Get to Know New FIRE Staffers: Tim Murphy, Digital Outreach and Alumni Development Fellow
Tim’s position, part of FIRE’s Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project, will help expand FIRE’s alumni network and provide opportunities for alumni to get involved. His first project will be creating an online activism portal for each school in FIRE’s Spotlight database, where alumni and members of the public can review their school’s free speech policies and contact administration officials with praise or criticism. In addition to managing this portal, Tim will organize direct outreach to prominent alumni in specific cases to pressure schools to end administrative abuses. Through this direct outreach and online portal, FIRE will begin to build the tools for a more active network of college alumni.
“I’m really looking forward to building an engine for college alumni to encourage First Amendment rights at their alma maters,” Tim said of his new role.
Tim comes to FIRE from the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates for non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies nationwide.
He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary, where he earned a B.A. in government and history. His studies there focused on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, from which he developed a strong appreciation for the importance of First Amendment rights in making social change. He also had a great experience as an alumni being invited back to speak on what some would view as a controversial topic.
“Leaders of the Students for Liberty and Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapters at my alma mater, William and Mary, invited me to speak about marijuana legalization in 2012. I thought it was fantastic that a campus that has a very strict illegal drug policy would still allow someone to come to their campus and talk about cannabis legalization and its importance to criminal justice reform,” he said. “The event really hit home to me the importance of open dialogue on college campuses. It’s one of the reasons I began following FIRE’s work more closely. I’ve been extremely impressed with their success in promoting free speech on college campuses.”
Tim will be based in our Philadelphia headquarters.
“I am really enjoying getting to know my coworkers. They’re some of the most passionate and thoughtful people I have met. It’s extremely important to me to be in a place that values critical thinking and an open dialogue,” Tim said.
We’re glad to have you aboard, Tim. Welcome to FIRE.