Lake Superior State University

Location: Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
Website: http://www.lssu.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Lake Superior 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.

  • Lake Superior State University: Veteran Professor Ordered to Remove Posted Materials from Office Door

    July 23, 2007

    Lake Superior State University (LSSU) ordered a professor to remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door or face charges of “insubordination.” After an anonymous person complained that the materials were offensive, LSSU officials told Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to immediately remove the items and to practice his academic freedom with “responsibility”—while allowing other professors to maintain similar postings about the same issues on their office doors

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Red Light Policies

  • Harassment: Identify It, Prevent It, Resolve It 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies

    Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical contact of a
    sexual nature.

    Bullying is repeated inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work/study.
    Examples of Bullying:

    Verbal: slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family; persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting or
    humiliating; using a person as the center of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks.

    Exclusion: socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work/education-related activities.

    Social media: the posting of humiliating, insulting or hurtful comments and messages.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Campus Life Handbook: Posting Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Publicity containing any of the following will not be approved and will be removed immediately if posted:

    • Any reference to illegal substances, unless in connection with an educational message or event.
    • Any reference promoting the use of alcohol, unless in connection with an educational message or event.
    • Offensive language or images and/or graphic illustrations.
    • Language and/or graphic illustrations/images that dehumanize individuals on the basis of race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, or any other characteristic protected by Lake Superior State University policy and/or applicable law.
    • Any information that would violate local, state, or federal law, or Lake Superior State University policy.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Code of Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Behavior which violates these values is considered disruptive and is subject to disciplinary action. … Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to the following: … Abuse, disrespect, noise or other actions that disrupt the educational enterprise and campus environment.

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  • Housing Handbook: Harassment and Intimidation 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    In order to succeed personally and academically, all residents must be able to live free from unnecessary emotional stress caused by others. Physical and verbal harassment, including harassment based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religious preference, etc. will not be tolerated in a residence life community. Should a resident be found responsible for harassing and/or intimidating another resident, strict disciplinary action will be taken immediately, possibly resulting in removal from on-campus housing.

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  • Student Handbook: Treatment of Others 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Everyone is expected to treat other members of the University community, whether students, faculty, or staff, with respect and consideration at all times. … Any acts that infringe on others’ rights and safety, including but not limited to, physical or verbal abuse, sexual misconduct, or acts of discrimination, prejudice, or harassment, will result in disciplinary action by the University.

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  • Campus Right to Assemble/Demonstration Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Prior to sponsoring a rally, demonstration, march or other event, a group or organization representative must complete and submit an event application (see below) at least 72 hours in advance of any activity to the Public Safety Office. This information will serve and protect all parties.

    A member of University staff will review the notification within one working day of its submission. The appropriate University official(s) may elect to meet with the individual(s) requesting the permit prior to its approval. The meeting will cover logistics including safety and security issues, use of amplified sound, and the potential for disruption of the mission of the institution.

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  • Housing Handbook: Posting Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    All postings must first be approved by the Campus Life Office, located in the Cisler Center. Postings must bear the stamp of approval. … Postings deemed offensive, sexist, vulgar, discriminatory or suggestive will not be approved. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the removal and disposal of the postings in addition to possible future posting denial and/or disciplinary sanctioning of the individual(s) involved.

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Green Light Policies
  • Information Technology Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    The following list while not exhaustive provides some examples and guidelines on what constitutes inappropriate, unacceptable or illegal use of information technology, computing and networking resources and would be the just cause for taking disciplinary and/or legal action: … Harassment or libelous conduct of other individuals or users as defined by law.

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  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Discrimination because of gender includes sexual harassment, which means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when: … such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment, public accommodations or public services, education or housing environment.

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  • Freedom of speech group takes aim at Lake Superior State

    April 11, 2008

    A U.S. freedom of speech organization is crying foul, charging Lake Superior State University unfairly ordered a sociology professor to take down cartoons on Islamic terrorism and other politically-charged materials from his office door. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says an anonymous complaint led the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. school to demand in March, 2007 that Prof. Richard Crandall take down a number of materials adorning his office door. FIRE says the materials in question include cartoons and other materials pertaining to Islamic terrorism, gun control, abortion, presidential politics and the war in Iraq. One poster from Crandall’s door […]

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  • Mother Superior State College jumped the gun images

