Perhaps it is just that FIRE is becoming better known and we are receiving more cases, but it seems to me that the climate for free speech is actually getting worse on campus. In the last 12 months I have seen many of the worst cases of my career. Take, for example, today’s press release: Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., dismissed an education student for writing a paper recommending strict (and some would say “traditional”) discipline for younger students. He got an “A-” on the paper, but then was dismissed from the program by another administrator who cited a “mismatch” between his views and those of the college. How could a college that claims to respect academic freedom not realize that dismissing a student for dissenting is an outright and total rejection of free speech and academic freedom? Are colleges so terrified of debating that they would rather dismiss a student than challenge his opinions?
FIRE intervened on behalf of the student to demand that the department restore the student’s matriculation. Le Moyne officials do not want to talk about their college’s remarkably draconian action, but we plan to keep on them until they do. Readers should tell Le Moyne what they think of its hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness.