Purdue University Calumet

Location: Hammond, Indiana
Website: http://www.purduecal.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Purdue University Calumet 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.

  • Purdue University Calumet: First Amendment Violations Against Professor Who Criticized Muslims

    January 24, 2012

    After investigating nine complaints of harassment and discrimination against Professor Maurice Eisenstein, Purdue University Calumet dismissed all of them. Among other comments on his personal Facebook page, Eisenstein had criticized “‘moderate’ Muslims” who he believed had not condemned violence after an attack by “a radical Muslim group” killed Christians in Nigeria. Although Eisenstein was cleared of all of the charges after intervention from FIRE in January 2012, he was found guilty of “retaliation” due to other protected comments. He filed a lawsuit in May 2012.

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Red Light Policies

Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Free Speech and Open Expression on Campus 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Founder’s Plaza (see attached map) has been designated as the preferred public area on the Purdue Calumet campus. This means that Founder’s Plaza is open to orderly unsupervised access by faculty, staff, students and visitors for all lawful uses, including demonstrations, rallies and protests. This is because the intended purpose of the event is likely to have the greatest effect here, due to its high visibility and easy access. … Persons interested in exercising their rights of expression in Founder’s Plaza are encouraged but not required to reserve it for their events.

    Some University facilities where official University activities are carried out and which are not open public forum are available for use by reservation, subject to availability. … If space is being reserved, all forms (the “Demonstrations, Rally and Protest Form” and the “Scheduling and Event Form” must be submitted five (5) business days prior to the scheduled event. The five day requirement may be waived if circumstances require a more timely response.

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  • Code of Conduct 13-14

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

    The following actions constitute conduct for which students may be subject to informal action or disciplinary sanctions. … Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression on University property or in connection with a University activity.

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  • Student Handbook: Facilities Use and Posting Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Postings that by nature infringe on individual rights or promote activities, causes or initiatives prohibited by university regulations,
    and/or local, state or federal laws are not permitted (including but not limited to gambling, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, drugs, sexually explicit words or pictures, or illegal activities).

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Green Light Policies
  • Anti-Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The University reaffirms its commitment to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the First Amendment is not subject to this policy.

    Harassment is conduct towards another person or identifiable group of persons that has the purpose or effect of: (1) creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment, work environment, or environment for participation in a University activity; (2) unreasonably interfering with a person’s educational environment, work environment, or environment for participation in a University activity; or (3) unreasonably affecting a person’s educational or work opportunities or participation in a University activity.

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  • Professor Sues Purdue for Violation of his Free Speech Rights on Islam

    May 22, 2012

    Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Professor Maurice Eisenstein, an associate professor of political science at Purdue University Calumet. He is suing Purdue after the school’s investigation of his comments about Islam on Facebook. Though the probe cleared him, he says Purdue still violated his free speech rights. FP: Professor Maurice Eisenstein, welcome to Frontpage Interview. I would like to talk to you today about your ordeal at Purdue. How did the whole incident start? Eisenstein: Thanks Jamie. The entire attack on my free speech began over a post I made to Facebook in November 2011.  I posted a picture with a storyline about an Islamist […]

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  • Professor’s Facebook comments about Muslims brings campus outcry, lawsuit

    May 18, 2012

    A Purdue University Calumet (PUC) professor who was reprimanded for a series of Facebook comments critical of Muslims, drawing harsh criticism from students and faculty members, has filed a free-speech lawsuit against the university. Maurice Eisenstein, an associate professor of political science at PUC, posted a picture of Facebook last November of “Christians killed by a radical Muslim group.” Eisenstein criticized “moderate Muslims” for failing to condemn the alleged attack. He added that Muslims are “still looking at the earth as flat according to the idiot Mohammad [sic], may his name be cursed.” Eisenstein was accused of engaging in a […]

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  • Professor sues Purdue after probe of his anti-Muslim Facebook comments

    May 18, 2012

    A Purdue University professor has filed a freedom of speech suit against his school and five co-workers after getting in hot water for inflammatory statements about Muslims on his Facebook page.  Tenured political science professor Maurice Eisenstein was cleared by a university investigation into his Facebook comments, which included a reference to “the idiot Mohammad [sic}, may his name be cursed.” But Eisenstein claims the investigation nonetheless damaged his reputation and disputes a finding that he retaliated against other faculty members.   “I was trying to be challenging as a professor, and do what I was trained to do,” Eistenstein, who […]

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  • Professor sues school after Facebook flap

