Duke University

Location: Durham, North Carolina
Website: http://www.duke.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Duke University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • Duke University: Women’s Center Cancels ‘Motherhood’ Event

    March 26, 2010

    Duke Students For Life (DSFL) reserved a space at Duke’s Women’s Center for a “Discussion with a Duke Mother” to take place during the group’s “Week for Life.” The day before the event was to take place, Women’s Center employee Martin Liccardo told DSFL that the event could not be held at the Women’s Center because “We had a very strong reaction from students in general who use our space who said this was something that was upsetting and not OK.” Within hours of FIRE publicizing the case, Women’s Center Director Ada Gregory apologized to DSFL, stating that the viewpoint-based […]

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  • Duke University: Administrative Ban on Faculty Member’s Website

    October 24, 2001

    At Duke University, the administration shut down a website after Professor Gary Hull posted an article entitled “Terrorism and Its Appeasement” that called for a strong military response to the terrorist attacks. FIRE took Professor’s Hull’s case to the print and broadcast media. Shamed by widespread publicity, Duke reinstated Hull’s web page, but required him to add a disclaimer that the views expressed in the article did not reflect the views of the University. Duke has never before required any other professors to add such disclaimers to their web pages. That institution’s double standard is now out in the open.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Bias Response 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    Bias incidents may take the form of, but are not limited to: … * Graffiti or signs … * Verbal harassment, slurs or threats … * Written slurs or threats

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  • Duke Community Standard in Practice: Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The first form of harassment is verbal or physical conduct–which may or may not be sexual in nature–that, because of its severity and/or persistence, interferes significantly with an individual’s work or education, or adversely affects an individual’s living conditions.

    Examples of conduct that may constitute harassment include:
    • Continued unwelcomed questioning about intimate or personal matters outside the scope of work or learning
    • Unwelcome touching or physical acts outside the scope of work or learning
    • Unwelcome comments or jokes of a sexual or explicit nature
    • Unwelcome comments or conduct regarding an individual’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, etc.
    • Sending e-mails that contain unwelcome, extreme or persistent messages, images or language
    • Persistently joking about an individual’s age, disability, country of national origin, color, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, etc.

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Green Light Policies
  • Duke Community Standard in Practice: Pickets, Protests, and Demonstrations 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Duke University respects the right of all members of the academic community to explore and to discuss questions which interest them, to express opinions publicly and privately, and to join together to demonstrate their concern by orderly means. It is the policy of the university to protect the right of voluntary assembly, to make its facilities available for peaceful assembly, to welcome guest speakers, to protect the exercise of these rights from disruption or interference.

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  • Duke Community Standard in Practice: Academic Freedom 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Freedom of inquiry and the free exchange of ideas are essential for the fulfillment of the university’s mission. Academic freedom is a right and responsibility of students as well as faculty.

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  • Duke Community Standard in Practice: Computing and Electronic Communications 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    In making acceptable use of resources you must not: … Use mail or messaging services to harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else’s name or userid.

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  • Duke Student Expelled for Sexual Misconduct Sues for Diploma

    May 28, 2014

    By Blake Neff at The Daily Caller A senior at Duke University is suing the school for his diploma after he was expelled from the college due to a rape accusation. As reported by a local paper, the Indy Week, Lewis McLeod, Class of 2014, is demanding that the school provide him with his degree so that he can move on with his life. McLeod, who hails from Australia, says he has a job offer from a Wall Street investment firm but cannot start without his degree. With his student visa expiring at the end of this term, a lack of a job would […]

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  • Duke’s sexist sexual misconduct policy

    April 14, 2010

    Four years ago, Duke University became the center of a national controversy about sexual assault, wrongful accusations, and campus politics when four lacrosse players were falsely accused of raping an exotic dancer at a party. Now, Duke is back in the news with a campus policy that ostensibly seeks to prevent sexual assault – but, in fact, infantilizes women, redefines much consensual sex as potentially criminal, and does a grave disservice to both sexes. The policy, introduced last fall but recently challenged by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, co-founded by Boston attorney Harvey Silverglate, targets “sexual misconduct” – […]

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  • Ex-Student Sues Brown Over Rape Accusation

