University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Professor Punished for Teaching about Catholic Thought in Course about Catholic Thought

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Freedom Of Speech Becomes Debatable Topic On Campus

    March 4, 2015

    By Anthony Antoine at IllinoisHomepage.net UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — The UI made yet another list, but many aren’t so sure the school needs this type of recognition. The university was named one of the worst colleges for free speech. Some of the biggest changes in our country are the results of people utilizing the right to voice their opinion. With some tough conversations taking place at UI this past year, one department is reinforcing the importance of the First Amendment. The Journalism Department at UI launched a new series called “Free Speech: Rights and Responsibilities in a Digital Age.” Leaders […]

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  • Chicago State, U of I Make List of Worst Colleges for Free Speech

    March 3, 2015

    By NBCChicago at NBCChicago.com Two Illinois universities made the top 10 list of the worst schools for free speech for allegedly violating First Amendment rights in 2014. Chicago State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made the fourth annual list, which is published by the non-profit watchdog group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). This year’s list included both public and private colleges and universities as well as the Kansas Board of Regents and the U.S. Department of Education. Chicago State University earned a top spot after the administration allegedly attempted to censor the university’s blog “CSU Faculty Voice,” which criticized the school’s administration. […]

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  • Chicago State, U. of I. Land On ‘Worst of” List For Campus Free Speech

    March 3, 2015

    By Meredith Rodriguez at Chicago Tribune The University of Illinois‘ rescinded job offer to a professor and a controversy over a faculty blog at Chicago State University helped land the two schools on a 2014 “worst of” list for student and faculty free speech rights A campus censorship watchdog called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, published this week’s list, which included eight universities across the country and two other entities related to higher education. “Too often on the modern college campus, students and their professors find their voices silenced by administrators who would rather they be […]

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  • Free Speech on Campus: The 10 Worst Offenders of 2014

    March 2, 2015

    By Greg Lukianoff at The Huffington Post College is the place where students should be encouraged to, as Yale promises, “think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.” Unfortunately, schools all across the country not only fall short on promises of free expression and academic freedom but openly suppress constitutionally protected speech on campus by using tools such as speech codes to shut down forms of expression that might be uncomfortable, disagreeable, or even offensive to some members of the campus community. To give a clearer picture of campus censorship, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in […]

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  • Updated: Group Puts UI In Top 10 ‘Worst Colleges For Free Speech’

    March 2, 2015

    By Julie Wurth at The News-Gazette URBANA — The Steven Salaita saga has landed the University of Illinois on a list it probably would rather not make. The UI is included in the fourth annual “10 worst colleges for free speech” list published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The foundation criticized the UI for revoking a job offer to Salaita after he posted inflammatory tweets about Israel last summer. The decision sparked a nationwide debate over free speech and “civility” on college campuses and prompted boycotts by prominent academic groups. But campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler argued that […]

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  • Higher education can lower your expectations

    August 3, 2010

    Ever since the Second World War, professional educators have promoted a college or university education for the wrong reason, viz., to make more money than otherwise would be the case. Around 1965 the passion for the egalitarian and pacifistic goals of the left began to corrupt higher learning even more. Today one enrolls at one’s own risk. The fundamental error of the claim that college makes you richer is that those who succeed after college are likely to succeed without it. While many students have indeed gone on to prosperous careers, many others have not, dropping out at some point […]

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  • The Real Scandal at Illinois?

    July 19, 2010

    If you want to study Buddhist or Methodist or Jewish thought at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, there are relevant courses in religious studies — courses where the instructors have been selected by a department of scholars, through standard academic procedures. But if you want to study Roman Catholicism, your instructors have been through different vetting — they will have been nominated by (and their salaries paid by) the St. John’s Catholic Newman Center, a church organization independent of the university, set up to serve Catholic students at the university. This arrangement has existed for decades, and been opposed […]

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  • NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ on Two FIRE Cases about Christian Professors

    August 16, 2010

    National Public Radio’s All Things Considered discussed a couple of FIRE cases earlier this month. Barbara Bradley Hagerty, reporting for the show, covered a poll of 1,700 university scientists at “elite universities” which found that many of them say they self-censor when it comes to talking about their religion: Contrary to the stereotype that most scientists are atheists, [Rice professor Elaine Howard Ecklund] says, nearly half of them say they are religious. But when she did follow up interviews, she found they practice a “closeted faith.” “They just do not want to bring up that they are religious in an academic discussion. […]

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  • Update: UIUC Responds to FIRE’s Letter, Confirms Victory

    July 30, 2010

    As Adam noted earlier today, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has reversed its decision not to rehire Professor Kenneth Howell to teach Introduction to Catholicism. UIUC has offered to return him to his class this fall and to pay his salary. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which is providing Howell with legal representation, reported this outcome yesterday, and UIUC has now confirmed this reversal to FIRE in a letter we have just received in response to our letter of July 16. The letter we received from Deputy University Counsel Steven A. Veazie is substantially the same as his […]

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  • Victory for Academic Freedom at UIUC

    July 30, 2010

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has reversed its unconstitutional decision not to rehire adjunct professor Kenneth Howell following a student complaint about the content of Howell’s teaching. Howell had compared different criteria for judging the morality of sexual conduct in an e-mail to his Introduction to Catholicism students, and the complaining student (who was not in Howell’s class) had objected to Howell’s elaboration of Catholic “Natural Moral Theory” criteria as it applied to homosexual sexual conduct. FIRE intervened on July 16, 2010, in a letter pointing out that it is constitutionally impermissible for a public college to refuse to […]

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  • Alliance Defense Fund Goes Head to Head with the University of Illinois over Howell Case

    July 21, 2010

    Late yesterday, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) reported that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has replied to ADF’s warning that it had violated the constitutional rights of adjunct professor Kenneth Howell. UIUC decided not to rehire him after he had been teaching for nine years. Its decision, by all indications, came because Howell had e-mailed the students in his class comparing what he described as Catholic and utilitarian criteria for making moral judgments about sexual conduct. FIRE also intervened in the case last week, and I provided further analysis of the situation on Monday. Today we examine the University of Illinois’ […]

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  • More Developments at UIUC in Case of Punished Catholic Professor

    July 19, 2010

    Meghan reported last week on FIRE’s letter to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert A. Easter in the matter of adjunct professor Kenneth Howell, who was let go as the teacher of his UIUC courses on Catholicism after he sent his students an e-mail comparing what he described as the Catholic and the utilitarian criteria for making moral judgments about sexual behavior. According to The News-Gazette, Associate Dean Ann Mester told other UIUC staff that “the e-mails sent by Dr. Howell violate university standards of inclusivity, which would then entitle us to have him discontinue his teaching arrangement with […]

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  • FIRE Intervenes after UIUC Professor Dismissed, Highlighting Violation of Academic Freedom

    July 16, 2010

    Dr. Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), was not rehired by the university after a student complained in an e-mail to the department chair that Dr. Howell was “inflammatory and downright insensitive” in his class on Catholicism. Howell had sent an e-mail to the students in his class comparing what he described as Catholic and utilitarian criteria for moral judgments about sexual conduct. The complaining student, who was not enrolled in Dr. Howell’s class, stated that the e-mail was “absurd” and constituted “hate speech.” Because he was let go from his university position, Dr. Howell also was […]

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