Location: Hammond, Indiana
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit
Purdue University Calumet has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more here.
January 24, 2012
After investigating nine complaints of harassment and discrimination against Professor Maurice Eisenstein, Purdue University Calumet dismissed all of them. Among other comments on his personal Facebook page, Eisenstein had criticized “‘moderate’ Muslims” who he believed had not condemned violence after an attack by “a radical Muslim group” killed Christians in Nigeria. Although Eisenstein was cleared of all of the charges after intervention from FIRE in January 2012, he was found guilty of “retaliation” due to other protected comments. He filed a lawsuit in May 2012.» Read More
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
Last updated: February 10, 2015
The University reaffirms its commitment to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the First Amendment is not subject to this policy.
Harassment: conduct towards another person or identifiable group of persons that has the purpose or effect of: (1) creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment, work environment, or environment for participation in a University activity; (2) unreasonably interfering with a person’s educational environment, work environment, or environment for participation in a University activity; or (3) unreasonably affecting a person’s educational or work opportunities or participation in a University activity.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Last updated: September 23, 2015
Purdue University Calumet recognizes the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and believes academic progress and freedom flourish when these rights are assured. Consistent with these protections, and with the powers and duties granted to the Trustees of Purdue University by the Indiana General Assembly, the Trustees have published Regulations Governing the Use and Assignment of University Facilities (Policy1.4.1).
Consistent with the foregoing principles and regulations, Purdue University Calumet offers the following guidelines for the use of facilities at Purdue University Calumet.
To facilitate robust debate and the free exchange of ideas, the University has designated Founder’s Plaza (“Plaza”) for peaceable assembly and the expression of ideas and opinions. The Plaza may be used for expressive activity by individuals and groups, including non-students and other campus guests. In addition to its high visibility and easy accessibility, the Plaza has been identified as a place where demonstrations and other expressive activities are least likely to disrupt University activities and functions. The Plaza may be used without permission from the University so long as the area has not been previously reserved or scheduled for a particular function, the expressive activity does not disrupt or obstruct University functions, and the participants do not violate other University policies.
Some University facilities that are not open to the public may be reserved, subject to availability. Reasonable charges or deposits may be imposed to ensure that exterior and interior locations are left in their original condition at the conclusion of the events.
Statement of Responsibility for Individuals Sponsoring Events:
All events must be organized within the parameters of University policies and normal operating procedures. Individuals who wish to sponsor events may do so as long as the event does not disrupt, impair or obstruct the lawful missions, processes, procedures or functions of the University, or the lawful and authorized use of University facilities by others. Students and groups who sponsor events must adhere to the Regulations Governing Student Conduct.
Procedures for Scheduling Events in Public Areas:
Although it is not necessary for a person using Founder’s Plaza to obtain prior permission from the University, the University encourages such persons to contact the Office of the Dean of Students in order to reserve or schedule the Plaza in advance so as to minimize possible conflicts. Priority is given for use of this location by groups who register their assemblies with the University. Persons interested in exercising their rights of expression in Founder’s Plaza are encouraged but not required to reserve it for their events. The use of megaphones is permitted at Founder’s Plaza consistent with the applicable law and local ordinances, but amplified equipment may not be used outside.
Nothing in the foregoing shall be interpreted as limiting the right of student expression elsewhere on the campus so long as the expressive activity or related student conduct does not disrupt University activities and functions or violate any other applicable University policies. Obstructing building entrances, walkways, and rights-of-way; obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic on or adjacent to campus; or interfering with classes, meetings, events or ceremonies or with other essential processes of the University will generally be considered to be disruptive of University activities and functions.
Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
Last updated: September 23, 2015
The following actions constitute conduct for which students may be subject to administrative action or disciplinary penalties. … Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct on University property or in connection with a University activity.
Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
Last updated: September 23, 2015
As a university that is open to expression of various viewpoints, Purdue University Calumet encourages intra-campus posting of information in the interest of enhancing student and campus life and expanding opportunities for learning and cultural enrichment.