    April 10, 2008

    Over at Inside Higher Ed, a publication that covers post-K-12 education issues with vim, vigor, and verve, Andy Guess reports on the case of Robert Crandall, a tenured prof at Lake Superior State College who has gotten in trouble for posting offensive content to his office door. LSSC’s case, according to a lawyer representing the school, is that the prof has “acted in an unprofessional and insubordinate manner [and] his actions cannot be considered protected speech.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), co-founded by reason contributors Harvey Silverglate and Alan Charles Kors, is publicizing the case. Writes Guess: […]

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  • Pardon me, but your door is terribly offensive

    April 10, 2008

    Getting one’s own office can be a rite of passage right up there with defending a dissertation or receiving tenure—and many professors’ lairs are reflections of their own attitudes and beliefs. Usually, it takes just a quick glance at the door, as anyone who’s taken a stroll down the hall of an academic building can attest: What a professor finds amusing, outrageous or just plain interesting is there for all to see. At a public university, such common displays of individual preference would presumably fall under the protections of the First Amendment. But not when such displays are offensive to […]

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  • Victory at Temple College Explained in Today’s Podcast

    November 10, 2008

    Last Thursday, FIRE’s press release described our latest victory for freedom of expression at Temple College (Texas), where the school’s president quickly reversed the censorship of a religiously themed cartoon and the Nietzsche quotation “God is dead” after receiving a letter from FIRE. In today’s episode of FIREside Chats, Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, discusses this case in further detail and calls on administrators at Lake Superior State University and Lone Star College–Tomball to follow Temple’s lead by undoing the censorship of controversial posted materials on campus. To listen to the entire podcast, click here.

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  • Colorado College and LSSU Media Round-Up

    April 18, 2008

    April has been a media-friendly month here at FIRE and we’d like to take a minute to catch you up on all the latest coverage of our cases, specifically articles on Colorado College and Lake Superior State University. As Torch readers know, the controversy at Colorado College continues, with student Chris Robinson awaiting the decision of his appeal for being punished for posting a satirical flyer on campus. Media from all over Colorado have been covering the case persistently, including the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and numerous television news outlets. At Lake Superior State […]

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  • ‘Blasting Bush OK, but don’t criticize terrorists’

    April 11, 2008

    Foundation says university needs to drop speech ‘limits’ WorldNetDaily   A college in Michigan has decided to allow harsh criticisms of President Bush to be posted on university property, but has banned criticism of violent terrorists and abortion, according to an educational rights group that is challenging the school’s practice. The issue involves Lake Superior State University in Sault St. Marie, which has ordered Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to remove the expressions of opinion from his office door and practice his academic freedom with “responsibility.” “LSSU is displaying serious disrespect for faculty rights by demanding […]

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  • Reason’s Hit & Run on LSSU

    April 10, 2008

    Check out Nick Gillespie’s post over at Reason blog ‘Hit & Run’ about FIRE’s case at Lake Superior State College. Nick writes: FIRE has always made a consistent argument (and has defended scholars and the right and the left) that public universities, precisely because they are government-sponsored, are totally bound by the First Amendment in ways that private universities are not necessarily (yeah, yeah, I understand that the line between public and private is totally nebulous given various funding issues ranging from federal research grants to Pell grants, etc). I agree with that argument, and think that Crandall and all […]

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  • LSSU. Bastion of academic freedom. Killer of comics

    April 10, 2008

    A brouhaha over freedom of speech at Lake Superior State University is gaining attention in academic circles. Office door postings by LSSU professor Dr. Richard Crandall are at the centre of the storm. Crandall’s conservative-leaning cartoons and photos have offended some and led university officials to consider reprimanding him. According to an article on the Insider Higher Ed website, LSSU’s administration believes such postings contribute “to a hostile environment.” As a result, school officials argue, the materials aren’t protected by the First Amendment’s guaranteed right to freedom of speech. Crandall and a supportive organization called the Foundation for Individual Rights […]

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  • Political Double Standard at Lake Superior State University

    April 9, 2008

    In a press release today, FIRE adds Lake Superior State University to the list of schools where double standards for political expression are the norm. (Compare to the ludicrous situation at Colorado College.) Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has ordered a professor to remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door or face charges of “insubordination.” Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, has adorned his office door and the wall near his office with conservative political cartoons and postings since he started teaching […]

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  • Lake Superior State University Violates Free Expression Rights

    April 9, 2008

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., April 9, 2008—Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has ordered a professor to remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door or face charges of “insubordination.” After an anonymous person complained that the materials were offensive, LSSU officials told Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to immediately remove the items and to practice his academic freedom with “responsibility”—while allowing other professors to maintain similar postings about the same issues on their office doors. Crandall has turned to the Foundation for […]

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