National Media Concentrate on Academic Repression

October 17, 2005

FIRE’s work to defend liberty on campus continues to garner national attention. Three influential publications with diverse readerships—The National Law Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and National Review—dedicate pages of coverage to FIRE’s ongoing cases that involve such important issues as freedom of the student press, “dispositions theory,” and professorial academic freedom.
In an op-ed published in The National Law Journal, FIRE Vice Chairman Harvey A. Silverglate warns of the imminent assault on the student press if the Seventh Circuit’s disastrous en banc decision in Hosty v. Carter is allowed to stand. The decision diminishes the rights of college journalists to the status of those granted to high school newspapers and would therefore destroy the independent student press. FIRE is leading a broad coalition of civil libertarians in support of students’ rights as the decision is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The October 24 issues of U.S. News & World Report and National Review cover many of the other battles currently facing FIRE. In U.S. News & World Report, columnist John Leo tackles the totalitarian implications of “dispositions theory.” He describes how FIRE intervened to prevent Brooklyn College Professor K. C. Johnson from being investigated for merely criticizing the theory and how FIRE pressured Washington State University’s College of Education to drop its requirement that dissenting student Ed Swan sign an unconstitutional contract intended to force him to learn the correct “disposition.” John J. Miller’s article in National Review portrays the DePaul University administration’s disturbing campaign against Professor Thomas Klocek that culminated in his suspension without due process, which FIRE condemned as a brazen affront to academic freedom.