    May 17, 2012

    A Purdue University political science professor is suing school officials and other professors for the treatment he faced after he posted criticism of Muslims on Facebook, the Associated Press reports. Maurice Eisenstein claims Purdue-Calumet officials violated hisrights of freedom of speech and religion by subjecting him to a disciplinary investigation. The lawsuit says Eisenstein was cleared of violating the school’s bias policy but was reprimanded for retaliating against the two professors who complained. “This is not the first time and it won’t be the last time we will see a university punish a student or professor for constitutionally protected speech […]

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  • Professor claims PUC violated rights

    May 17, 2012

    INDIANAPOLIS – A Purdue University Calumet political science professor has sued officials and other professors at the school’s Hammond campus for the treatment he received after he posted criticism of Muslims on Facebook. Maurice Eisenstein claims in the suit that PUC officials violated his rights of freedom of speech and religion by subjecting him to a disciplinary investigation which eventually yielded mixed results. The lawsuit filed May 10 in a Lake County court says Eisenstein was cleared of the initial allegation that he had violated the school’s policy against discrimination and harassment, but officials reprimanded him for what they considered […]

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  • Prof. Punished Over Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts Sues Purdue

    May 17, 2012

    A Purdue University political science professor has sued the university in Indiana court, claiming it violated his free speech and privacy rights by subjecting him to a disciplinary investigation after he posted comments criticizing Muslims to his Facebook page. In a lawsuit filed May 10 against university officials and professors, Purdue-Calumet Professor Maurice Eisenstein alleges several professors conspired to smear him by filing unfounded harassment claims over the Facebook posts. The complaint says that after the university’s investigation, Eisenstein was cleared of violating the school’s anti-harassment policy but reprimanded for retaliation against two of the professors who had filed claims against him. […]

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  • Holocaust speaker too controversial for Purdue Calumet?

    April 12, 2012

    Another mockery of the free and open exchange of ideas has unfolded in Indiana. Last week, Purdue University Calumet had the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with anti-Israel activist Sefi Samuel speak on campus. Yet the university’s history department, in conjunction with the local Jewish Federation, played a role in the cancellation of another speaker, Peggy Shapiro, two weeks ago. Ms. Shapiro is the Midwest director of StandWithUs, an organization “dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues.” She was a special appointee to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and is also the child of Holocaust survivors. […]

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  • Eisenstein says PUC clears him in free speech case

    February 28, 2012

    WEST LAFAYETTE (AP) – A political science professor at Purdue University Calumet said the Hammond campus has cleared him of nine complaints of discrimination and harassment, mostly over comments he allegedly made in the classroom about Islam and other topics. Maurice Eisenstein said Tuesday his case was one of freedom of speech winning out over attempts to suppress it. “I had nine complaints of harassment from faculty, students and one student group. And in all cases, the university found there was no evidence of harassment or discrimination,” the associate professor of 19 years said. The controversy surrounding Eisenstein grew last […]

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  • Purdue professor balks at investigation following Facebook comments that led to student protests

    February 14, 2012

    A professor at Purdue University-Calumet says he is being unjustly investigated by campus officials for comments that upset some students. Political scientist Maurice Eisenstein said he believes officials are trying to block his free speech rights and scare other faculty into political correctness by looking into complaints about him that stretch back 21 years. On Monday, Eisenstein publicly released a letter by the national group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, that was sent to Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon last month. Adam Kissel, FIRE’s vice president of programs, wrote that he thinks Eisenstein is being harassed by officials […]

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  • Four Key Points About Free Speech and the Feds’ ‘Blueprint’

    July 15, 2013

    It’s been more than two months since FIRE and the higher ed community were shocked by a letter issued jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice to the University of Montana. FIRE staff have blogged extensively about the Departments’ “blueprint” for campus sexual harassment in the last 10 weeks, but there are four crucial points that I believe bear special emphasis. 1. Overbroad and vague harassment rationales have been the primary justification and legal theorybehind campus speech codes since the 1980s.  In one sense, the attempt to stretch the definition of harassment beyond all recognition is nothing new. Speech codes came into vogue on campuses […]

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  • Controversial Purdue Professor Wins Battle Over Publishing Public Documents

    July 6, 2012

    Professor Maurice Eisenstein, who was ganged up on for months by some of his faculty colleagues due to his protected expression, has won another battle for free speech at Purdue University Calumet. After investigating nine complaints of harassment and discrimination against Eisenstein, Purdue University Calumet dismissed all of them. Among other comments on his personal Facebook page, Eisenstein had criticized “‘moderate’ Muslims” who he believed had not condemned violence after an attack by “a radical Muslim group” had killed Christians in Nigeria. Although Eisenstein was cleared of all charges after intervention from FIRE in January 2012, he was found guilty […]

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  • Who You Gonna Call?

