Syracuse University: Investigation into Professor for Reference to “Wuhan Flu” on Course Syllabus


Syracuse University

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FIRE Victory closed

On September 22, 2020, FIRE wrote to Syracuse University calling for an end to its investigation into Professor Jon Zubieta for referencing the “Wuhan Flu or Chinese Communist Party Virus” on his fall course syllabus. The university placed Zubieta on administrative leave and launched an investigation after his syllabus began circulating online. FIRE’s letter explains that the university, which explicitly promises its professors expressive rights, may not discipline Zubieta merely because some find a passing remark in his syllabus objectionable. After an informal resolution process, Syracuse agreed to reinstate him after he agreed to take a professional development courses and retire in 2023.