Purdue University

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
Website: http://www.purdue.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Purdue 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.

  • Mohammed Cartoon Controversy: FIRE Response to Intimidation and Newspaper Disputes

    February 22, 2006

    As a result of worldwide controversy regarding caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, first published in a Danish newspaper, free speech was being openly disregarded on American college campuses. In the weeks following the printing of the cartoon, students, professors, and student publications not only reprinted the controversial cartoons but even created their own satirical cartoons depicting Mohammed. Chilling of speech in relation to the cartoon was found at Century College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and New York University, amongst others.

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  • Purdue University: Refusal to Allow Christian Women’s Group to Require Christian Membership

    November 4, 2003

    Purdue University nearly evicted a Christian women’s housing group on campus for refusing to abide by a “nondiscrimination” statement that required student groups not discriminate on the basis of a long list of characteristics, including religious belief, when selecting members. Any groups failing to abide by this policy could face the loss of rights and privileges on campus. As a Christian women’s group, the Stewart Cooperative could not agree to ignore matters of faith when choosing its members. When the group asked Purdue administrators whether their organization could be excused from these requirements, the students were told that there could […]

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Speech Code Memorandum for Purdue University

Yellow Light Policies
  • Office of the Dean of Students: Speech and Expression on Campus 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    The area south of the flagpole on Purdue Memorial Mall has been designated as a public forum due to it being a highly visible area, easily accessible, and the place least likely to disrupt or obstruct University activities and functions.

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  • University Regulations: Regulations Governing Student Conduct, Disciplinary Proceedings, and Appeals 13-14

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

    The following actions constitute misconduct for which students may be subject to administrative action or disciplinary penalties.

    Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression on University property or in connection with a University activity.

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  • Student Regulations: Bill of Student Rights 13-14

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

    The student shall be free to discuss and express any view relevant to subject matter presented by the instructor or other class members. However, in exercising this freedom, the student shall not interfere with the academic process of the class by speaking to or behaving towards others in a hostile, demeaning, or intimidating manner.

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  • University Policies: Violent Behavior 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    Threat: An expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm or damage to property. A threat may be direct, indirect, conditional or veiled. Any threat is presumed to constitute a statement of intent. An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the present ability to carry it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent or future.

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  • University Residences Guidelines: Bulletin Boards 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Each residence has bulletin boards containing important information. The management and/or residence publicity officers must approve all notices and posters. Unauthorized publicity will be removed. Signs, flyers, etc. may not be affixed to building surfaces, windows, woodwork, or furnishings without proper approval. Signs or displays containing profane, lewd, or indecent expressions will be removed.

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Green Light Policies
  • University Policies: Antiharassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The University reaffirms its commitment to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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  • University Policies: Antiharassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Racial harassment is conduct that demonstrates hostility toward another person (or identifiable group of persons) on the basis of race, color, national origin, or ancestry, and 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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  • University Policies: Antiharassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance; requesting of sexual favors; or other written, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in a University activity;
    2. submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for, or a factor in, decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, or participation in a University activity; or
    3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment for that individual’s employment, education, or participation in a University activity.

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  • Office of the Dean of Students: Speech and Expression on Campus 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    As a state institution, Purdue University adheres to the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Free speech, free expression, and peaceable assembly are basic to the exchange of ideas and beliefs.

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  • University Policies: Information Technology – Electronic Mail 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    [T]he following specific actions and uses of University E-mail Facilities are improper:

    5. Use of e-mail to harass or threaten others or threaten to cause physical harm or damage to property.

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  • University Regulations: Bill of Student Rights 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    It is the right of every student to exercise freely full rights as a citizen.

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  • Mitch Daniels responds to criticism over emails

    July 22, 2013

    by John Krull NUVO Mitch Daniels calls to express some concerns about a column I’d written about him, the late Howard Zinn and academic freedom. Daniels, former Indiana governor and current Purdue University president, tells me that the stories about an email exchange between him and his education advisors while he was the Hoosier state’s chief executive have been misrepresented. The emails questioned whether Indiana students should be taught Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. In the column, I criticized Daniels for attempting to squelch free speech and academic freedom. Now, as we talk in a civil and respectful fashion, […]

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  • PUC prof cleared of campus harassment charges

    February 29, 2012

    HAMMOND | A Purdue University Calumet political science professor said he has been cleared of nine separate complaints of harassment. University officials have been investigating professor Maurice Eisenstein since November for comments he posted on his Facebook page months ago about Muslims killing Christians in Nigeria, as well as comments he made in the classroom. About two dozen Purdue Calumet students protested for two days in November, calling for the associate professor’s classes to be boycotted and for him to be dismissed. Eisenstein said he received a call Thursday when university officials told him they found no basis for the […]

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  • Purdue professor’s comments cause flap

    February 14, 2012

    United Press International   PMHAMMOND, Ind., Feb. 14 (UPI) – A free speech group based in Boston says Purdue University is interfering with academic freedom by investigating a professor’s comments about Islam. Maurice Eisenstein, a political scientist who teaches at Purdue-Calumet in Hammond, made the comments on Facebook in November, questioning why moderate Muslims were not criticizing Muslim attacks on Christians in Nigeria. He also made comments about the Prophet Mohammed, the Lafayette Journal and Courier reported. Students on the campus held two days of protests, demanding Eisenstein’s ouster. Eisenstein Monday released a letter the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education […]

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  • Furor Over Anti-Gay Blog

    November 13, 2009

    Bert Chapman knows that his reason for opposing what he calls “the homosexual lifestyle” — that it differs from his view of Biblical norms — won’t win many arguments these days in the secular world. So Chapman, a blogger who is also a librarian at Purdue University, turned to economics. And at his Conservative Librarian blog, he argues that gay people are an economic drain. He cites the billions spent on fighting AIDS “without recognizing the morally aberrant sexual behavior … causing its spread” and the “sad practice” of colleges and other employers offering domestic partner benefits in a way […]

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  • Purdue professor’s blog post sparks debate

    November 12, 2009

    Remarks about gays spark debate about free speech at Purdue by Dan McFeely IndyStar.com   A Purdue University professor has landed in hot water with students protesting his personal blog — a conservative Web page on which he posted an “economic case against homosexuality.” Some have called for Bert Chapman to resign or be fired for his Oct. 27 posting, which laid out an argument that the cost for AIDS research and treatment should factor into the national debate over the acceptance of gays and lesbians. “The most concrete way to protect the university’s reputation against academic dishonesty and mediocrity […]

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  • Disciplinary processes will not change, despite recent events

    September 21, 2005

    In spite of recent publicity behind a suspended football player’s lawsuit against Purdue, a University official said he does not foresee any immediate changes to disciplinary processes for students.   Tony Hawkins, dean of students, said his office routinely reviews professional literature and significant court decisions relative to student conduct proceedings.   Should a decision by the courts suggest a revision in the University’s disciplinary process, Hawkins said his office would consult other officials and seek student, faculty and Board of Trustee approval.   However, the national coverage given to the lawsuit of Uche Nwaneri, suspended offensive lineman, claiming his […]

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  • Conformity on campus

    December 18, 2004

    This fall four new studies of professors’ political attitudes showed a large tilt to the left: • Daniel Klein, an economics professor and researcher at Santa Clara University and Stockholm University, surveyed more than 1,000 professors around the United States and found Democrats outnumbering Republicans at least 7-1 in the humanities and social sciences, with departments such as anthropology and sociology coming in at about 30-1. • In a separate study of voter registration records, Mr. Klein found professors at Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley tilted Democratic 9-1. Among younger professors at those two universities the imbalance was even […]

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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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  • Survey: many college students fuzzy on first amendment rights

    January 1, 2004

    PHILADELPHIA — One out of four college students in a nationwide survey was unable to name any of the freedoms protected by the First Amendment, according to a free-speech watchdog group.“These survey results are disheartening, but they unfortunately are not surprising,” says Alan Charles Kors, president of the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).Even among campus administrators who were surveyed, from presidents to assistant deans, 11 percent couldn’t name any specific First Amendment rights, the survey indicated. And when asked which freedom the amendment addresses first, only 2 percent of the students and 6 percent of the administrators […]

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  • Purdue Plans to Invite Freshmen to Pledge Themselves to ‘Creed’

    August 2, 2013

    Kathy Mayer writes for the July/August issue of the Purdue Alumnus magazine that a new “creed,” currently being written by Purdue University students, will outline for freshmen “what’s expected of those who take on the name Boilermaker.” (The Boilermakers is Purdue’s athletic nickname.) “If you cannot follow the creed, then this is not the place for you,” says Purdue Dean of Students Danita Brown.  Mayer reports that incoming freshmen will be “invited to pledge to the creed.” The creed idea comes from a “Resolution Against Racism at Purdue” presented to the administration by the Purdue Anti-Racism Coalition. It is unclear […]

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  • FIRE President Greg Lukianoff Speaking at Purdue University Tomorrow

