Temple University: Professor Facing Investigation for Pro-Palestinian Speech
Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill gave a speech before a committee organized by the United Nations in which he said “[w]e have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Critics called on Temple University to terminate his employment. Although Temple initially recognized Hill’s First Amendment rights, the chairman of Temple University’s board of trustees told media that Hill had engaged in “hate speech” and that he was directing the university’s legal team to “look at what remedies” were available to punish Hill. FIRE wrote to Temple University president Richard M. Englert on December 3, 2018, over concerns that the university intended to investigate or punish professor Marc Lamont Hill.
December 11, 2018
Following a Board of Trustees meeting this afternoon, Temple University President Richard Englert released a statement on behalf of the board, announcing that professor Marc Lamont Hill will not be punished or investigated for his Nov. 28 speech during an event organized with the United Nations. In that speech, Hill called for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Englert, in delivering the statement, affirmed that Hill “spoke as a private citizen and his right to do so is protected by the constitution.” The announcement finds Temple returning to its initial statement, which recognized that Hill’s speech was […]» Read More
December 5, 2018
This week, FIRE and others have warned Temple University that it cannot punish professor Marc Lamont Hill over his controversial comments on Israel. As a public university, Temple is forbidden by the First Amendment from punishing Hill for his protected expression. Nevertheless, calls for his termination continue. Hill, who teaches media and communication, sparked controversy last week over comments he made at the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In his speech, he called for “political action … that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the […]» Read More
December 3, 2018
Today, FIRE sent a letter to Temple University president Richard M. Englert to remind him of the university’s moral and legal obligations to the First Amendment as a public university in light of the controversy surrounding professor Marc Lamont Hill’s speech last week about Israeli-Palestinian relations. While Temple (which is in FIRE’s hometown of Philadelphia) initially defended Hill’s First Amendment rights, the university’s board chairman has reportedly directed legal counsel to explore options and “remedies,” and stated that members of the administration and board of trustees wanted to “fire him right away.” On Nov. 28, Hill spoke before the United […]» Read More