Lake Superior State University: Veteran Professor Ordered to Remove Posted Materials from Office Door


Lake Superior State University

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Case Overview


In March 2007, Lake Superior State University ordered professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to immediately remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door after receiving an anonymous complaint. FIRE wrote to LSSU’s president on July 23, pointing out that it is common for professors at LSSU to post materials — political or otherwise — on their office doors, and emphasizing that this standard constitutes viewpoint discrimination prohibited by the First Amendment. On March 26, an outside law firm responded to FIRE on LSSU’s behalf, insisting that LSSU had not infringed on Crandall’s First Amendment rights and declaring that Crandall’s displays would threaten the civil rights of LSSU community members. FIRE again wrote to LSSU on March 5, 2008, reiterating that Crandall had the right to speak on matters of public concern by posting materials on his office door. The outside law firm responded on March 28, continuing to claim that LSSU did not infringe on Crandall’s First Amendment rights.