    April 14, 2010

    The New York Times A former student has sued Brown University in federal court, saying university officials interfered with his efforts to clear his name after another student, the daughter of a prominent Brown alumnus and donor, accused him of rape. In documents unsealed Monday, the former student, William McCormick III, said the university had failed to follow its own disciplinary policies and sent him home to Wisconsin after the woman’s father made calls to top university officials. The rape accusation was never reported to the police by Brown or the woman, according to the lawsuit. Within a month, Mr. […]

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  • Duke rape policy: If you’re perceived as “powerful,” it wasn’t consensual

    April 7, 2010

    Duke University’s new sexual misconduct policy can render a student guilty of non-consensual sex simply because he or she is considered “powerful” on campus, according to the non-profit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The policy cites “perceived power differentials” which “may create an unintentional atmosphere in coercion.” The bottom line? You’ve committed “sexual misconduct” if you’re considered “powerful”—i.e. a lacrosse team player—and you have engaged in something that falls into what the university broadly defines as “acts of a sexual nature.” This definition includes, “but are not limited to:” Touching or attempted touching of an unwilling person’s breasts, […]

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  • Charles Snelling — Free speech applies to political ads

    April 3, 2010

    Not long ago, The Morning Call had a Your View by Malcolm J. Gross and Robert K. Young castigating the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision on behalf of free speech. They joined President Barack Obama in their criticism of the court although at least Gross and Young were more civil and not as rude and inappropriate as the president was during his State of the Union message to Congress. What the Supreme Court found was that corporations and labor unions were legal fictitious people and were entitled to free political speech. The court did not do anything to permit […]

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  • DePaul and the Duke Lacrosse Case

    February 1, 2007

    Aside from their school mascots, there has never been much in common between the Blue Demons of DePaul and the Blue Devils of Duke. About seven years ago Duke beat DePaul in overtime in a memorable game that featured at least six future NBA players. But other than basketball the two schools had little connecting them. Until now, that is. As the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax unravels and the falsely accused students and their families struggle to put their lives back together, a law suit filed against DePaul university by a former adjunct professor may be a cautionary tale for […]

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  • ‘Pollys’ Spotlight Politically Correct Excesses On U.S. Campuses

    April 14, 2005

    By Jim Brown at Agape Press A higher education watchdog group has unveiled its annual “Campus Outrage Awards,” documenting the worst “absurdities” and most egregious examples of political correctness on college campuses this year. The president of Harvard University receiving a faculty vote of no confidence for suggesting that innate differences might account for some of the inequalities between men and women in certain fields of endeavor; and Duke University hosting a Palestine Solidarity Movement conference with a segment designed to recruit students for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad — those are just two of the dubious honorees […]

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  • 2005 Campus Outrage Awards

    April 1, 2005

    Collegiate Network Duke spends over $50,000 on a tactical training session for activists dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, while a graduate student at LeMoyne College is expelled for writing that light spanking has a legitimate role in classroom discipline. A UNLV professor is engulfed in a whirlwind of controversy after making a remark about the financial planning habits of homosexuals, while a student at Occidental College is convicted of sexually harassing the whole school over the radio. Ward Churchill is defended by the academic community for declaring that victims of the World Trade Center bombing deserved […]

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  • Who’s Looking Out for Campus Conservatives?

    January 14, 2005

    The dispute as to whether liberal bias on campus exists has become, pardon the pun, academic. Last year, the Duke Conservative Union crosschecked their school’s faculty listings against voter registration rolls and found the ratio of Democrats to Republicans was 32-0 in the History department, 11-0 in Literature, and 18-1 in English. Sadly, these breakdowns are typical of liberal academia. Campus conservatives know who to watch out for: deans, provosts, professors…professors who happen to be Democrat congressmen. The only job more fulfilling than teaching liberalism is legislating it, right Dr. Price? (U.S. Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) is a member of […]

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  • The Good and The Bad (Plus Some Ugly)

    October 11, 2004

    Today’s college campus is a study in contrasts. Professors and administrators cling to their grotesque orthodoxies, but students seem to be getting saner by the year. What follows are five of the most outrageous campus incidents of the last academic year, then five of the most heartening acts of courage. The conservative-speaker double standard is almost an academic institution. At Bucknell University, administrators refused a student group’s request to invite Republican congressman and Senate hopeful Pat Toomey to give a speech, arguing that his appearance would violate a school policy against electioneering on campus. Meanwhile, Bucknell paid presidential candidate Ralph […]

