Furman University: Professor Investigated, Banned from Campus for Attending Protest


Furman University

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Case Overview


On September 30, 2022, Furman University initiated an investigation into Professor Chris Healy and banned him from campus after images surfaced of him standing in a crowd at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The university did not say it was investigating Healy for participating in violence or other unlawful conduct that day (no one has alleged he did), but rather for his mere association with viewpoints it deems “harmful.” On October 5, FIRE wrote to Furman explaining that both its free speech commitments and South Carolina law bar it from investigating or punishing faculty for their protected political expression. On December 15, Healy sued Furman alleging breach of contract and due process violations.