Every year, syndicated columnist John Leo bestows the “Sheldon Award” on “the university president who does the most to look the other way when free speech is under assault on campus.” His latest column announces that there are actually two winners this year, both of whose misdeeds came to public attention through FIRE’s efforts.
Leo’s newest “winners” are V. Lane Rawlins, president of Washington State University (WSU), and the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, president of DePaul University.
WSU made nationwide headlines after professors attempted to expel a conservative education student for his views and Rawlins’ administration supported and bankrolled disruptive heckling of a satirical student play. DePaul earned its notoriety when Holtschneider allowed an “affirmative action bake sale” protest to be shut down, flyers critical of Ward Churchill to be banned, and a professor to be suspended without due process for debating the Israeli–Palestinian conflict with students.
These individual administrators richly deserve to be singled out for Leo’s “awards,” and FIRE thanks him for exposing their penchant for repression in newspapers across the country.