Ashland University: Student Newspaper Advisor Dismissed and Publication Subjected to Prior Review, Raising Academic Freedom and Free Press Uncertainty


Ashland University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In August 2023, Ashland University ousted student newspaper adviser Ted Daniels just hours after the university provost scolded The Collegian for not being “respectful.” Ashland explained that Daniels’ “perspectives on the field of journalism” and “approach” had proven “problematic for Ashland,” and that Daniels was teaching “too much investigative journalism.” Ashland then notified The Collegian of a new requirement that the Dean of Arts and Sciences review the publication prior to printing to ensure suitability. FIRE’s Student Press Freedom Initiative first wrote Ashland on September 8, insisting that it give up its plans of prior review and publicly reassure its community of their rights to academic freedom and freedom of the press. Ashland responded privately on September 13, stating that it “welcome[s] objective, investigative journalism,” while defending its demands for prior review. SPFI wrote Ashland again on September 18, noting that private reassurances fall short of satisfying our concerns, and restating a need for the university to give up prior review and issue a public statement.