This policy attempts to monitor the dissemination of information in a manner that maximizes effectiveness and is consistent with university standards of appropriateness, decency and campus aesthetics. Postings that by nature infringe on individual rights or promote or advertise commercial activity prohibited by university regulations, and/or local, state or federal laws are not permitted (including but not limited to):
- unlawful gambling,
- underage consumption of alcohol,
- underage use of tobacco,
- unlawful use of firearms,
- illegal drugs,
- obscenity, or
- other illegal activities.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
Last updated: September 23, 2015
Free speech, free expression, and peaceable assembly are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Academic progress and academic freedom flourish when a University guards these rights; the educational process itself relies on the free exchange of ideas and opinions among members of the University community.
Students and registered student organizations (RSO) are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They are always free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of Purdue University. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations, students and RSOs speak only for themselves.
Conversely, the University must ensure that the educational process, as well as University functions and activities, are not disrupted or interrupted. University regulations prohibit obstruction or disruption of any University activity (Regulations Governing Student Conduct, Disciplinary Proceedings, and Appeals: Section III, Letter A, #5) or inciting, aiding, or encouraging other persons to engage in such conduct.
The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community. The University accepts its duty to develop policies and procedures that safeguard this freedom and sets out these policies on demonstrations, rallies, and parades:
- A basic general requirement for staging a demonstration, rally, or parade/march is that the activity must not interfere with academic programs or other scheduled functions of the University. Sound and amplifying equipment is generally not permitted. However, if sound is permitted, it will be regulated to prevent interference with academic programs or other officially sponsored activities.
- Although it is not necessary to register a demonstration, rally, or parade/march, in order to insure availability of appropriate space and minimize possible scheduling conflicts, the University encourages event organizers to contact the Student Organization Administrator in advance so that all departments of the University involved with the scheduling of such events can be properly notified. Priority is given for use of a particular location to groups who register their events with the University in advance. The foregoing does not, and is not intended to, limit the ability of students to engage in spontaneous, unregistered expressive activity on campus, including demonstrations and rallies, as long as the activity is peaceful and non-disruptive.
- In the event that more than one demonstration, rally, or parade/march is planned for the same area, the one that is properly registered on an event form and is scheduled first will have priority.
- Founders Plaza has been designated for peaceable assembly and the expression of ideas and opinions. The designation of Founders Plaza does not limit the right of student expression elsewhere on the campus so long as the expressive activity or related student conduct does not disrupt University activities and functions or violate any other applicable University policies. Obstructing building entrances, walkways, and rights-of-way; obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic on or adjacent to campus; or interfering with classes, meetings, events or ceremonies or with other essential processes of the University will generally be considered to be disruptive of University activities and functions.
- If demonstrations are to be sponsored by an RSO off-campus, such plans should be discussed with the staff in the Office of the Dean of Students, and proper arrangements must be made with the appropriate community or county official.
December 11, 2015
By Peter Maxwell at The College Fix Fear that agency’s guidance could ‘parallel’ broad sexual-harassment rules Despite a plunge this year in the number of universities with severe restrictions on free speech, new threats are on the horizon thanks to outgoing Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s recent statements on racial issues, according to a new report. For the first time since the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education started tracking speech codes on college campuses, less than half of American colleges it has rated maintain “red light” policies, FIRE’s annual “Spotlight” report said. Between September 2014 and September 2015, FIRE downgraded 10 universities […]» Read More
December 10, 2015
By Robby Soave at Reason.com Some good news and some bad news from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: the number of college campuses maintaining restrictions on speech has decreased for an eighth consecutive year, but the Education Department’s guidance on sexual harassment continues to pose a significant threat to free expression. According to FIRE’s 2016 report on “The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses,” just 49.3 percent of American universities maintain severely unconstitutional speech codes. This is the first time in FIRE’s 16-year history that statistic has dipped below 50 percent. Additionally, six universities eliminated speech […]» Read More
September 30, 2015
