FIRE calls on Plymouth State University to rescind faculty punishment over participation in criminal trial
Last week, FIRE wrote to Plymouth State University, calling on the university to reverse adverse actions taken against two PSU professors for participating in a criminal prosecution and offering support for a criminal defendant during her sentencing.
This summer, PSU professor emeritus Michael Fischler and adjunct professor Nancy Strapko weighed in on the trial of former Exeter High School guidance counselor Kristie Torbick, who pled guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student. Fischler sent a letter to the court asking for leniency, and Strapko served as a paid expert witness for Torbick.
This did not sit well with PSU [...] » Read More
In the midst of increased attention on the Chinese government’s involvement in higher education outside its borders, fueled by controversies in Australia and calls for campus disinvitations of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the United States, a new report addresses how U.S. universities have handled demands that they censor content deemed “sensitive” by China.
The report, “A Preliminary Study of PRC [People’s Republic of China] Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education,” was released by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars last month. Its author, Anastasya Lloyd-Damnjanovic, sought to answer the question: [...] » Read More
FIRE is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to reopen an investigation into a 2011 complaint against Rutgers University utilizing a definition of anti-Semitism that threatens speech protected by the First Amendment.» Read More
John McAdams may have won his academic freedom battle against Marquette University this summer, but one might imagine that more than three years of campus banishment, the precarious status of his tenured political science professorship, and a nationally-watched Wisconsin Supreme Court case over whether Marquette could fire him for contentious posts on his personal blog would take some kind of toll.
“No, no, no.” McAdams deadpans in his trademark hard-nosed, unsentimental manner. He waves away questions about whether he suffered during his leave, which finally ended last month when Marquette grudgingly reinstated him. And he’s equally dismissive of questions [...] » Read More
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued the strongest judicial opinion to date in support of the right to cross-examination in campus judicial proceedings that turn on credibility. The decision is also remarkable for its support for allowing students the active participation of an advisor, which would provide effective cross-examination while avoiding the potential problems with having the parties personally cross-examine one another in sexual misconduct proceedings.
In today’s ruling in Doe v. Baum, the Sixth Circuit reversed a lower court’s dismissal of an accused student’s due process lawsuit, holding:
[I]f a public university has [...] » Read More
“When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.” – RuPaul
On a warm San Francisco night, I attended my first drag show. As I was showered with obnoxious 80s hits and bathed in rainbow lights, I wasn’t focused on dancing or the ludicrous antics playing out in front of me. I was thinking about something a college student should never be thinking about at midnight in a gay club — the First Amendment.
To my surprise, my experiences these past two years in college have revealed a certain tension between queer students and [...] » Read More
Arizona State University, a longtime “green light” school, has become the 45th institution at which the administration or a faculty body has endorsed the “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” at the University of Chicago (the “Chicago Statement”).
The university, which earned a green light rating in 2011 for its speech-related policies, is part of an elite group of only 42 institutions in the entire country that earn FIRE’s highest speech code rating. Not only is ASU part of this commendable group of colleges and universities with written policies that do not endanger the [...] » Read More
In this episode, we do a bit of time travel and leave the 17th century for a discussion of free speech on American college and university campuses today.
Our guest is New York University professor Jonathan Haidt, who is a co-author with FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff of “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure,” which is already among Amazon’s current top 20 bestselling books.
But in looking at the present challenges to free speech on campus, we do also try to draw parallels with older controversies in order [...] » Read More
A common misstep FIRE encounters in college speech codes is the inclusion of more than one definition of a particular type of misconduct within a single policy.
These policies typically provide a broad and speech-restrictive definition of the term, followed by a more reasonable definition. Regardless of whether the broader definition is applied in practice, its inclusion in the policy is confusing and creates a potential chilling effect on expression. After all, students reading these policies are forced to assume they could be enforced, and they may reasonably fear punishment over something as simple as telling a classmate a joke. [...] » Read More
The wait is over — “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” is now available wherever books are sold.
Co-authored by FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff and New York University professor Jonathan Haidt, the book is a timely investigation into the new “safety culture” on campus and the dangers it poses to free speech, mental health, education, and, ultimately, democracy.
ORDER THE BOOK TODAY
Already, “The Coddling of the American [...] » Read More