Freedom of Conscience

In an important victory for free association, Central Michigan University (CMU) has revised a policy that absurdly banned ideological and political groups from “discriminating” on the basis of “political persuasion.” FIRE urged CMU to change this policy after students hostile to the mission of the Young Americans for Freedom student group attempted to become members... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

Emily Brooker sued Missouri State University (MSU) after she was threatened with expulsion and charged with violating MSU’s “Standards of Essential Functioning” for refusing to lobby the Missouri legislature on behalf of homosexual adoption. The lawsuit was settled in her favor. An outside investigation of the School of Social Work found ideological coercion on the... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

For the second time in two years, Hampton University inexplicably denied official recognition to students seeking to start a gay and lesbian group on campus. The group, Students Promoting Equality, Action and Knowledge (SPEAK), contacted FIRE, which wrote a letter to Hampton on urging the university to recognize SPEAK or provide an adequate explanation for... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

When FIRE learned that Marshall University had limited enrollment in several “University Studies 101” courses to “African American Students Only,” it letter to University President Stephen J. Kopp explaining that racially segregated courses are both unlawful and misguided. In Kopp’s response, he claimed that the courses were open to both white and African American students.... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

FIRE asked the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take action against political litmus tests in America’s schools of social work. HHS requires its social workers to have degrees from programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), whose standards require evaluating students on the basis of their beliefs. FIRE... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

Columbia University’s Teachers College requires students to demonstrate a “commitment to social justice” and  employs “dispositions,” which it defines as “observable behaviors that fall within the law and involve the use of certain skills,” to evaluate students. These dispositions, “expected of Teachers College candidates and graduates” and “assessed at each transition point,” include “Respect for... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

Le Moyne College dismissed a school newspaper’s adviser for failing to exercise more control over the paper. Professor Alan Fischler had been the paper’s adviser since 1996, when he was chosen by the paper’s staff. When he was dismissed, he was informed by administrators that they wanted a more “hands-on” adviser who would supposedly make... Read more Read more


Free Speech

FIRE teamed up with the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy to release the Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The Report notes that UNC System’s many speech codes and illiberal restrictions on religious groups would likely not survive a legal challenge. It also... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

The NCATE, a leading accreditor of education schools, agreed to drop the vague and politically loaded recommendation that education students demonstrate a belief in “social justice” in order to graduate. The standards required that candidates in an education program “demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.”... Read more Read more



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