Freedom of Conscience

ISU Norml FIRE
Free Speech

In early 2022, the University of Toledo proposed a policy that would require students and faculty to use individuals’ “chosen first names” in all communications that occur on campus or in university programs and activities. FIRE wrote to UToledo on February 14, explaining that the policy is overbroad under the First Amendment because it is... Read more Read more


Free Speech

Boston University’s mandatory training on preventing discrimination and harassment asks faculty members opinion-based questions and requires them to select the university’s preferred answers to complete the training. On December 17, 2021, FIRE wrote to BU explaining that requiring faculty members to affirm viewpoints with which they may disagree amounts to compelled speech in violation of... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In 2020, Boston University’s School of Theatre and the university’s Boston Playwrights’ Theatre producing company adopted statements on diversity and anti-racism that included compulsory speech requirements for faculty, and mandated the teaching of certain materials through an “anti-racist lens.” After the Academic Freedom Committee of BU’s Faculty Council raised concerns about the statements, BU’s administration... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In 2021, UC Santa Cruz required applicants for many faculty roles to submit a “Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” evaluating the statements with a rubric that penalizes applicants for refusing to personally affirm the university’s views on contested social and political issues. On December 7, 2021, FIRE wrote to UC Santa Cruz,... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

In August 2020, Iowa Law’s Anti-Racism Action Committee recommended the school ask faculty about their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion in faculty evaluations. On October 12, 2020, FIRE wrote to Iowa Law, urging the law school to not implement the committee’s recommendation, as it could serve as an ideological litmus test for faculty. From... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

In February 2021, a Bridgewater State University student tweeted a screenshot of a hypothetical question from a research survey that negatively portrayed Black Lives Matter. The purpose of the survey was to examine how the language used to frame an issue affects perceptions and decision-making. The screenshot sparked an outcry, and in response, BSU’s Racial... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In April 2021, as part of Cornell’s anti-racism initiative, a Faculty Senate working group issued a report proposing an “educational requirement” for faculty, which would require that faculty candidates for renewal, promotion, or tenure submit a statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In a June 7 letter to Cornell, FIRE called on the... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In the fall 2020 semester, the Rutgers Law School, Camden Campus Student Bar Association amended its constitution to require all student groups to hold events addressing “topics through the lens of Critical Race Theory, diversity and inclusion, or cultural competency” to be eligible for more than $250 in student activity fee funding. On May 17,... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

The University of Oklahoma’s mandatory diversity training requires faculty and staff to affirm university-approved viewpoints to complete the training. On November 16, 2020, FIRE wrote to OU to explain that requiring students and faculty to state that they agree with ideas that they may oppose amounts to compelled speech, which is unconstitutional. FIRE also submitted... Read more Read more


Free Speech

Following the January 6, 2021, protests and riots at the United States Capitol, an SU Law student asked the law school to revoke the Federalist Society chapter’s recognition because the student group would not denounce Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, both former FedSoc members, for objecting to the election’s certification. In response, the law... Read more Read more



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