Babson College: Adjunct Faculty Member Terminated Over Facebook Post About Iran

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Babson College

On January 7, 2020, following President Trump’s tweeted threat to bomb 52 Iranian cultural sites, Babson College professor Asheen Phansey posted privately on his personal Facebook page: “In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomeni should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb. Um… Mall of America? …Kardashian residence?” After the post was shared with a local blog, Babson administrators suspended Phansey pending an “investigation.” Less than a day later, Babson concluded its “thorough investigation” and terminated Phansey. FIRE wrote to Babson College explaining that Phansey’s post was political hyperbole critical of the president’s tweet, not a true threat or incitement, and was therefore protected under Babson’s promises to respect freedom of expression.