University of California, Los Angeles

Location: Los Angeles, California
Website: http://www.ucla.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of California, Los Angeles 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.

  • University of California at Los Angeles: Disciplinary Investigation of Student’s Video

    March 15, 2011

    A YouTube video posted by a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) college student that mocks the behavior of Asian students in the UCLA library and elsewhere generated 5 million views in the first week-and a free speech controversy. After UCLA officials announced an investigation of the video for possible charges including harassment, FIRE sent UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block a letter on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, urging him to end any investigation of Wallace’s speech because the content of the video is protected by the First Amendment. UCLA announced on March 18 that it had dropped the investigation, and the student announced shortly afterward that she would […]

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  • University of California at Los Angeles: Non-Reappointment of Controversial Professor

    August 26, 2010

    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) refused to reappoint an environmental health sciences professor, stating that his controversial research failed to accord with the department’s “mission.” Dr. James Enstrom engaged in successful whistleblowing against a prominent member of the department, and there had been many years of debate between Enstrom and some of his colleagues over research on air pollution. After FIRE intervened, Enstrom was given a reprieve while his appeals continued. Enstrom filed a lawsuit against UCLA in June 2012, assisted by the American Center for Law and Justice. The case is currently before a federal district court.

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  • University of California at Los Angeles: Controversial Student Event Cancelled

    February 19, 2007

    The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) has reversed a decision that forced a student organization to cancel an immigration debate in response to threatened protests after it could not pay a $15,000 security fee. After UCLA’s Objectivist group was forced to pay the security fee or cancel the event, they turned to FIRE for help, who wrote Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams to remind him that UCLA was legally bound to uphold the First Amendment, and that forcing a club to pay excessive security fees because of the threat of an unruly mob was also unconstitutional. As a result, UCLA changed […]

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Yellow Light Policies
  • UCLA Report Bias 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    What is an act of bias? Any demeaning, derogatory or otherwise offensive behavior directed toward any individual on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other group characteristics.

    The purpose of reporting is not necessarily to initiate punitive measures but to allow the campus to respond in other ways (e.g., education, counter-speech, etc.) and punitive measures would be initiated only in compliance with University policies and the Constitution.

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  • On Campus Housing Regulations: Posting, Advertising, and Distribution of Materials 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    All materials from outside of On-Campus Housing must be approved, stamped and disseminated by the Office of Residential Life and must be received at least five (5) business days prior to the event date.

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  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Office: Sexual Harassment Brochure 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Basically, sexual harassment falls into two broad categories: … a “hostile environment” created by such behavior as sexual jokes or remarks, sexually explicit pictures or unwelcome physical contact.

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  • Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    The following list, while not exhaustive, characterizes unacceptable behavior which may be subject to disciplinary action: … Sending chain letters, advertisements, or solicitations of any type; Sending mass mailings to individuals who have not expressly agreed to be contacted in this manner.

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  • University of California Campus Climate 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    If you experience or observe behavior that is inconsistent with our Principles of Community, please report it. You may report in a variety of ways: *Report anonymously or by name, via this Campus Climate page, by selecting the University of California campus where the incident occurred from the list to the right and clicking “Continue”. * Report anonymously to an appropriate campus office, based on the nature of the incident. Please refer to the website for the campus where the incident occurred. * Report anonymously via your campus’ Bias Reporting page, by selecting your campus from the Local Bias Reporting menu above. If your campus does not appear on this list, there is no local reporting form available. Please use this form, instead. * File a report with your Campus Police Department, via the Campus Police menu above.

    Hate Speech: Hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display that may incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, gender, gender identity, ethnicity ….

    Expressions of Bias: A general communication not directed toward a particular individual, which disparages a group of people on the basis of some characteristic ….

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Green Light Policies
  • Your First Amendment Rights as a Student at UCLA 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Freedom of thought, inquiry, speech and lawful assembly are fundamental rights of all persons. These rights include the freedom to express opinions; to hear, express and debate various views, no matter how unpopular; and to voice criticism. Free speech is uniquely important to the University as it brings about a free interchange of ideas integral to the University’s fundamental mission of teaching, research and public service. The fundamental mission of the university–to seek, discover, and disseminate truth–cannot be realized without open, unimpeded exchange of ideas, both inside and outside the classroom. Consequently, both the US Constitution and the university’s core mission inspire the policies and practices related to free expression on our campus.

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  • Your First Amendment Rights as a Student at UCLA 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    While individuals may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of speech and assembly on university grounds that are generally open to the public, these activities must not interfere with the orderly operation of the campus and must be conducted in a manner that reasonably protects others from becoming involuntary audiences. for the purpose of applying “time, place, and manner” restrictions, “grounds open to the public generally” are defined as follows: Between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and midnight, paved pedestrian walkways and lawns on University property are generally open to the public, except those: 1. Within areas reserved for classes, public performances, organized activities, or special events; 2. on vehicular driveways, streets and parking lots; or 3. on and adjacent to public entrances to the hospital and outpatient clinics, except as provided for in the specific regulations governing the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Medical Plaza area.

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  • Student Conduct Code 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to University programs or activities that the person is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities.

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  • LOIS HENRY: Scientist, gagged by UCLA, wins a round in court

    March 30, 2013

    I was glad to learn a federal judge ruled recently that a former UCLA faculty member’s civil rights lawsuit can go forward against the school. By all appearances UCLA did, in fact, violate Jim Enstrom’s first amendment rights, not to mention his 14th amendment rights, and purposely deprived him of the funding he needed just to shut him up on issues of air pollution.  He has stood by his own and others’ studies that show Californians are not dying in droves because of air pollution, specifically PM2.5, tiny bits of particulate matter such as dust and soot. But that isn’t the […]

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  • Whistle-blowing Scientist Sues UCLA for His Job

    March 17, 2013

    UCLA’s Dr. James Enstrom is one of my personal heroes of the “Tea Party” movement. The importance of his work on behalf of Californians cannot be understated. The Environmental Health Sciences professor has been fighting the false science behind some of our state’s most onerous regulations for years.  The rebel professor is also famously known for bringing the public’s attention to a fake Ph.D. degree claimed by a researcher for the extremely powerful state environmental agency, the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Liberal institutions claim they adore whistle-blowers.  Not, it seems, when they fight the eco-activism that is entrenched in campus and government […]

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  • Environmentalists vs. whistleblowers

