FIRE to Wisconsin State Legislature: Protect University of Wisconsin Faculty’s Academic Freedom

June 13, 2013

Today, FIRE sent a letter to Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin state legislators asking them to protect academic freedom by rejecting a controversial modification to the state budget. Specifically, the modification would prohibit University of Wisconsin faculty from "doing any work related to" the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (WCIJ).   The current budget proposal, in prohibiting WCIJ and UW faculty from collaborating, will severely restrict UW faculty’s academic freedom. The letter notes the Supreme Court’s long history of protecting academic freedom and freedom of speech on public university campuses. These principles are so critical that "speech related to scholarship or teaching" is uniquely excepted from the Court’s controversial decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), which held that the First Amendment does not protect speech by public employees when uttered "pursuant to their official duties."  Read FIRE’s letter here and check back for updates on this troubling legislation.

Schools:  University of Wisconsin – Madison

Cases:  Wisconsin: Bill to Forbid Professors from Working with Journalism Organization