By Aleister at College Insurrection The elimination of speech codes is a good thing. More of this, please. The FIRE blog reported. Purdue Calumet Eliminates All of Its Speech Codes, Earns FIRE’s Highest Free Speech Rating HAMMOND, Ind., September 29, 2015—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce that Purdue University Calumet has earned FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating for free speech by eliminating all of its restrictive speech policies. With assistance from FIRE, Purdue Calumet joins an elite group of colleges and universities that have reformed their speech-related policies to comply with First Amendment standards. […]» Read More
May 22, 2012
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Professor Maurice Eisenstein, an associate professor of political science at Purdue University Calumet. He is suing Purdue after the school’s investigation of his comments about Islam on Facebook. Though the probe cleared him, he says Purdue still violated his free speech rights. FP: Professor Maurice Eisenstein, welcome to Frontpage Interview. I would like to talk to you today about your ordeal at Purdue. How did the whole incident start? Eisenstein: Thanks Jamie. The entire attack on my free speech began over a post I made to Facebook in November 2011. I posted a picture with a storyline about an Islamist […]» Read More
May 18, 2012
A Purdue University professor has filed a freedom of speech suit against his school and five co-workers after getting in hot water for inflammatory statements about Muslims on his Facebook page. Tenured political science professor Maurice Eisenstein was cleared by a university investigation into his Facebook comments, which included a reference to “the idiot Mohammad [sic}, may his name be cursed.” But Eisenstein claims the investigation nonetheless damaged his reputation and disputes a finding that he retaliated against other faculty members. “I was trying to be challenging as a professor, and do what I was trained to do,” Eistenstein, who […]» Read More
May 18, 2012
A Purdue University Calumet (PUC) professor who was reprimanded for a series of Facebook comments critical of Muslims, drawing harsh criticism from students and faculty members, has filed a free-speech lawsuit against the university. Maurice Eisenstein, an associate professor of political science at PUC, posted a picture of Facebook last November of “Christians killed by a radical Muslim group.” Eisenstein criticized “moderate Muslims” for failing to condemn the alleged attack. He added that Muslims are “still looking at the earth as flat according to the idiot Mohammad [sic], may his name be cursed.” Eisenstein was accused of engaging in a […]» Read More
May 17, 2012
A Purdue University political science professor has sued the university in Indiana court, claiming it violated his free speech and privacy rights by subjecting him to a disciplinary investigation after he posted comments criticizing Muslims to his Facebook page. In a lawsuit filed May 10 against university officials and professors, Purdue-Calumet Professor Maurice Eisenstein alleges several professors conspired to smear him by filing unfounded harassment claims over the Facebook posts. The complaint says that after the university’s investigation, Eisenstein was cleared of violating the school’s anti-harassment policy but reprimanded for retaliation against two of the professors who had filed claims against him. […]» Read More
May 17, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS – A Purdue University Calumet political science professor has sued officials and other professors at the school’s Hammond campus for the treatment he received after he posted criticism of Muslims on Facebook. Maurice Eisenstein claims in the suit that PUC officials violated his rights of freedom of speech and religion by subjecting him to a disciplinary investigation which eventually yielded mixed results. The lawsuit filed May 10 in a Lake County court says Eisenstein was cleared of the initial allegation that he had violated the school’s policy against discrimination and harassment, but officials reprimanded him for what they considered […]» Read More
May 17, 2012
A Purdue University political science professor is suing school officials and other professors for the treatment he faced after he posted criticism of Muslims on Facebook, the Associated Press reports. Maurice Eisenstein claims Purdue-Calumet officials violated hisrights of freedom of speech and religion by subjecting him to a disciplinary investigation. The lawsuit says Eisenstein was cleared of violating the school’s bias policy but was reprimanded for retaliating against the two professors who complained. “This is not the first time and it won’t be the last time we will see a university punish a student or professor for constitutionally protected speech […]» Read More
April 12, 2012
Another mockery of the free and open exchange of ideas has unfolded in Indiana. Last week, Purdue University Calumet had the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with anti-Israel activist Sefi Samuel speak on campus. Yet the university’s history department, in conjunction with the local Jewish Federation, played a role in the cancellation of another speaker, Peggy Shapiro, two weeks ago. Ms. Shapiro is the Midwest director of StandWithUs, an organization “dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues.” She was a special appointee to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and is also the child of Holocaust survivors. […]» Read More
February 28, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE (AP) – A political science professor at Purdue University Calumet said the Hammond campus has cleared him of nine complaints of discrimination and harassment, mostly over comments he allegedly made in the classroom about Islam and other topics. Maurice Eisenstein said Tuesday his case was one of freedom of speech winning out over attempts to suppress it. “I had nine complaints of harassment from faculty, students and one student group. And in all cases, the university found there was no evidence of harassment or discrimination,” the associate professor of 19 years said. The controversy surrounding Eisenstein grew last […]» Read More
