Linfield University: Professor Investigated for Personal Social Media Posts Emphasizing Tensions Between English and Business Departments


Linfield University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On March 22, Linfield informed English professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt she would be investigated for professionalism based on posts on her personal social media accounts depicting quotes from two prominent businessmen about literature and having been English majors. FIRE wrote Linfield on March 24 explaining that launching an investigation into protected expression violates the university’s promises of free expression. Linfield told FIRE there was more to the story and it would continue to investigate, but refused to provide FIRE or Dutt-Ballerstadt additional information. FIRE again wrote Linfield on March 28, explaining that the university must, at a minimum, inform Dutt-Ballerstadt of the allegations. Although Linfield never did so, the university told Dutt-Ballerstadt on April 19 it had ended the investigation.