Nonprofit Group Names University of Iowa One of the Worst Colleges for Free Speech

March 2, 2015

By Sommer Steiner at

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -The University of Iowa is one of the Top 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2014, according to nonprofit group FIRE.

FIRE, or the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, claims that UI is one of the nation’s biggest abusers of student and faculty free speech. University of Iowa makes the list this year because of what FIRE calls, the “censorship and denunciations of an art professor’s anti-racist art installation.” This is, of course, referring to the statue that resembles a KKK member, made of newspaper articles about racial protests in Iowa; it was removed from the campus in early December . The statue was created by Serhat Tanyolacar, an art teacher on campus, who says he was trying to open up a dialogue about racism in the United States; some students found it offensive, and protested its placement on campus.

UI joins the following universities on FIRE’s list of the “worst of the worst:”

Brandeis University
California State University, Fullerton
Chicago State University
Georgetown University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Marquette University
Modesto Junior College (Modesto, Calif.)
Kansas Board of Regents
U.S. Department of Education

Details about why each of the aforementioned schools were placed on the list can be found in the blog section of the Huffington Post.

Schools: University of Iowa Cases: University of Iowa: Art Professor’s Controversial Display Removed After Student Complaints