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  • Pro or Con War Talk’s Risky on Campus

    December 16, 2001

    By Tom Mashberg at The Boston Herald

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  • Thought Police Spring to Action on the Campus

    November 26, 2001

    By Jonathan Yardley at The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

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  • The Death of Free Speech in Higher Ed

    October 31, 2001

    By Andrea Neal at The Indianapolis Star

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  • Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case (VIDEO)

    June 6, 2014

    In this new FIRE video, Professor KC Johnson recounts the Duke lacrosse rape case of 2006 and explains its lessons about the importance of due process in cases of crime in higher education.

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  • Duke ‘Chronicle’ Editorial Advocates for Due Process

    February 26, 2014

    Earlier this week, the editorial board of Duke University’s student newspaper The Chronicle detailed some of the many ways Duke fails to provide due process to its students accused of campus violations.

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  • Duke vs. Freedom

    March 5, 2013

    As Torch readers (and lots of Americans generally) know, Duke University’s conduct during the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax scandal was, shall we say, subpar. But many may not know that the fallout from the scandal continues to this day, with Duke’s lawyers doing everything they can to extricate the university from a mess of its own making. Unfortunately, Duke has been heedless of some of the collateral damage it has attempted to cause in its quest to save itself some money—and some of that damage has splashed over into the territory of free speech and academic freedom. Brooklyn College professor […]

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  • Problems with University Bias Policies and Attempts to Improve Campus Climate

    November 19, 2012

    This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from us—a distinction currently awarded to just 15 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating […]

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  • Misunderstanding ‘Harassment’

    October 16, 2012

    Last week, FIRE kicked off a blog series about how schools can reform problematic speech codes with a discussion of why mandating “civility” is inconsistent with students’ right to free speech. This week, we are tackling another trouble spot for free speech: the harassment policy.  As an initial matter, campus harassment policies can be divided into two categories: policies prohibiting discriminatory harassment (including sexual harassment) and policies prohibiting general harassment (including threats and stalking). It will be most useful to discuss these categories separately.  Discriminatory Harassment   Federal anti-discrimination law requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding (which is virtually all […]

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  • The Problem with Stanford’s Definition of ‘Intoxication’

    July 21, 2011

    I want to take a few moments today to discuss a particular aspect of FIRE’s recent work regarding due process protections for those accused of sexual misconduct. Specifically, I want to focus on the issues of consent and intoxication. Because many cases of sexual misconduct involve intoxicated students and questions of consent, precisely how a school defines intoxication is of obvious importance when thinking about due process rights and ensuring fair procedures. Let’s take Stanford University as an example. As FIRE detailed in yesterday’s press release, Stanford defines sexual assault as occurring “when a person is incapable of giving consent.” This […]

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  • FIRE’s Case at Duke Gets National Attention in ‘Boston Globe,’ ‘Washington Times,’ ‘The Atlantic’

    April 15, 2010

    FIRE’s exposé of Duke University’s unjust sexual misconduct policy—a policy that transmogrifies students into unwitting rapists—is drawing the attention of some of America’s best-known publications. In The Boston Globe, Cathy Young brings analysis and an original perspective to Duke’s policy, while FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley has a column of his own in today’s Washington Times. Meanwhile, The Atlantic‘s Wendy Kaminer, a member of FIRE’s Board of Advisors, tackles the policy’s defective procedures and the political assumptions underlying the policy. Duke, meanwhile, has remained silent, making it increasingly obvious that it cannot defend this outrageously unfair policy.