    June 21, 2012

    Because of his disagreements with colleagues and members of the California Air Resources Board, a UCLA professor has resorted to suing the school to keep his job of 35 years. Strong disagreements had taken place over the extent to which certain air pollutants affect public health. Adam Kissel, vice president of programs for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), says the final straw was when Dr. James Enstrom blew the whistle concerning the deceit of a member of the department. “The environmental regulation machine is very powerful in California, and it has come after a professor who has challenged the […]

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  • Scientist Who Challenged Environmental Regulation in California Sues UCLA

    June 14, 2012

    If there is anywhere we need honest scientists who aren’t on a mission to exclude whistleblowers, skeptics, and people with minority opinions, it is the American university. But that principle has failed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After 35 years at UCLA, Dr. James E. Enstrom has had to resort to suing UCLA in order to keep his job. The case has broad resonance because Dr. Enstrom and his colleagues have strongly disagreed over research on a particular kind of air pollution and its implications for environmental regulations. Are huge numbers of people dying from air pollution […]

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  • Skeptical scientist who challenged environmental regulation sues UCLA

    June 14, 2012

    “Politicization of Science in the Public Sphere,” a study published this year in the prestigious American Sociological Review, showed that Americans’ trust in science has been on the decline for at least 35 years, mainly because of the decrease in conservatives’ trust in science. But there is good reason for trust in universities such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to be quickly eroding. After 35 years at UCLA, whistleblower and epidemiologist Dr. James E. Enstrom has had to resort to suing UCLA in order to keep his job. It is sad but perhaps not surprising that some areas of science […]

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  • UCLA Professor Sues for Firing over Diesel Pollution Study Whistleblowing

    June 14, 2012

    A California epidemiologist who lost his job with UCLA not long after challenging the science behind claims that diesel pollution was responsible for 2,000 deaths a year in the state is suing to get his job back. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) announced today it had filed suit Wednesday in Los Angeles against UCLA officials for violating Dr. James Enstrom’s constitutional rights: “The facts of this case are astounding,” said David French, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “UCLA terminated a professor after 35 years of service simply because he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda that was […]

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  • Academic mission or UCLA speech code?

    April 12, 2011

    If you think that academia is not the exclusive playground of the academic left, consider the fate of UCLA epidemiologist James Enstrom. In 2008, Enstrom thought that a report on the health effects of diesel emissions presented by the California Air Resources Board was faulty. As it turns out, CARB’s nitrous oxide emission estimates were overstated by 340 percent. Enstrom and others had trouble believing that a Ph.D. statistician would make some of CARB’s findings. They dug around and found that CARB researcher Hien Tran had falsely claimed to have a doctorate in statistics from UC Davis. In fact, Tran […]

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  • The Green Politics of Reprisals: UCLA’s Enstrom Gets a Hearing on His Unfair Dismissal

    April 4, 2011

    by Nick Gillespie Reason That’s James Enstrom, a long-time environmental health sciences professor whom UCLA refused to reappoint because, as The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) notes, …his controversial research failed to accord with the department’s “mission.” Dr. James Enstrom engaged in successful whistleblowing against a prominent member of the department, and there had been many years of debate between Enstrom and some of his colleagues over research on air pollution. After FIRE intervened, Enstrom was given an eight-month reprieve until March 31, 2011, or until his appeals are resolved. Well, Enstrom’s got a hearing that starts today, […]

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  • Question Environmentalist Orthodoxy, Get Fired?

    April 4, 2011

    Through FIRE, I discovered the ReasonTV report below about Prof. James Enstrom’s ordeal at UCLA. Professor Enstrom’s research questioned the link between diesel particulate pollution and premature mortality. Professor Enstrom’s findings were at odds with conclusions drawn the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which had determined that particulate pollution was killing thousands of Californians and would thus be subject to stringent new regulations.   When Professor Enstrom dug deeper into CARB’s findings, he discovered that CARB was relying in large part on the work of a “scientist” who’d purchased his Ph.D. from a diploma mill. He blew the whistle on […]

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  • The Smog of Reprisal

    April 1, 2011

    James Enstrom, a UCLA epidemiologist, was denied reappointment last year to his position as a research professor in the School of Public Health. Dr. Enstrom, who had worked at the university for 34 years, got into trouble, according to the campus newspaper’s report in August, because his research findings on “fine particulate pollution” ran against conventional wisdom and “stirred up far more attention than scientific research usually receives.” Part of what Enstrom stirred up was the revelation that the lead author of a key scientific paper used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to justify new regulations had faked […]

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  • Swallowing Some Horse Pills For Liberty

    April 1, 2011

    RALEIGH - I once heard a priest remind parishioners that being faithful to religious teaching is tough. There are truths we’d rather avoid, and sometimes we have to swallow some horse pills along the way, he said. He pointed to the pesky requirement to forgive others when we’d rather indulge our emotion and hold a grudge. I use those words of wisdom as a guidepost to my beliefs, whether religious, political, or constitutional. They were just what I needed last month when I learned the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had overturned the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a […]

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  • UCLA won’t discipline creator of controversial video, who later withdraws from university

    March 19, 2011

    Alexandra Wallace, who complained about Asian students’ behavior in the video, says she’s leaving the school because of death threats. In a statement released to the Daily Bruin, she apologizes and calls the video a mistake. by Rick Rojas and Larry Gordon Los Angeles Times   UCLA announced Friday that it would not discipline or further investigate the student who released a controversial online video in which she complained about Asian students’ behavior and mimicked an Asian language. But later in the day, the student, Alexandra Wallace, announced that she was withdrawing from UCLA because of death threats and because […]

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  • UCLA Student Off Hook for Video Rant Against Asians

    March 18, 2011

    UCLA student Alexandra Wallace, whose viral video rant about Asians sparked outrage and a nationwide debate about whether her disparaging remarks were considered “free speech,” will face no disciplinary action by the university. “While some of the sentiments that were expressed in the video were hurtful, appalling and offensive, we have not uncovered any acts that violated the student code of conduct,” university spokesman Phil Hampton told ABCNews.com today. “We have no intention of pursuing the matter further.” Hampton added that the university “zealously protects freedom of expression, however misugided or offensive to our core values that speech may be.” […]

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  • First Amendment protects ‘Asians in the library’ video, group reminds UCLA

    March 16, 2011

    UCLA student Alexandra Wallace, who posted on Friday a video to YouTube that mocked Asian students, has been met with ridicule herself. In addition to flood of video responses posted online, the university’s administration indicated to The Daily Bruin, the student newspaper, that there was a disciplinary investigation underway. Robert Naples, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor and dean of students, told The Bruin, “We’ll be taking a look at the language that she uses in the video to see if it violates any codes under the student code, perhaps regarding harassment.” Wallace apologized in a statement to The Bruin. “Clearly the […]

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  • University to student: Take down website!

