Boston University: Discrimination and Harassment Training Compels Faculty Speech

Category: Free Speech, Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Boston University

Boston University’s mandatory training on preventing discrimination and harassment asks faculty members opinion-based questions and requires them to select the university’s preferred answers to complete the training. On December 17, 2021, FIRE wrote to BU explaining that requiring faculty members to affirm viewpoints with which they may disagree amounts to compelled speech in violation of BU’s policies protecting freedom of expression. On February 14, 2022, BU confirmed that it revised the training module’s welcome page to make clear that the module tests participants’ knowledge of the university’s “judgment as to the response that best aligns with the University’s goals and objectives,” but does not require faculty to agree with those judgments.