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  • In Pages of ‘Washington Times,’ FIRE’s Robert Shibley Takes Apart Duke’s Outrageous Sexual Misconduct Policy

    April 15, 2010

    Much ink has been rightly spilled in recent days over Duke University’s new sexual misconduct policy. Indeed, as FIRE and others have documented, the policy blurs the idea of consent in any sexual encounter, deprives students accused of sexual misconduct of basic due process, and threatens to turn many students on Duke’s campus into unknowing rapists. In other words, the policy would be laughably absurd in its affront to common sense, if not for the fact that it is so dangerous and the possible consequences so dire. Adding to the calls for Duke to dismantle its ill-advised policy is FIRE […]

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  • SHIBLEY: Unwitting rapists and their oblivious victims

    April 15, 2010

    At Duke, you can be a rapist without even knowing it. A new sexual-misconduct policy, enacted in the fall, takes as one of its fundamental tenets that “real or perceived power differentials between individuals may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.” That’s right: To be guilty of date rape at Duke, you don’t have to force someone to have sex or even have actual power over that person – you only have to be “perceived” as more powerful by a Duke tribunal. Not concerned yet? How about this: If either party, male or female, is to any degree intoxicated during […]

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  • Cathy Young in ‘The Boston Globe’ on Duke’s Unjust Sexual Misconduct Policy

    April 14, 2010

    Columnist and Reason contributing editor Cathy Young pens an excellent editorial in The Boston Globe today about Duke University’s shockingly unjust and intrusive sexual misconduct policy. The entire column is well worth a read, as Young details the many infirmities of Duke’s policy. Young also brings a fresh perspective to the table: About 15 years ago, as an undergraduate, a friend of mine was talked into a one-night stand in a situation some would call coercive: the man was a graduate student, and she felt somewhat intimidated by his intellectual brilliance. She went to a campus counselor hoping for advice on developing […]

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  • Wendy Kaminer Pillories Duke’s Sexual Misconduct Policy in ‘The Atlantic’

    April 13, 2010

    Celibacy is probably not a feasible option for most undergraduates, but students at Duke University may want to consider it anyway. Such is the assessment of author, lawyer, and FIRE Board of Advisors member Wendy Kaminer in her most recent blog entry for The Atlantic. Kaminer is ridiculing Duke University’s troubling sexual misconduct policy, and she’s issued one of the best critiques of the policy to appear in the days since FIRE went public with its concerns at Duke. As FIRE has done at length, Kaminer also draws attention to the many inequities in Duke’s policy which stack the deck […]

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  • Duke University and the Accidental Sex Offender

    April 12, 2010

    Celibacy is probably not a feasible option for most undergraduates, but students at Duke University may want to consider it anyway.  Duke’s new rules governing sexual misconduct and coercion are so vague, subjective, presumptive of guilt, and oblivious to the dynamics of consensual sexual relations that they pose a risk of prosecution even for students engaging in innocent foreplay.  Sexual misconduct at Duke includes “inappropriate (or non-consensual) touching,” as well as rape; “inappropriate touching” and “acts of a sexual nature” that require clear consent include (“but are not limited to”) touching and “attempted touching” of an “unwilling person’s” erogenous zones, […]

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  • Duke and the Art of Not Answering Questions

    April 9, 2010

    Lawyers often specialize in the art of answering questions without actually answering questions. Here’s a great example: the letter we received today from Duke University lawyer Kate Hendricks. Hendricks was personally very pleasant to me when I had a non-substantive conversation with her on March 25, as I mentioned in my previous blog entry and to which she refers in her letter. But Hendricks’ letter employs a common tactic: it addresses the least important concern we raised in our letter while conveniently ignoring everything else. Here’s the sole concern Duke addresses: FIRE pointed out in our letter that the sexual […]

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  • FIRE’s Free Speech Victory at Duke Highlighted in ‘Morning Call’

    April 8, 2010

    The Morning Call (Allentown, PA) ran an op-ed last Saturday highlighting FIRE’s successful work defending freedom of expression against censorship by the Women’s Center at Duke University and in other cases. Charles D. Snelling writes: I belong to an organization called FIRE — Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — that is a vitally needed defender of free speech, which is under assault in many if not most colleges and universities. Readers may remember the infamous order at Lehigh University after 9/11 that the American flag would not be displayed on the college’s buses. [link added] Nor is this sort of outrage a rarity. Just last week, […]

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  • Robert Shibley Appearing on ‘The David Boze Show’ Tonight

    April 7, 2010

    FIRE’s Vice President Robert Shibley will be discussing our latest case at Duke University on The David Boze Show tonight, a daily talk radio program on 770 KTTH AM. If you are in the Seattle area, tune in at 4:10 p.m. East Coasters can listen online at 7:10 p.m.