    August 22, 2009

    The University of California at Los Angeles has ordered a former student to take down a website that criticizes  the school, raising objections from a rights organization. The dispute arose when the former student, Tom Wilde, posted his criticisms at a noncommercial website located at ucla-weeding101.info, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has taken up the case. Phil Hampton, a spokesman for the university, told WND that officials were concerned the website’s address would cause people to think the site “was a communication from UCLA.” Wilde launched the site last month to argue he was “weeded […]

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  • Saving free speech

    April 9, 2007

    It’s well known that you don’t have the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none. But yelling “FIRE!” is precisely what one must do when one’s free speech rights are in danger on a college campus. FIRE is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—a Philadelphia-based legal advocacy group that goes to bat for students whose rights to free speech and association are curtailed illegally by college administrators and policies gone horribly awry. FIRE’s list of accomplishments is ever-growing, but here are just a couple of the latest: – At Central Michigan University, liberal opponents […]

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  • UCLA has feet held to the FIRE

    March 30, 2007

    When most people think of college campuses, they think of robust debate, intense discussion, and the occasional emotional rant. It’s college, and students are paying a steep price tag to have their beliefs challenged and their minds exercised. With such an understanding in mind, a student group at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) thought it would be informative and entertaining to host an immigration debate on campus. The thought was not wild, as the kids at UCLA were merely mimicking the 67 percent of American people that told CNN they believe the number of immigrants must be reduced […]

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  • The new campus brownshirts

    November 7, 2006

    A crime wave is spreading like wildfire across our nation’s campuses, and conservative students are the victims. Thefts of conservative student publications are on the rise. Even campus administrators are doing what they can to prevent the dissemination of conservative viewpoints. Whatever happened to diversity of thought and respecting the ideologies of our fellow classmates? Not too long ago, the Georgia GuardDawg reported that over 1,200 issues of its student-run conservative newspapers were stolen and their distribution bins were tagged with demeaning and disparaging remarks. Unfortunately for advocates of intellectual diversity on our nation’s college campuses, this latest incident is […]

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  • Why Free Speech Isn’t Conditional

    July 29, 2014

    It’s difficult to argue that free speech isn’t important. So when I explain FIRE’s mission to curious inquirers, they always seem to respond the same way—smiling, nodding, and occasionally interjecting with an “Oh, wow, that’s great!” When I began discussing some of the specific cases that FIRE has been involved in, one friend stated: “I believe in free speech, but I think that we should still fight against what we think is morally wrong.”

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  • UCLA Student Judicial Board Leaves Election Coverage at Risk

    June 2, 2014

    Last month, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) student government official successfully prevented all three candidates for student government president from appearing on a radio show produced by UCLA’s student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, by threatening sanctions should they appear. Sadly, although UCLA’s student Judicial Board ruled last week that the threat wasn’t valid, the Board failed to take action to prevent future warnings that are bound to chill speech.

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  • In-Class Demonstration by UCLA Students Silences Professor

    January 22, 2014

    Earlier this month, I wrote about an in-class protest by students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in November that halted the professor’s teaching for an hour. During the demonstration, students asked the school to respond not just to racially discriminatory conduct but also to their professor’s alleged “microaggressions,” which researchers have defined as “subtle verbal and nonverbal insults directed toward non-Whites, often done automatically and unconsciously”—in other words, constitutionally protected expression. The students’ message, therefore, should concern advocates of free speech and academic freedom, particularly in light of a recent report on bias at UCLA that seems to condone the suppression of protected […]

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  • Trial Date Set for Whistleblowing Professor’s Retaliation Lawsuit Against UCLA

    January 15, 2014

    Last March, Dr. James E. Enstrom won an encouraging victory in court when United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal refused to dismiss some of his First Amendment claims against various University of California, Los Angeles and University of California system administrators and granted him leave to amend the remaining defective claims. Professor Enstrom has since filed a revised complaint addressing the defects noted in the judge’s ruling. The Daily Bruin reports that on Monday, Judge Bernal set a trial date of November 18, 2014, for Dr. Enstrom’s case. We will continue to bring you updates as the case progresses. Not caught up on Professor Enstrom’s story? Look […]

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  • Encouraging News on UCLA Whistleblower’s Suit

    March 30, 2013

    by Leslie Eastman Legal Insurrection   I have an update on a legal hearing involving UCLA’s Dr. James Enstrom, whose brave whistleblowing actions involving the school’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences cost him his job. William Creeley, the Director of Legal and Public Advocacy for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has a report on the encouraging results of that hearing: After 35 years of employment, and many years of disagreement over research on air pollution and its implications for environmental regulations, Dr. James E. Enstrom, assisted by the American Center for Law and Justice, filed a federal lawsuit against various University of California […]

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  • Encouraging Ruling in Whistleblowing Scientist’s Suit Against UCLA

    March 26, 2013

    After 35 years of employment, and many years of disagreement over research on air pollution and its implications for environmental regulations, Dr. James E. Enstrom, assisted by the American Center for Law and Justice, filed a federal lawsuit against various University of California and UCLA administrators in June 2012. Enstrom’s complaint alleged that UCLA had refused to reappoint him after he engaged in successful whistleblowing against a member of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.   Last week, a federal district court issued an encouraging ruling in Enstrom’s case. On March 18, United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal signed […]

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  • Whistleblowing UCLA Prof in Court Today to Defend His Job

    March 18, 2013

    As Leslie Eastman of Legal Insurrection reminds readers, today is UCLA professor Jim Enstrom’s first day in court over UCLA’s attempts to dismiss him after he engaged in successful whistleblowing against a member of his department and a government scientist. Enstrom came to FIRE for help in 2010 when the university first moved to terminate his employment. While, with FIRE’s help, Professor Enstrom has been able to delay the final day of his employment for several years now, UCLA has steadfastly refused to address the larger issues. As a result, Enstrom filed suit in June of last year. Here’s what FIRE reported at the time: […]

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  • UCLA Drops a Speech Code

    July 3, 2012

    When students return to the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) this fall, they’ll have one less policy restricting their First Amendment rights to worry about. That’s because UCLA has revised an unconstitutional posting policy after receiving a warning letter (PDF) from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). Before ADF’s involvement, UCLA’s policy (.doc) prohibited registered student groups from posting materials that “tend[] to promote demeaning social stereotypes based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.” As written, the policy presented two central problems. First, it was overly broad, restricting student groups from voicing a vast amount of speech protected by […]