    April 8, 2013

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff will be on the campus of Purdue University this Tuesday, April 9, to discuss free speech on campus and his book Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. Greg’s speech will take place at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center, room 218 A-B, and is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Purdue chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Office of the President. Following his talk, Greg will be available to sign books, which will be available for purchase on-site.  Greg Lukianoff ‘Unlearning Liberty’ […]

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  • Mitch Daniels, in First Week as Purdue President, Talks Freedom of Opinion and Inquiry

    January 24, 2013

    Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels may have declined to run for President of the United States last year, but he has nevertheless landed a presidency of his own—that of Purdue University. And as Inside Higher Ed reports, he’s already made a splash in his first week on the job, with an open letter (PDF) to the Purdue community. Of interest to FIRE and its supporters is his acknowledgement of this criticism of higher education: Diversity is prized except in the most important realm of all, diversity of thought. The academies that, through the unique system of tenure, once enshrined freedom […]

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  • Jonathan Turley: ‘Free Speech Under Fire’

    March 12, 2012

    Last Friday, Jonathan Turley penned an excellent column about new threats to freedom of expression at home and abroad in the Los Angeles Times. Turley, a well-known legal commentator and professor at The George Washington University Law School, surveys the legal landscape in both Europe and the United States and concludes that “Western nations appear to have fallen out of love with free speech and are criminalizing more and more kinds of speech through the passage of laws banning hate speech, blasphemy and discriminatory language.” He notes that “[i]ronically, these laws are defended as fighting for tolerance and pluralism.”  Professor […]

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  • Victory: All Nine Complaints Dismissed for Professor Who Criticized Muslims

    March 1, 2012

    After investigating nine complaints of harassment and discrimination against Professor Maurice Eisenstein, Purdue University Calumet has 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. Faculty members, students, and the Muslim Student Association filed the complaints. FIRE intervened in January after the university’s investigation dragged on for more than two months, chilling expression on campus. The case has been covered this week by the Associated Press, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Indiana).  The case is […]

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  • Purdue-Calumet prof’s Islam comments create stir

    February 15, 2012

    by Associated Press The Chicago Tribune WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- A political science professor at a Purdue University campus in northwest Indiana says the school is investigating him for comments he made on his personal Facebook page in November about Muslims killing Christians in Nigeria. Maurice Eisenstein tells the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/yObbuH) that he believes the university is investigating him to try to scare other faculty into political correctness. About two dozen students protested at the campus in Hammond for two days after Eisenstein posted the comments, calling for the associate professor’s classes to be boycotted and for him to be dismissed. University spokesman Wes Lukoshus […]

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  • Purdue Offers Admirable Lessons in Liberty, Despite Having a Speech Code

    November 13, 2009

    Yesterday, Peter pointed out Purdue University’s admirable defense of the rights of a faculty member who published a controversial “Economic Case Against Homosexuality” on his personal blog at Townhall.com, fully within Purdue’s policy on such publications. Some students have called on Purdue to punish the professor, but Purdue appears to have turned the controversy into a valuable lesson on responding to free speech in a free society. As Peter noted yesterday, Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg rightly said that “[t]here are many things on the Internet that would be offensive to a lot of people but protected by the First Amendment,” and that […]

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  • FIRE, Purdue Defend Rights of Conservative Faculty Blogger Amidst Calls for Dismissal

    November 12, 2009

    A controversial blog post by a conservative faculty blogger at Purdue University has had some members of the Purdue community calling for him to be disciplined or dismissed from Purdue. Fortunately, the Purdue administration isn’t among them. Bert Chapman, a tenured professor and Purdue’s government information and political science librarian, also posts on a blog named “Conservative Librarian” at Townhall.com. On October 27, Chapman posted an entry entitled “An Economic Case Against Homosexuality” which, as the Indianapolis Star summarizes, “laid out an argument that the cost for AIDS research and treatment should factor into the national debate over the acceptance of […]

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  • Victory for Religious Freedom at Purdue

    May 19, 2004

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., May 19, 2004—After six months, Purdue University has finally granted a Christian women’s housing group an exemption from a mandatory “nondiscrimination” policy that would have made voluntary religious association impossible. The policy threatened the housing of the group as well as its very existence. On April 19, 2004, the women of the Stewart Cooperative housing group received a letter from Purdue’s Office of the Dean of Students granting them an exemption from a Purdue policy that effectively would have barred this Christian group from being Christian. “We are gratified that Purdue has realized that a ‘nondiscrimination’ clause […]

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