2014
Last November, in a blatant attempt to censor faculty speech, Chicago State University’s (CSU’s) legal counsel sent a cease-and-desist letter to Professor Phillip Beverly, claiming that Beverly’s CSU Faculty Voice blog infringed on the school’s trademarks and created the false impression that the website reflected CSU’s views as an institution. We at FIRE shared the blog contributors’ views that the site, with its frank criticism of the school and its banner reading “Crony State University” and “Where we hire our friends,” was clearly not CSU’s institutional website. However, CSU renewed its objections last week in a second letter demanding that pictures of the campus and references […]» Read More
December 10, 2013
Last month, the American Association of University Professors drafted a report reaffirming its conclusions from a 2004 report that electronic communications should be governed by the same principles of academic freedom as expression in traditional media. November’s report acknowledges that even in the past nine years, technology has advanced significantly in ways that have “potentially profound implications for both privacy and free expression.” But as the AAUP writes, the overriding principle articulated in its 2004 report still applies: Academic freedom, free inquiry, and freedom of expression within the academic community may be limited to no greater extent in electronic format than they are in […]» Read More
November 12, 2013
Yesterday, Chicago State University’s (CSU’s) legal counsel and vice president for labor and legal affairs Patrick B. Cage sent a cease-and-desist letter to Professor Phillip Beverly, demanding he take down his CSU Faculty Voice blog on which he and several other professors have shared concerns and criticisms about the school since 2009. Cage claimed that the blog infringes on the school’s trademarks and shows a “lack of civility.” FIRE has seen both arguments used previously in attempts to censor protected speech, but neither is a valid reason to shut this blog down. In his letter, Cage writes that the blog “constitutes, among other things, trademark infringement […]» Read More
August 29, 2013
Nearly five years after Chicago State University (CSU) unlawfully retaliated against former student editor George Providence II and former faculty advisor Gerian Steven Moore for the content of several articles published in Tempo, CSU’s student newspaper, Providence’s and Moore’s lawsuit against the university has finally concluded with a hefty penalty for CSU: $213,231 in court costs and attorney’s fees. Federal Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer summarized the facts of the case: Plaintiffs claimed that Moore — a faculty member at Chicago State University — was terminated in retaliation for his refusal to censor the student newspaper, Tempo, which had published a […]» Read More
April 9, 2012
Well, that was fast. Chicago State University announced Friday that it has withdrawn a policy that would have required all faculty communications with media to be pre-approved by the university’s public relations administrators. The withdrawal came just hours after the policy’s restrictions made local news; Friday’s Chicago Tribune featured a story on the policy, including criticism from FIRE’s Robert Shibley and Cary Nelson of the American Association of University Professors. Chicago State’s embarrassing flirtation with top-down faculty censorship (and its sudden change in direction) proves once again that universities are often loath to defend in public that which they practice […]» Read More
April 6, 2012
Free speech for faculty? Not if Chicago State University can help it. Today’s Chicago Tribune features a shocking report about Chicago State’s efforts to control all faculty speech to the media. Jodi Cohen reports: In an email sent March 22 to faculty and staff, Sabrina Land, the university’s director of marketing and communications, wrote that all communications must be “strategically deployed” in a way that “safeguards the reputation, work product and ultimately, the students, of CSU.” The policy applies to media interviews, opinion pieces, newsletters, social media and other types of communications, stating that they must be approved by the […]» Read More
April 6, 2012
by Jodi Cohen Chicago Tribune The publicly funded Chicago State University has instructed its faculty and staff that only authorized university representatives can share information with the media and that everything from opinion pieces to social media communications could require prior approval. Employees who violate the new policy could lose their jobs, according to a copy of the rules obtained by the Tribune. “Frankly, this policy is an obscenity and absurdity and is not tolerable,” said Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors. In an email sent March 22 to faculty and staff, Sabrina Land, the university’s […]» Read More
Federal Court Ruling Recognizes First Amendment Protection for College Newspapers under Illinois State Law
September 21, 2010
A lawsuit filed by the former faculty advisor and the former student editor of a campus newspaper at Chicago State University (CSU), alleging violations of the First Amendment by the CSU administration, is still alive after a federal court ruled on the case last week. As Inside Higher Ed reported, the federal district court denied both the plaintiffs’ and the defendant administrators’ motions for summary judgment, citing the need to resolve material disputes of facts. More importantly, in handing down its decision, the court expounded on the free speech protections afforded to university student newspapers under Illinois state law. Specifically, […]» Read More