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  • Two Years Later, Nobody at UCLA Has Evaluated Enstrom’s Free Speech Claims

    June 18, 2012

    Last week, FIRE reported on the federal lawsuit just filed by UCLA professor and researcher James E. Enstrom, who sued UCLA in order to keep his job after exhausting all internal remedies at the university. As the documentation of his case shows, and as his lawsuit reiterates, UCLA came up with a bunch of shifting rationales to get rid of him after more than 30 years of his service to UCLA, all because of his successful whistleblowing and his challenges to the science behind environmental regulations in California. One amazing thing about all of this is that UCLA claims that […]

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  • UCLA Professor’s Lawsuit Catches Fire in National Media

    June 15, 2012

    Dr. James E. Enstrom’s lawsuit against the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which alleges that the university’s refusal to rehire him after a 35-year career constituted a breach of his protected expression, has made headlines across the country. FIRE had been working with Enstrom for years to ensure that his disagreement over research on air pollution and its implication for environmental regulations didn’t affect his faculty position in a way that violated his First Amendment rights. However, when it became clear that UCLA was doing all it could to drive him out for just that reason, Enstrom decided to […]

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  • UCLA: When Caught, Just Lie About Stuff

    June 15, 2012

    Those who follow FIRE and The Torch know that FIRE tends to treat the horrendous abuses ladled out upon the students and professors that we help with a certain amount of equanimity. That’s nearly always appropriate if you want people to take you seriously, and it’s certainly the professional way to deal with things, in most cases.  Then there are the times you just have to call you-know-what on universities’ attempts to justify the unjust and the unjustifiable. This is one of those times. My colleague Adam Kissel wrote a Daily Caller article yesterday on the case of UCLA epidemiologist […]

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  • Whistleblowing Scientist Who Challenged Environmental Regulation Sues UCLA

    June 14, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  LOS ANGELES, June 14, 2012—After 35 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. James E. Enstrom is suing UCLA to keep his job. Following many years of disagreement over research on air pollution and its implications for environmental regulations, UCLA finally refused to reappoint Enstrom after he engaged in successful whistleblowing against a member of the department. When UCLA told Enstrom he was being let go because his research failed to accord with the department’s “mission,” Enstrom turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.  “FIRE has been helping Dr. […]

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  • Whistleblowing Scientist Who Challenged Environmental Regulation Sues UCLA

    June 14, 2012

    LOS ANGELES, June 14, 2012—After 35 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. James E. Enstrom is suing UCLA to keep his job. Following many years of disagreement over research on air pollution and its implications for environmental regulations, UCLA finally refused to reappoint Enstrom after he engaged in successful whistleblowing against a member of the department. When UCLA told Enstrom he was being let go because his research failed to accord with the department’s “mission,” Enstrom turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “FIRE has been helping Dr. Enstrom to keep his […]

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  • Clock Ticking for Whistleblower Professor at UCLA

    June 8, 2012

    After 35 years at UCLA, environmental health sciences professor and researcher James Enstrom is scheduled to lose his job in a few weeks. Enstrom was first let go from UCLA after he blew the whistle on a California Air Resources Board (CARB) researcher’s fake Ph.D., challenged the science behind environmental regulations involving air pollution in California, and challenged the legality of the composition of the CARB. To make a very long story short: UCLA brought forth a variety of meritless allegations, FIRE intervened in August of 2010, Reason.tv produced this video, state legislators got involved, Enstrom became represented by former […]

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  • UCLA Professor’s Link to Boycott Website Sparks Controversy

    April 26, 2012

    University of California, Los Angeles, associate professor David Shorter’s link to a website supporting a boycott of Israel has sparked controversy over academic freedom. The Daily Bruin has the basic facts:  David Shorter, an associate professor of world arts and cultures, was the subject of a late March complaint from an organization of University of California faculty that fights anti-Semitic sentiments on college campuses. The organization, AMCHA Initiative, decried that Shorter had linked his course website to a campaign calling for a boycott of Israel. The chair of the Academic Senate responded to the complaint by saying that Shorter was […]

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  • February Student Spotlight: Austin Ford (University of California, Los Angeles ’12)

    February 24, 2012

    Each month, the CFN Student Spotlight features a student member who is working to promote individual rights on his or her campus. For February, I am pleased to announce that our featured student is Austin Ford of the University of California, Los Angeles ’12. In his time at UCLA, Austin has done significant work to inform his fellow students about individual rights on campus and has pointed out flaws in campus policy. With his group, the Bruin Democrats, Austin is tabling during UCLA’s “Know Your Rights” week, handing out information from FIRE and the ACLU. He has also taken notice […]

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  • UCLA Urged to Prioritize Academic Freedom in Search for Public Health Dean

    January 10, 2012

    At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health (SPH), a search is underway for a new dean to lead the school. Of the many important qualities UCLA will be considering as it assesses potential candidates, it is respect for academic freedom that will ensure the best environment for innovative research the public can trust. FIRE made this point last week in a letter to search committee chair Judy Olian (who is also dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management).  It is a little sad that FIRE even needs to remind UCLA about respect for academic […]

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  • Academic Freedom and Scientific Integrity in Jeopardy at UCLA: New Document Posted

    December 30, 2011

    FIRE has just posted a letter from the Academic Freedom Committee at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block. In the letter, the members of the committee express “unanimous concern that the decision by the School of Public Health not to re-appoint James Enstrom, Ph.D. in the Professional Research series may represent a violation of academic freedom.” FIRE has been fighting for Professor Enstrom’s academic freedom and free speech rights at UCLA since August 2010. I encourage those who are new to FIRE to read about this disappointing case of a professor whose department […]

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  • University of California Schools Flout Student Speech Rights

    November 29, 2011

    While some University of California schools are facing scrutiny due to their handling of students’ exercises of free speech and civil disobedience, others in the system have unfinished business protecting students’ free speech rights in their policies. All eight of the UC universities reviewed by FIRE have “red light” or “yellow light” ratings for restricting campus speech, and four of them have flouted UC President Mark Yudof’s 2009 directive to protect free speech in their policies regarding discriminatory harassment. UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz all have been rated by FIRE with a red light for […]

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  • Whistleblowing UCLA Professor Wins One More Year

    September 6, 2011

    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Professor James Enstrom, whose department had tried to get rid of him for not fitting the department’s “mission,” has been granted an additional year of employment at UCLA, FIRE has learned. Dr. Enstrom had engaged in successful whistleblowing against a prominent member of his department, and there had been many years of debate between Enstrom and some of his colleagues over research on air pollution (a debate which continues today). Enstrom’s story is far from over. Giving a professor a final year is a positive step, but it does not resolve the free speech, […]