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  • New Duke Policy Renders Students Unwitting Rapists

    April 7, 2010

    I didn’t want to write that headline. Not because it isn’t true—it is—but because FIRE works very hard not to overstate our cases.  But the closer you look at this case, the more you realize that there’s no way around that headline. At Duke University, you can be a rapist and not even know it. To write anything less harsh would be, as journalists say, to “bury the lede.” Today’s FIRE press release discusses Duke’s sexual misconduct policy, which was instituted at the beginning of the current school year. KC Johnson, rightly lauded for his blog Durham in Wonderland and […]

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  • New Duke Policy Renders Students Unwitting Rapists; Removes Protections for Those Accused of Sexual Misconduct

    April 7, 2010

    DURHAM, N.C., April 7, 2010—Duke University has instituted a new “sexual misconduct” policy that can render a student guilty of non-consensual sex simply because he or she is considered “powerful” on campus. The policy claims that “perceived power differentials may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.” Duke’s new policy transforms students of both sexes into unwitting rapists simply because of the “atmosphere” or because one or more students are “intoxicated,” no matter the degree. The policy also establishes unfair rules for judging sexual misconduct accusations. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is challenging the policy. “Duke’s new sexual […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech: Duke Pro-Life Group’s Free Speech Rights Restored

    March 30, 2010

    Duke University’s Women’s Center has reversed a decision that prohibited the Duke Students for Life (DSFL) student group from holding a discussion on student motherhood at a Women’s Center venue during the group’s “Week for Life” event. Only hours after FIRE exposed Duke’s decision to public scrutiny yesterday, Women’s Center Director Ada Gregory wrote to the group to say that “mistakes were certainly made that should not have occurred” and that she had “taken steps to ensure that such an incident will not happen again.” DSFL had reserved a Women’s Center space for a “Discussion with a Duke Mother” to take place […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech at Duke: Pro-Life Group’s Rights Restored

    March 30, 2010

    DURHAM, N.C., March 30, 2010—Duke University has reversed a decision by its Women’s Center that prohibited the Duke Students for Life (DSFL) student group from holding a discussion on student motherhood at a Women’s Center venue during the group’s “Week for Life” event. The group’s president turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. Only hours after FIRE exposed Duke’s decision to public scrutiny yesterday, Women’s Center Director Ada Gregory wrote to the group to say that “mistakes were certainly made that should not have occurred” and that she had “taken steps to ensure that such […]

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  • Duke Keeps Pro-Life Group Out of Women’s Center During ‘Week for Life’

    March 29, 2010

    Duke University’s Women’s Center has canceled an event about motherhood because the sponsor was engaging in pro-life expression elsewhere on campus. A Women’s Center representative told Duke Students for Life (DSFL) that “we have a problem” and an ideological “conflict” with the event, which was supposedly canceled to protect Duke women from encountering the event during the group’s “traumatizing” pro-life “Week for Life.” Today’s press release has the story. As part of a “Week for Life” series of events held at Duke over March 15-19, DSFL had reserved a Women’s Center space for a “Discussion with a Duke Mother” on […]

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  • Duke Keeps Pro-Life Group Out of Women’s Center During ‘Week for Life’

    March 29, 2010

    DURHAM, N.C., March 29, 2010—Duke University’s Women’s Center has canceled an event about motherhood because the sponsor was engaging in pro-life expression elsewhere on campus. A Women’s Center representative told Duke Students for Life (DSFL) that “we have a problem” and an ideological “conflict” with the event, which was supposedly canceled to protect Duke women from encountering the event during the group’s “traumatizing” pro-life “Week for Life.” The group’s president has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Duke appears to have an unwritten but officially enforced stance regarding abortion that has resulted in pro-life groups being shut […]

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  • FIRE Letter to Duke University President Richard Brodhead

    March 26, 2010

    March 26, 2010 President Richard H. Brodhead Office of the President Duke University 207 Allen Building Box 90001 Durham, North Carolina 27708-0001 Sent via U.S. Mail and Facsimile (919-684-3050) Dear President Brodhead: It is with great disappointment that FIRE writes you for the second time within a single month about the unfair treatment of Duke students. FIRE is gravely concerned about the withdrawal of promised event space by the Duke Women’s Center for the Duke Students for Life’s “Discussion with a Duke Mother” event. This denial of event space is unjustifiable both according to the stated mission of the Duke […]

