Free Speech

In the wake of the 2020 elections, John Eastman — a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization — served as a lawyer for then-President Trump. Eastman’s duties were relieved and his courses cancelled by CU Boulder’s administration after he made public statements — including in... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On Dec. 9, 2020, USU student Zachary Grant Bess criticized the public university on Twitter and chided the university as “you bastards.” In response, staff blocked Bess from accessing USU’s official Twitter account. Although USU later unblocked Bess, FIRE wrote to USU on Jan. 28, 2021, urging it to rescind its social media policy, which... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In December 2020, Jason Kilborn, a professor of law, included in a Civil Procedure II final exam a hypothetical fact pattern involving an employment discrimination case. The hypothetical referenced “profane expressions for African Americans and women,” identified as expurgated text (“‘n_____’ and ‘b_____’”). After the question was condemned by students, the law school issued a... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In August 2020, the University of Pittsburgh revoked Associate Professor of Medicine Norman C. Wang’s teaching privileges following criticism of his paper, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, concerning demographics in the cardiology profession. On January 12, 2021, FIRE wrote to Pitt calling for it to rescind Wang’s punishment, explaining that Pitt,... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In October 2020, professor Garrett Ferber publicly criticized his department chair for rejecting a grant to a community education program focused on racial justice and incarceration, tweeting that the University of Mississippi was motivated by a desire to protect “racist donor money.” Following the tweets, Felber’s department chair requested to have a phone conversation, then... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In October 2020, Resident Assistants at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were reportedly concerned about the implications of the university’s vague media relations policy, interpreting it as requiring them to refrain from speaking to student journalists. FIRE wrote to UNC Chapel Hill to urge the university to amend its policy to make... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In November 2020, immediately after student journalist Cassie Conklin’s critical reporting on Frostburg State University was highlighted by the Baltimore Sun, the university summoned her to a meeting and informed her that she was under investigation for allegedly slipping a threatening note under a university staffer’s door a month earlier. Despite video evidence proving Conklin’s... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In September 2020, Professor Mark Crispin Miller taught a session of his media course on propaganda that focused on the campaigns surrounding the efficacy of mask-wearing to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. After a student criticized the course session and Miller online, Miller posted an entry on his personal blog defending himself and... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On Nov. 19, 2020, FIRE sent letters to 38 organizations dedicated to the betterment of higher education introducing FIRE’s Model Code of Student Conduct. FIRE’s letter explains how the Model Code is a practical, comprehensive collection of student conduct policies and procedures that sets the gold standard for protecting civil liberties on campus. Our letters... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 7, 2020, University of Miami School of Law Dean Anthony Varona suggested that he would not renew the contract of law school lecturer Daniel B. Ravicher due to his controversial tweets about the 2020 election. FIRE wrote to the university on November 20, explaining that the university’s promises of academic freedom and free... Read more Read more



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