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  • More Support for Whistleblowing UCLA Professor; Enstrom Case Becomes Class Assignment

    August 16, 2011

    I have been impressed by the amount of concern and support expressed in the case of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor James Enstrom, who has been fighting for his job (with FIRE’s help) for more than a year. Dr. Enstrom, an environmental health sciences professor who has been at UCLA for 35 years, has been facing retaliation after publishing politically inconvenient research about air pollution and leading a successful whistleblowing campaign against the California Air Resources Board. UCLA told Enstrom that his controversial research failed to accord with the environmental health sciences department’s “mission,” threatening academic freedom for […]

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  • Whistleblowing UCLA Professor Now Represented by American Center for Law & Justice

    June 2, 2011

    UCLA environmental health sciences professor and researcher James Enstrom, who was let go from UCLA after 34 years once he blew the whistle on a researcher’s fake Ph.D. and other issues involving the California Air Resources Board, is now being represented by former FIRE President David French at the American Center for Law & Justice. This important development in the case further demonstrates that UCLA will not succeed in public with the rights violation it has tried to accomplish in private. FIRE has been fighting for Dr. Enstrom since last August, winning him an eight-month reprieve until March 31, 2011, or until his appeals are resolved. UCLA […]

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  • National Attention to UCLA Whistleblowing Scandal from Cato’s Ilya Shapiro

    April 25, 2011

    Over at the Cato @ Liberty blog, Ilya Shapiro has brought even more attention to the whistleblowing scandal at UCLA, which FIRE has been covering here. Shapiro, who is a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies for the Cato Institute and also the Editor-in-Chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review, writes: This month, UCLA’s James Enstrom (34 years a professor) is fighting his dismissal from UCLA for [among other exercises of his academic freedom and basic rights] submitting a paper to a regulatory board that denied that diesel particulates cause 2,000 premature deaths in California per year.  The scientific literature published […]

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  • ‘Daily Bruin’ Columnist: Stop Asking UCLA to Apologize for the Speech of Others

    April 25, 2011

    As readers are likely aware, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been a hotbed of First Amendment discussion lately. Most recently, some students were upset when the dean of UCLA’s law school “merely” reiterated that a professor’s blog post—seen as offensive by some—contained his own views, and not those of the university. Those students hoped for a stronger statement akin to the judgment-laden response by UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block to the YouTube video posted by former student Alexandra Wallace. On Friday, Daily Bruin opinion columnist Carly Cody explained why students seeking a stronger administrative response are misguided. […]

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  • This Week in the News: Whistleblowing UCLA Professor Still Making Headlines and Hamilton College Wins Muzzle Award

    April 15, 2011

    UCLA’s gross violation of the rights of Dr. Enstrom, the whisteblowing professor fighting for his job after being told he did not fit his department’s “mission,” continued to elicit outrage in the media this week. Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle published both a column (reprinted in Townhall.com) and a shorter blog post (containing Reason.tv’s video on the case) criticizing the university’s actions. Also don’t miss Adam’s excellent interview about the case with Mike Slater of The Mike Slater Show. Up north, Hamilton College earned a Muzzle Award for forcing all first-year male students to attend “She Fears You,” […]

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  • Please Read: Help FIRE Support Professor James Enstrom

    April 13, 2011

    Late last week, I sent a letter to FIRE’s supporters via U.S. mail requesting their help. It’s not often that a case is so egregious and has such wide-reaching negative consequences that FIRE asks for immediate resources to help us take action. Yet, that is exactly what we are facing in California, where scientists across the state are learning what happens to someone who challenges others’ research in good faith. Now I’d like to share my thoughts on the situation with the Torch audience, and urge you to consider joining the many FIRE donors who have already pledged their support […]

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  • ‘San Francisco Chronicle’ and Others Criticize UCLA’s Treatment of Whistleblowing Professor

    April 12, 2011

    Torch readers by now may be quite familiar with the story of Dr. James Enstrom, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) scientist and professor who is fighting for his job after being told he did not fit his department’s “mission,” in retaliation for critiquing some of the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) scientific findings, as well as his whistleblowing on a CARB scientist with a fake Ph.D. and other problems at CARB. I reported last week on the media outrage that erupted concerning the case. UCLA’s gross violation of Enstrom’s rights continues to draw criticism in the media. Today, […]

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  • This Week in the News: Hearings Begin for Whistleblowing UCLA Professor

    April 8, 2011

    Hearings for University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor and scientist James Enstrom began on Monday of this week. Torch readers will remember that Dr. Enstrom is fighting for his job after UCLA retaliated against him for his exposure of a California Air Resources Board (CARB) scientist with a fake Ph.D. as well as other staffing irregularities, and for Enstrom’s scientific critique of findings by CARB that were used to create air pollution regulations in the state.FIRE’s efforts to protect Enstrom’s rights have been picked up by writers for a number of outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Instapundit, […]

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  • Media Outrage Building over Whistleblowing UCLA Professor’s Case

    April 5, 2011

    Hearings for University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor and scientist James Enstrom began yesterday. Dr. Enstrom is fighting for his job after UCLA retaliated against him for his exposure of a California Air Resources Board (CARB) scientist with a fake Ph.D. as well as other staffing irregularities, and for Enstrom’s scientific critique of findings by CARB that were used to create air pollution regulations in the state. Last week, Reason.tv released a video about the implications of a professor being punished for claiming that his state’s environmental policy relies on questionable science, and 12 California legislators wrote UCLA Chancellor […]

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  • Take Action to Preserve Academic Freedom at UCLA

    April 4, 2011

    Click here to write UCLA Chancellor Gene Block about the threat to academic freedom posed by UCLA’s treatment of Dr. James Enstrom.  