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  • Duke Professor Finishes Yale’s Job, Prints Mohammed Images in New Book; FIRE Co-signs Statement of Principle

    November 9, 2009

    Duke University Professor Gary Hull has just published Muhammad: The “Banned” Images, which dares to publish images that Yale University and Yale University Press censored from Jytte Klausen’s The Cartoons that Shook the World earlier this year. Hull calls the book “a statement of defiance against censors, terror-mongers, and their Western appeasers.” FIRE joined with the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Association of University Professors, and nine other signatories on a Statement of Principle stating that “The failure to stand up for free expression emboldens those who would attack and undermine it.” Here is the Statement of Principle, which points out that Yale’s […]

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  • Duke, Private Universities and Student Rights

    May 11, 2009

    Brooklyn College Professor KC Johnson, co-author of Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustice of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, has written an informative post on private universities and their legal obligations. He criticizes Duke for claiming, in the civil suit pertaining to Duke’s dismal treatment of the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players, that Duke’s bulletins do not constitute a legally binding contract. In other words, Duke claims that the bulletin, and other official policies and guidelines that it regularly enforces against students and faculty, can be disregarded by the university willy-nilly. As Johnson puts it: Duke’s official […]

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  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Duke University

    May 6, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at Duke University, which FIRE has given a yellow-light rating for maintaining at least one policy that could too easily be used to restrict student speech. Duke is a private university, so the first order of business is to examine what commitments the university has made to protecting free speech. In several places throughout its student policies, Duke extols the value of free expression to university life. […]

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  • Rights in the News: A Good Week for FIRE at Virginia Tech

    April 17, 2009

    I blogged on Wednesday on the press generated by FIRE’s successful effort to get Virginia Tech President Charles Steger to shelve a requirement that would have more deeply ensconced a “diversity” requirement for tenure and promotion for the university’s arts and sciences faculty. FIRE’s efforts and success at Virginia Tech were reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) and the Richmond Times-Dispatch as well as several blogs. You also may have noticed that there was a bit of a ruckus kicked up by University of Pennsylvania professor John L. Jackson, Jr., in a post on Brainstorm, a blog […]

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  • More Shameful Behavior at Duke University

    December 18, 2007

    FIRE co-founder Harvey Silverglate is quoted in a recent article written by University of North Carolina–Wilmington Professor Christopher Halkides on the Duke University lacrosse case. The article, which is available here, discusses Duke Professor Steven Baldwin’s travails as a rare voice of reason among the school’s faculty. In the fall of 2006, at the height of the campus’s upheaval, Professor Baldwin courageously wrote an op-ed piece for the Duke Chronicle in which he criticized those of his fellow faculty members (and there were many) who had presumed the guilt of the accused lacrosse players and publicly damaged their reputations. Tellingly, […]

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  • The ‘Group of 88’ and Richard Brodhead

    November 20, 2007

    I’ve posted a few times on Stuart Taylor Jr.’s and KC Johnson’s wonderful and frightening book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. FIRE friends need no introduction to the disregard for due process and common decency permeating the academy, but let the following serve as yet more anecdotal evidence. Eighty-eight Duke professors released an advertisement on April 6 calling the lacrosse party and alleged rape a “social disaster” and remarked that, no matter what the “results of the police investigation” were, something “happened to this young woman.” Duke President Richard Brodhead […]

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  • In Response to Pressure, Duke President Richard Brodhead Folds Like a Lawn Chair

    October 29, 2007

    This week, we continue the exploration begun last week (here and here) of Duke President Richard Brodhead’s deplorable actions in violation of his students’ rights and welfare in the Duke lacrosse rape case. These stories are taken from KC Johnson’s and Stuart Taylor’s book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. After word of the alleged rape hit the media, physical attacks on Duke students by members of the Durham community increased. The increased attacks prompted critics of the lacrosse team to condemn reports of the attacks rather than the attacks themselves […]

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  • More on Duke Lacrosse Case