    May 22, 2012

    FIRE, of course! Professor Maurice Eisenstein, who is suing Purdue University Calumet for violating his free speech rights after he criticized Muslims on Facebook, was interviewed by Frontpage in a piece published today. The interview provides a detailed account of his ordeal. Here is an excerpt about FIRE’s influence in his case:  FP: The University cleared you of these 9 harassment/discrimination complaints. How or why do you think that happened? Eisenstein: My very short answer is: the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE. If not for FIRE, I think things could have and would have likely gone very differently. […]

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  • Free Speech Lawsuit at Purdue-Calumet Hits Fox News, Associated Press

    May 18, 2012

    Yesterday, the media began to pick up the lawsuit filed in Indiana last week by a Purdue University Calumet professor who had generated controversy by criticizing Muslims on Facebook. As his lawsuit points out, Professor Maurice Eisenstein was cleared of nine complaints after a months-long investigation only to be found guilty of “retaliation,” when really it was his own colleagues who had ganged up against him to shut him up. FIRE has been advocating for Eisenstein since January.  The case was covered this afternoon by Mike Jaccarino at FoxNews.com:  “When you investigate free speech, you chill free speech,” Eisenstein said. […]

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  • Professor Who Criticized Muslims on Facebook Sues Purdue University Calumet

    May 16, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  CHICAGO, May 16, 2012—A professor has filed a free speech lawsuit against Purdue University Calumet after the university punished him in the wake of his remarks about Muslims on Facebook. The PUC Muslim Student Association and several students and faculty members had filed harassment complaints against professor Maurice Eisenstein after he criticized moderate Muslims who he believed had not condemned “radical Muslim” terrorism in Nigeria. Two faculty members had also filed retaliation complaints against Eisenstein, who came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “This is not the first time and it […]

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  • Professor Who Criticized Muslims on Facebook Sues Purdue University Calumet

    May 16, 2012

    CHICAGO, May 16, 2012—A professor has filed a free speech lawsuit against Purdue University Calumet after the university punished him in the wake of his remarks about Muslims on Facebook. The PUC Muslim Student Association and several students and faculty members had filed harassment complaints against professor Maurice Eisenstein after he criticized moderate Muslims who he believed had not condemned “radical Muslim” terrorism in Nigeria. Two faculty members had also filed retaliation complaints against Eisenstein, who came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “This is not the first time and it won’t be the last […]

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  • Purdue University Calumet Declares Professor Guilty of ‘Retaliation’

    April 13, 2012

    As we wrote here a few weeks ago, Purdue University Calumet (PUC) professor Maurice Eisenstein was recently the subject of a months-long harassment investigation based on charged remarks about Islam he made on his personal Facebook page and while teaching. A number of students, calling the remarks offensive, submitted complaints to PUC. But merely causing offense, even serious offense, does not constitute harassment in the educational setting. Indeed, speech has to be more than simply “offensive” to lose First Amendment protection and become actionable harassment. This is why we were glad that, following a letter from FIRE, PUC dismissed all […]

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  • Kissel on Free Speech in Purdue University Calumet Student Paper

    April 3, 2012

    Following a talk by FIRE’s Adam Kissel at Purdue University Calumet last week, The Purdue University Calumet Chronicle has published an article reiterating Adam’s points about free speech on campus. The Chronicle highlights Adam’s discussion of the importance on a college campus of allowing a full exchange of ideas to take place: “What are the true ideas, what are the false ideas? What are the beautiful ideas, what are the ugly ideas?” Kissel said.  He stressed that we must allow ourselves to get offended regularly, because surrounding oneself with homogenous groups of people limits learning and the ability to analyze […]

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  • Purdue-Calumet Investigates Professor’s Speech for Months, Chilling Expression

    February 20, 2012

    Purdue University Calumet (PUC) has been investigating a professor for months due to what looks like an organized onslaught of complaints about his expression on Facebook and in class about Muslims, even though some of the complainants never took his class and many have left unspecified what speech, exactly, they were complaining about. Professor Maurice Eisenstein has been under investigation since the complaints were filed in mid-November 2011, more than three months ago. FIRE wrote PUC Chancellor Thomas L. Keon on January 24, 2012, about the investigation: The principle of freedom of speech does not exist to protect only non-controversial […]

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