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  • FIRE in the News: Adam Tours the Sunshine State and American University Refuses Intrusive DOJ Grant

    April 4, 2011

    Adam has been very busy the last two weeks delivering speeches at six Florida universities. In anticipation of Adam’s lecture on Monday at the University of Central Florida (UCF), KnightNews.com, an independent news source serving the UCF area, published an editorial strongly encouraging students to attend the talk and expressing its support of “every citizen’s right to free speech at UCF.” We at FIRE appreciate KnightNews.com‘s endorsement as well as its principled stance on individual rights. Adam also visited Rollins College, where a column critical of illegal immigration led to a productive campus-wide discussion. Mike Lafferty of the Orlando Sentinel […]

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  • 12 California State Legislators Write UCLA, Decrying Retaliation Case

    April 1, 2011

    Twelve members of the California State Legislature have written UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block and Provost Scott Waugh a letter decrying UCLA’s treatment of longtime Department of Environmental Health Sciences faculty member James E. Enstrom. Professor Enstrom was let go from UCLA after some 34 years under circumstances detailed by FIRE and described in a video released yesterday from Reason.tv. Led by Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue, Assemblymember, Third District, the legislators write that they “remain deeply troubled by the University’s inability to provide credible cause for Dr. Enstrom’s dismissal, and the appearance of political interference in the University’s academic discourse.” They also raise concerns “as to […]

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  • ‘Swallowing Some Horse Pills For Liberty’

    April 1, 2011

    Over at the John Locke Foundation’s Carolina Journal Online, Donna Martinez reminds readers, with the help of FIRE President Greg Lukianoff, that even speech with which one disagrees can be an integral part of discourse, as the cases of Alexandra Wallace and Snyder v. Phelps remind us.

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  • Greg in ‘LA Times’ on UCLA Student Video Case and the Role of Social Media in Combating Controversial Speech

    March 28, 2011

    Controversy struck the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) this month when student Alexandra Wallace posted a YouTube video in which she complained about the behavior of Asian students in the campus library. Fortunately, instead of punishing her for her protected expression, which happens too often at our colleges and universities, UCLA ultimately (after some initial hiccoughs) encouraged dialogue instead of discipline. Additionally, the use of social media spurred national discussion about this case, in which the use of video played a prominent role.  Rick Rojas, writing for the Los Angeles Times, reported Greg’s opinion on how the use of social media […]

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  • When students’ controversial words go viral, what is the university’s role?

    March 27, 2011

    A YouTube video by a UCLA student and an email circulated among USC fraternity members quickly spread off campus, illustrating a challenge for school administrations. by Rick Rojas Los Angeles Times   View this article at Los Angeles Times.

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  • UCLA Student Will Not Be Punished for YouTube Rant; Announces She Will Leave UCLA Following Threats

    March 21, 2011

    LOS ANGELES, Mar. 21, 2011—In a victory for the First Amendment, officials at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) announced late on Friday, March 18, that UCLA had dropped its disciplinary investigation of student Alexandra Wallace’s “Asians in the Library” YouTube video. Following UCLA’s announcement, however, Wallace released a statement apologizing and indicating that she was leaving UCLA for “personal safety reasons,” including threats against her and her family. “We are pleased that UCLA will not attempt to punish Alexandra Wallace for her constitutionally protected speech. The cure for ‘bad’ speech is ‘better’ speech, and the outpouring of parody and criticism of Wallace’s […]

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  • Breaking News: UCLA Will Not Punish Student for Video

    March 18, 2011

    The Los Angeles Times reports that University of California, Los Angeles, will not punish student Alexandra Wallace for her “Asians in the Library” YouTube video: “While we were appalled and offended by the sentiments expressed in the video, we have uncovered no facts to lead us to believe the student code of conduct was violated. The campus has no intention of pursuing the matter further,” UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton said in a telephone interview Friday. The campus code prohibits students from making specific threats against anyone and forbids racial or sexual harassment that is severe or pervasive enough that it […]

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  • This Week in the News: UCLA Launches, Ends Harassment Investigation of ‘Asians in the Library’ YouTube Video

    March 18, 2011

    It’s no mystery that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been a major source of campus free speech news this week. Student Alexandra Wallace was put under investigation for harassment after she took to YouTube to complain about the behavior of Asian students in the campus library where she studies—a video that has now generated more than 4.7 million views. In response to UCLA’s investigation, FIRE pointed out on our blog and in a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block that Wallace’s speech does not rise to the level of punishable discriminatory harassment. These arguments were picked up on […]

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  • ‘New York Times’ Editorial Board: Campus Free Speech Crucial for Education, Democracy

    March 18, 2011

    In an eloquent articulation of the importance of free expression on college campuses, The New York Times published an editorial today arguing that UCLA student Alexandra Wallace should not be disciplined for harassment as a result of her “Asians in the Library” video. The editorial argues that although Wallace’s speech was racist and should be criticized, the Times emphasizes that UCLA “would do a great disservice to itself and the First Amendment if it goes ahead and disciplines her for the content of her words.”    Quoting UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh’s recent blog entry on Wallace, the Times writes: On […]

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  • Alexandra Wallace apologizes, announces she will no longer attend UCLA

    March 18, 2011

    Alexandra Wallace announced she will no longer be attending UCLA in an apology letter released to the Daily Bruin on Friday. Wallace, the creator of the “Asians in the Library” video that went viral last Sunday, released a statement through a spokesman for the Wallace family. The letter comes the day UCLA announced that it will not take action against Wallace for the video. Below is Wallace’s full letter: In an attempt to produce a humorous YouTube video, I have offended the UCLA community and the entire Asian culture. I am truly sorry for the hurtful words I said and […]

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  • The Power of Parody and Counter-Speech: Student Reaction to Alexandra Wallace’s Rant Video

    March 16, 2011

    In the wake of the controversy surrounding the “Asians in the Library” video posted recently by UCLA student Alexandra Wallace, students and others have begun posting parodies—and they’ve quickly become hugely popular. Indeed, Wallace’s video rant, which contains entirely protected speech, has unleashed a torrent of creativity aimed at debunking stereotypes of Asians, rebutting Wallace, and mocking her views. Here’s a good example: a catchy mock-love song to Wallace with lyrics like “ching chong, it means I love you.” Despite being posted just yesterday, it’s already been viewed more than 160,000 times: Another video response uses hyperbole to skewer Wallace’s […]

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  • Why Doesn’t FIRE Condemn This Viewpoint I Hate?

