Former FIRE President David French posted on Phi Beta Cons today about the recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Jon Gould calling for FIRE’s dissolution. Responding to Gould’s allegations that FIRE inflates the state of speech codes on today’s campuses, David wrote:
I will believe that FIRE exaggerates the prevalence of speech codes the day that a federal judge upholds as lawful a code that FIRE labels ‘red’ in the Spotlight database. We can argue about legal interpretations all day long, but federal judges make the ultimate decision, and so far FIRE hasn’t gotten one wrong yet. Since 2003 alone, “red” rated speech codes at Shippensburg University, Texas Tech, and Temple have been struck down by federal courts. Many other universities have agreed to rewrite their codes when faced with a lawsuit, including Penn State, Georgia Tech, and SUNY Brockport. And the codes at these schools are not unique. They are representative of the codes at hundreds of other universities. Until FIRE’s record drops below 100%, I think I’ll trust FIRE’s ratings.