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

In November 2020, the student newspaper at Frostburg State University reported that Resident Assistants could face negative employee evaluations for “speaking out” about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That report included an email from a university administrator justifying the policy on the basis that “[i]n the real world, if you bad mouth your... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 10, 2020, FIRE sent letters to 15 top colleges and universities across the country to express concern regarding their restrictive press policies. These letters followed a report published by John K. Wilson of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement (the “Wilson Report”), which gave each of these... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 9, 2020, FIRE wrote to Iowa State University, which pledged to punish “[a]ny suggestion of armed activity.” The university’s pronouncement came in response to a tweet by its College Republicans chapter shortly after the 2020 presidential election: “Everyone, you must arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites... Read more Read more



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