    March 16, 2011

    I’d like to take some time once again to address a criticism that FIRE sometimes receives: that we don’t denounce the actual viewpoint of speech that people find to be offensive, racist, sexist, etc., with sufficient vehemence while we’re in the process of defending the fundamental right of Americans to say such things. That suggestion has been raised with regard to my blog post from yesterday about the UCLA “Asians in the Library” video, and the subtext of it seems to be that FIRE is, in the end, sort of OK with racism, hate, or what-have-you. While this accusation is […]

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  • Eugene Volokh on UCLA Video: Moronic, but Protected

    March 16, 2011

    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law professor and noted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the “Asians in the Library” YouTube video recently posted by UCLA student Alexandra Wallace. Citing both FIRE’s letter to UCLA and Robert’s blog post on the subject, Volokh concludes that Wallace’s speech is “clearly constitutionally protected,” as well as “moronic.” Although he deems the views expressed to be “nonsense,” Volokh argues that punishing this speech would open the door to punishing much other speech. He writes: The premise of the American university (and, I think, American […]

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  • UCLA Administrator Equates Offensive Speech, Death Threats

    March 16, 2011

    The UCLA student who posted the “Asians in the Library” video has apparently received death threats. If you want to understand what FIRE is up against when fighting censorship on campus, look no further than the response of UCLA Dean of Students Robert Naples to those threats. As our Robert Shibley noted yesterday, Naples told the student newspaper that “If she’s received a death threat, I find that as deplorable as her original YouTube video.” (Emphasis added.) That’s right: a high-level administrator at UCLA has gone on the record that offensive but protected speech is the moral equivalent of a […]

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  • FIRE Intervenes in UCLA ‘Asians in the Library’ Case

    March 15, 2011

    FIRE has sent a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block urging him to bring a quick end to UCLA’s disciplinary investigation of a student who posted a controversial video titled “Asians in the Library.”

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  • UCLA Student’s ‘Asians in the Library’ Video Not Discriminatory Harassment

    March 15, 2011

    For the last couple of days, controversy has been buzzing about a YouTube video (now with more than 4 million views) from a college student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who chose to take to the Internet to complain about the behavior of Asian students in the UCLA library and elsewhere. The student, who has been identified as Alexandra Wallace, claims that the “hordes” of Asian students at UCLA (UCLA’s undergraduate population is about 37 percent Asian and Pacific Islander) cause various annoyances like loudly talking on their cell phones in the library and having their extended […]

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  • Environmental Health Sciences Professor Still Fighting for His Job at UCLA

    March 14, 2011

    FIRE began reporting last September on the case of Dr. James Enstrom, an environmental health sciences professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who has worked at UCLA as a researcher and professor since 1976. UCLA refused to reappoint him, stating that his controversial research failed to accord with the department’s “mission.” In reality, Enstrom had engaged in successful whistleblowing against a prominent member of the department, and there had been many years of debate between Enstrom and some of his colleagues over research on air pollution. After FIRE intervened, Enstrom was given an eight-month reprieve until March 31, […]

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  • UPDATED: Viral YouTube video called “repugnant” by UCLA administration

    March 13, 2011

    [UPDATED at 10:55 p.m.: Read the Daily Bruin's full story here. The story can be found in papers available on stands Tuesday morning.] [UPDATED at 3:20 p.m.: The university has confirmed that the person in the video "Asians in the Library" is Alexandra Wallace, a student at UCLA, said Robert Naples, associate vice chancellor and dean of students. Naples called the video "beyond distasteful," saying that her comments in no way represent the views of the UCLA as a community. Naples said he personally received more than 100 e-mails of complaint from individuals all over the country, primarily from people […]

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  • Did Someone Lie to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block?

    October 1, 2010

    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Chancellor Gene D. Block has responded to FIRE’s August 26, 2010, letter in the matter of Associate Resident Professor James Enstrom. All signs are that UCLA retaliated against Dr. Enstrom’s activism and research in the area of environmental health. Our letter explained that the faculty members in his department voted against his reappointment on nebulous grounds–that his research on environmental health “is not aligned with the academic mission of the Department, and that [his] research output and other contributions do not meet the [Environmental Health Sciences] department minimums.” According to Enstrom, however, no minimum […]

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  • ‘California Watch’ on Non-Rehire Case at UCLA

    September 7, 2010

    Erica Perez, Higher Education Reporter for California Watch, has drawn further attention to the case of UCLA faculty member James Enstrom, who has faced retaliation at UCLA because of his research and activism in the area of air pollution research. FIRE reported on his case last week after UCLA gave Dr. Enstrom an eight-month reprieve while Enstrom appeals a deeply problematic non-rehire decision against him and pursues a whistleblower retaliation complaint. UCLA repeatedly told him that his research on environmental health does not fit the “mission” of the Environmental Health Sciences department and that he had failed to meet unspecified […]

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  • In Reversal, UCLA Temporarily Halts Retaliation Against Whistleblowing Professor

    September 2, 2010

    Today’s press release announces that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has temporarily halted its violations of the free expression rights of Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) faculty member Dr. James Enstrom. The faculty of EHS refused to reappoint Enstrom after he engaged in successful whistleblowing against a member of the department–and after many years of disagreement between Enstrom and some of his colleagues over research on air pollution. After UCLA told Enstrom he was being let go because his controversial research failed to accord with the department’s “mission,” Enstrom turned to FIRE for help. Enstrom has worked […]

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  • Rights in the News: Victory at UCLA Helps FIRE Blaze Trail Into New School Year

    August 21, 2009

    It’s nice every time you can take a case public on a Thursday and declare victory by lunchtime on Friday. This was FIRE’s good fortune this week after we issued a press release yesterday concerning UCLA’s threats against former graduate student Tom Wilde, who maintained a private website that was critical of what he called UCLA’s “weeding out” practices. Within hours, UCLA had dropped its threats against Wilde (though we’re still waiting on Santa Rosa Junior College to make a similar move). Eugene Volokh—a professor of law at UCLA—is among the many pleased with the news. You can read his […]

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  • Victory for Free Expression: UCLA Drops Unconstitutional Threats Against Internet Speech; Online Speech Still Threatened at Santa Rosa Junior College

    August 21, 2009

    Within hours of FIRE’s press release yesterday afternoon, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) had withdrawn its unconstitutional demand that a former student take down a website criticizing the university. UCLA had demanded that Tom Wilde shut down his private, non-commercial website, ucla-weeding101.info, by last Monday. In her August 6 letter demanding that Wilde shut down the website, UCLA Senior Campus Counsel Patricia M. Jasper threatened that the site constituted trademark infringement, and could be a criminal offense under the California Education Code. But as FIRE made clear in its letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block, “cybergriping” websites like […]

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  • Victory for Free Expression: UCLA Drops Unconstitutional Threats Against Internet Speech; Online Speech Still Threatened at Santa Rosa Junior College

    August 21, 2009

    LOS ANGELES, August 21, 2009—The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has withdrawn its unconstitutional demand that a former student take down a website criticizing the university. UCLA had demanded that Tom Wilde shut down his private, non-commercial website, ucla-weeding101.info, by last Monday. Wilde turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help, and yesterday, only a few hours after FIRE publicized Wilde’s case, UCLA informed FIRE that its demands against Wilde were being withdrawn. “Kudos to UCLA for quickly realizing that the First Amendment protects criticism of the university-even online,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “UCLA’s […]

