Ashland University

Location: Ashland, Ohio
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

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  • Ashland University: Professor Denied Tenure Because of Objectivist Scholarship

    March 5, 2007

    After denying tenure to a history professor because he engaged in Objectivist scholarship, Ohio’s Ashland University has struck a deal with John Lewis, granting him tenure but only if he resigns from the university. FIRE wrote to Ashland in March advocating for Lewis’ tenure bid, citing the fact that the university had accepted $100,000 from a private foundation to fund Lewis’ Objectivist research. FIRE also argued that Ashland was contractually obligated to uphold professors’ full academic freedom and free speech rights. Lewis will be on leave until May 2008, when he will resign from Ashland.

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At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Ashland University joins growing number of colleges and universities adopting the ‘Chicago Statement’

    October 6, 2017

    Early this week, Ashland University (AU) announced its official adoption of a policy statement endorsing free speech, modeled largely on the Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, better known as the “Chicago Statement.” AU’s laudable commitment comes in response to an AU Student Senate resolution, which requested that the university “protect and ensure the students’ and faculty’s moral and legal right of freedom of speech,” according to university president Carlos Campo. AU’s statement echoes the core principles of the Chicago Statement, declaring that “it is not the proper role of Ashland University to […]

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  • FIRE’s Ashland University Case on Volokh

    July 19, 2007

    Our recent involvement at Ashland University continues to gain attention on the web with a post on the widely read Volokh Conspiracy blog by David Bernstein. Torch readers will recall that Ashland denied Professor John Lewis tenure for engaging in Objectivist scholarship that did not comport with the school’s “Judeo-Christian tradition.” This was after Ashland accepted $100,000 from a private foundation that granted the money expressly for the purpose of funding Lewis’ Objectivist research. Ashland ultimately granted Lewis tenure in exchange for his resignation, after FIRE wrote to the university that Ashland was contractually obligated to uphold Lewis’ academic freedom […]

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  • Word Gets out about FIRE’s Case at Ashland University

    July 13, 2007

    FIRE’s recent case at Ashland University has caught the attention of several blogs. As we revealed yesterday, John Lewis, a professor of classical history at Ashland, was hired with the understanding that he would devote part of his time to the study of Objectivism. In contract with the university, the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship paid part of Prof. Lewis’ salary. Ashland University subsequently denied John Lewis tenure on the grounds that his Objectivist scholarship was in conflict with the university’s values. The incident has received insightful coverage from several outlets: The Chronicle of Higher Education covered the story last […]

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  • Ashland University: No Objectivists Need Apply

    July 12, 2007

    As common as tenure disputes may be within academic circles, rarely do institutions penalize professors for pursuing research outlined in their faculty contracts and expressly approved by top administrators. That’s what makes FIRE’s case at Ashland University so unique—and outrageous. John Lewis is a classical historian whose work on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism constitutes only a small portion of his academic research. Ashland hired Lewis as an assistant professor in 2001, and in 2002 accepted a three-year gift commitment of $100,000 from the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship “to establish a fellowship in the department of history and political […]

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