    October 18, 2007

    Yesterday, we announced that we would be exploring more aspects and details of the Duke University lacrosse case as recorded by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor in their book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. As I mentioned, disgraced DA Mike Nifong’s actions were effective largely because a gullible Duke community allowed them to be. Nifong may have never attempted such actions had the academic community vehemently condemned the case’s lack of procedural due process and legal inconsistencies.   Instead of doing so, however, Duke President Richard Brodhead obtusely announced that […]

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  • ‘Until Proven Innocent’ Demonstrates Duke Administration’s Failures

    October 17, 2007

    HBO announced a couple of weeks ago that it will make a movie based on KC Johnson’s and Stuart Taylor’s excellent book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The book is a comprehensive review of the frightening abuses of due process by Durham’s District Attorney Mike Nifong—which have prompted a lawsuit from the falsely accused students—and the gullible reactions of the media, the Duke faculty, and the Duke administration. FIRE could not take the Duke case because it was in the realm of criminal law and a matter of prosecutorial malfeasance […]

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  • Professor, Examine Thyself

    October 8, 2007

    Check out Peter Berkowitz’s op ed, “Ethics 101,” in today’s Wall Street Journal. In his article, Berkowitz points out that, while centers to study ethics exist at many campuses across the country, including some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, few spend much time examining ethical issues relating to higher education. He writes: Celebrating its 20th anniversary last spring, the Harvard University Program on Ethics and the Professions is among the nation’s oldest and most distinguished. Yet of the more than 130 public lectures by eminent visitors sponsored over the last two decades by the Harvard ethics program, only three […]

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  • ‘Until Proven Innocent’ and Duke’s President

    September 21, 2007

    FIRE’s Luke Sheahan and I had the pleasure of traveling to New York last night for the launch of MindingTheCampus.com, the Manhattan Institute’s new web journal and a great source of information about what’s going on in academia today with regard to issues like free speech and academic freedom. The guests of honor at the event were none other than Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson, authors of the new book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The book has met with favorable reviews from The New York Times, The Wall […]

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  • KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor in ‘The Washington Post’

    September 7, 2007

    As a Duke alumnus, I followed the developments in the Duke Lacrosse “rape” case with a good deal of interest and no small amount of embarrassment. Today, Professor KC Johnson (a good friend of FIRE) and National Journal reporter Stuart Taylor Jr., authors of the new book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case have an article in The Washington Post that explains why I had good reason to be embarrassed about the behavior of my alma mater’s faculty and administration, if not the students who attend it. In the article, Taylor […]

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  • Duke Student Government President Wants to Exclude Illegal Evidence

    June 4, 2007

    With the exoneration of the accused Duke lacrosse players, many are now taking a hard look at the procedures that were used to drag them through over a year of utterly unjustified litigation. FIRE friend Professor KC Johnson has done an invaluable service to our society by chronicling the whole sad story of the case on his blog, Durham-in-Wonderland. While the majority of the abuses came from the Durham Police and the office of Durham County Prosecutor Mike Nifong, many people—including Elliott Wolf, president of the Duke Student Government (DSG)—are upset with Duke’s handling of the case as well. In […]

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  • Liberty in the Balance in North Carolina

    February 1, 2006

    The number of battles FIRE has had to fight in North Carolina is staggering. Even before our recent (and victorious) headline-grabbing case at UNC Greensboro, we have defended embattled professors at UNC Wilmington, Shaw University, Forsyth Technical Community College, and Duke University; two Christian groups at UNC Chapel Hill; a student newspaper under attack at Craven Community College; and red-light speech codes across the state. The place clearly needs help, and that is exactly what FIRE is trying to give it. Last month, we (along with the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy) released the landmark Report on […]

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  • K. C. Johnson Strikes Again

    August 26, 2005

    The invaluable K. C. Johnson has an excellent op-ed in today’s Inside Higher Ed. K. C. does a wonderful job of collecting evidence that much of the ideological uniformity in higher education is not so much the result of “self-selection” but instead the product of an academic culture that uses ideology as a stand-in for intelligence or merit. His most interesting paragraphs relate how ideological uniformity is justified by a desire to create a particular academic orthodoxy on issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation According to Montclair State’s Grover Furr, “colleges and universities do not need a single […]

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