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  • Online Speech Threatened at UCLA and Santa Rosa Junior College

    August 20, 2009

    As our press release today notes, yet another California institution has abused the California Education Code for the purposes of shutting down a private website. This time, the culprit is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which has unconstitutionally ordered former student Tom Wilde to take down his private, non-commercial website or else face criminal and civil action. A former UCLA graduate student, Wilde launched the website ucla-weeding101.info last month to argue that he was “weeded out” of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education for his dissenting views. Less than a month after launching the site, on August 6, UCLA […]

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  • Online Speech Threatened at UCLA and Santa Rosa Junior College

    August 20, 2009

    LOS ANGELES, August 20, 2009—The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has unconstitutionally ordered a former student to take down a website criticizing UCLA or else face criminal and civil action. Tom Wilde’s private, non-commercial website is located at ucla-weeding101.info. After UCLA demanded he take down his site by this past Monday, Wilde, who has so far refused to comply, came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “California has seen a disturbing trend of public colleges and universities attempting to censor or chill private speech online,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “California’s schools violate the […]

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  • UCLA Student Permitted to Refer to Jesus in Graduation Statement

    June 10, 2009

    The AP reported yesterday that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has backed away from its earlier decision to forbid a student from referring to Jesus in a personal statement to be read during her departmental graduation. As the article reported: Student Christina Popa’s statement read, in part, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The student affairs adviser for the department objected to the Jesus reference and asked her to substitute it with “I want to thank God” instead, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious-freedom group that took up Popa’s cause. When Popa […]

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  • Four FIRE Cases on Security Fees Top Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle

    March 31, 2009

    Page A-1 of Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle features four of FIRE’s cases on unacceptably high security fees for controversial speakers. In each case, the potential reaction of the audience was used to assess security fees and charge them to the host. But as the Supreme Court wrote in Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992), “Speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob.” In the article, Bob Egelko points out that both Berkeley and UCLA, two of the three top-ranked schools in U.S. News & World Report, […]

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  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: UCLA

    January 12, 2009

    Over the next six months, FIRE will be exposing the speech codes silencing students at America’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Although students from around the world compete intensively for the opportunity to live and learn at these institutions, most maintain policies that violate students’ fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. Since we believe strongly that prospective students and their families should consider these restrictions—just as they would consider average test scores and faculty/student ratios—when deciding where to apply to school, we want to make this information as accessible as possible. Information about restrictions on speech […]

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  • John Leo on Censorship Tactics in ‘The New York Sun’

    May 3, 2007

    Yesterday’s issue of The New York Sun includes a very telling opinion piece by John Leo that looks at the ploys used by university administrators in their efforts to stifle student speech. “It’s not news that the modern university is censorship-prone, particularly when conservatives wish to speak, but the tactics of the censors keep changing,” Leo writes, and Torch readers undoubtedly realize the truthfulness of such an observation. Leo goes on to recount different approaches we at FIRE are all too familiar with, as many of these examples are straight from recent FIRE cases. Leo’s list of censorship devices includes […]

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  • Victory for Open Expression at UCLA, but Questions about New Policy Remain

    March 29, 2007

    FIRE announces today that UCLA has abandoned its requirement that student organizations pay prohibitively large sums of money for heightened security at events that might spark controversy on campus.   UCLA’s Objectivist group Liberty, Objectivity, Greed, Individualism, Capitalism (L.O.G.I.C.) attempted to host a debate on immigration in early February between open immigration advocate Yaron Brook, President of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Carl Braun, Executive Director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of California, an opponent of illegal immigration. L.O.G.I.C. as a group agrees with Brook’s position on immigration, but wanted to hold an open forum on the topic so […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech at UCLA

    March 29, 2007

    LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2007—The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) has reversed a decision that forced a student organization to cancel an immigration debate in response to threatened protests. UCLA had planned to charge the student group sponsoring the debate up to $15,000 in security costs after other students threatened to protest the debate. Unable to pay this prohibitively large sum of money, the group was forced to cancel the debate, and contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “A public university cannot penalize students financially for hosting a controversial event,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. […]

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  • UCLA Fears Protest, Shuts Down Immigration Debate

    February 13, 2007

    Last Tuesday, February 6, a UCLA student group called Liberty, Objectivity, Greed, Individualism, Capitalism (LOGIC) planned to sponsor a debate on immigration between Carl Braun, Executive Director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of California, and Yaron Brook, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute and advocate for open immigration. LOGIC’s goal was to host a true debate, with both speakers representing opposing points of view on immigration.   On Sunday, February 4, a group of UCLA students led by Students for a Democratic Society announced that they would protest the debate to “demonstrat[e] against the Minutemen and the racist […]

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  • Censorship: free speech ends at DeNeve

    September 30, 2006

    If there is one ideal to which academics regularly pay lip service, it is a liberal environment where all points of view can be discussed. Faculties and administrations across the country have long taken pride in efforts to create just such an atmosphere, which would honor free expression, even if the larger society didn’t. Yet as administrators cave to demands by leftist faculty and students to protect minority groups from intimidation and harassment, they have written up speech codes and placed it firmly in he official guiding documents of their respective universities. In turn, they have used these codes to […]

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  • Silence Speaks Volumes at NYU

    May 24, 2006

    New York University prides itself on being a “private university in the public service,” but talk is cheap—that is, when it isn’t silenced altogether. Despite the lofty aspirations of the school’s motto, in late March NYU decided that certain types of speech on campus just aren’t entitled to the core First Amendment protections relied upon by every American with something to say. On March 30, a panel discussion entitled “Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons,” hosted by NYU’s Objectivist Club, was censored by NYU officials, who refused to allow the event to proceed as planned (and be open to the […]

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  • Student Sues N.Y. College Over Dismissal

    May 6, 2005

    A student who claims he was expelled from a training program for prospective teachers because of his support for corporal punishment and his opposition to multicultural education filed a $40 million lawsuit yesterday and demanded to be reinstated. In the suit, Scott McConnell, 26, of upstate Baldwinsville, accused Le Moyne College of Syracuse of violating his First Amendment rights and breaching the school’s duty to abide by its own policies guaranteeing free expression. “This is a particularly egregious violation of academic freedom,” said David French, the president of a student rights watchdog group backing the lawsuit, the Foundation for Individual […]

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