Free Speech

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives brought together a committee to examine allegations that Pennsylvania’s public universities were plagued by liberal ideology and indoctrination. David A. French, at the time president of FIRE, served as a legal adviser to the panel. FIRE released FIRE Report on the First Amendment Responsibilities of Pennsylvania State-Funded Colleges and Universities,... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

Washington State University (WSU) repealed partisan evaluative criteria used to punish a student whose views on diversity and gun control differed with those of other professors at WSU. Student Ed Swan had received poor evaluative teaching marks on his “dispositions” criteria, which had “required students to have a commitment to vague ideological concepts such as... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

Graduate student Scott McConnell handed in an assignment in which he described his ideal classroom — environment which involved “strong discipline and hard work” and which included “corporal punishment.” Though he did well on the assignment, he was summarily dismissed two months later by the Education Department chair, despite his “excellent” evaluation for class work.... Read more Read more


Free Speech

At Rhode Island College, graduate student Bill Felkner was asked to publicly advocate “progressive” social changes that he did not believe in. Social work professor Jim Ryczek suggested to Felkner in an e-mail that if he did not agree with the school’s political philosophy, he should consider leaving or finding another line of work. Shortly... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

FIRE protested the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s (UWEC) Student Senate’s decision to withhold student fee funding from any student organization that espouses a “particular ideological, religious, or partisan viewpoint.” The rule, passed in March of 2005, came after a controversy regarding the approval of a new student magazine, The Flip Side, in December of 2004.... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

In October 2012, Trinity College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendations of a report prepared by the college’s specially created Charter Committee for Building Social Community at Trinity College. The report includes a new Social Code that imposes dramatic new regulations on “social organizations,” primarily fraternities and sororities. Among its numerous requirements, the code... Read more Read more


Free Speech

FIRE protested University of South Carolina Professor Lynn Weber’s imposition of a political litmus test in order to succeed in “Women’s Studies 797: Seminar in Women’s Studies,” which was required of students who sought to earn a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. Professor Weber’s “Guidelines for Classroom Discussion” required students to “acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism,... Read more Read more


Free Speech

The Attorney General of Virginia’s Office concluded that a new resolution from the Board of Visitors of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) that threatened freedom of speech and assembly at that public institution was unconstitutional and recommended that it not be implemented. The resolution would have declared that no individuals or organizations... Read more Read more


Free Speech

A Citrus College professor had compelled undergraduate students to write anti-war letters to President George W. Bush, penalizing the grades of students who dissented or refused to send the letters. After FIRE intervened, the Citrus College administration repudiated this outrage and resolved all issues in favor of freedom of conscience. Read more


Freedom of Conscience

The InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship at Rutgers University was banned from campus because of its rule that "leaders must seek to adhere to biblical standards and belief in all areas of their lives." Rutgers ruled that allowing a religious student group to select its leadership on the basis of religion constituted discrimination. FIRE wrote to... Read more Read more



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