February 14, 2012
A professor at Purdue University-Calumet says he is being unjustly investigated by campus officials for comments that upset some students. Political scientist Maurice Eisenstein said he believes officials are trying to block his free speech rights and scare other faculty into political correctness by looking into complaints about him that stretch back 21 years. On Monday, Eisenstein publicly released a letter by the national group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, that was sent to Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon last month. Adam Kissel, FIRE’s vice president of programs, wrote that he thinks Eisenstein is being harassed by officials […]» Read More
September 29, 2015
HAMMOND, Ind., September 29, 2015—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce that Purdue University Calumet has earned FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating for free speech by eliminating all of its restrictive speech policies. With assistance from FIRE, Purdue Calumet joins an elite group of colleges and universities that have reformed their speech-related policies to comply with First Amendment standards. In May, Purdue University’s flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, earned FIRE’s green light rating. FIRE then worked with officials at the Calumet campus this month to revise their speech codes as well. The university formerly […]» Read More
July 15, 2013
It’s been more than two months since FIRE and the higher ed community were shocked by a letter issued jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice to the University of Montana. FIRE staff have blogged extensively about the Departments’ “blueprint” for campus sexual harassment in the last 10 weeks, but there are four crucial points that I believe bear special emphasis. 1. Overbroad and vague harassment rationales have been the primary justification and legal theory behind campus speech codes since the 1980s. In one sense, the attempt to stretch the definition of harassment beyond all recognition is nothing new. Speech codes came into vogue on campuses […]» Read More
July 6, 2012
Professor Maurice Eisenstein, who was ganged up on for months by some of his faculty colleagues due to his protected expression, has won another battle for free speech at Purdue University Calumet. After investigating nine complaints of harassment and discrimination against Eisenstein, Purdue University Calumet dismissed all of them. Among other comments on his personal Facebook page, Eisenstein had criticized “‘moderate’ Muslims” who he believed had not condemned violence after an attack by “a radical Muslim group” had killed Christians in Nigeria. Although Eisenstein was cleared of all charges after intervention from FIRE in January 2012, he was found guilty […]» Read More
May 22, 2012
FIRE, of course! Professor Maurice Eisenstein, who is suing Purdue University Calumet for violating his free speech rights after he criticized Muslims on Facebook, was interviewed by Frontpage in a piece published today. The interview provides a detailed account of his ordeal. Here is an excerpt about FIRE’s influence in his case: FP: The University cleared you of these 9 harassment/discrimination complaints. How or why do you think that happened? Eisenstein: My very short answer is: the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE. If not for FIRE, I think things could have and would have likely gone very differently. […]» Read More
May 18, 2012
Yesterday, the media began to pick up the lawsuit filed in Indiana last week by a Purdue University Calumet professor who had generated controversy by criticizing Muslims on Facebook. As his lawsuit points out, Professor Maurice Eisenstein was cleared of nine complaints after a months-long investigation only to be found guilty of “retaliation,” when really it was his own colleagues who had ganged up against him to shut him up. FIRE has been advocating for Eisenstein since January. The case was covered this afternoon by Mike Jaccarino at FoxNews.com: “When you investigate free speech, you chill free speech,” Eisenstein said. […]» Read More
May 16, 2012
Here’s today’s press release: CHICAGO, May 16, 2012—A professor has filed a free speech lawsuit against Purdue University Calumet after the university punished him in the wake of his remarks about Muslims on Facebook. The PUC Muslim Student Association and several students and faculty members had filed harassment complaints against professor Maurice Eisenstein after he criticized moderate Muslims who he believed had not condemned “radical Muslim” terrorism in Nigeria. Two faculty members had also filed retaliation complaints against Eisenstein, who came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “This is not the first time and it […]» Read More
May 16, 2012
CHICAGO, May 16, 2012—A professor has filed a free speech lawsuit against Purdue University Calumet after the university punished him in the wake of his remarks about Muslims on Facebook. The PUC Muslim Student Association and several students and faculty members had filed harassment complaints against professor Maurice Eisenstein after he criticized moderate Muslims who he believed had not condemned “radical Muslim” terrorism in Nigeria. Two faculty members had also filed retaliation complaints against Eisenstein, who came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “This is not the first time and it won’t be the last […]» Read More
April 13, 2012
As we wrote here a few weeks ago, Purdue University Calumet (PUC) professor Maurice Eisenstein was recently the subject of a months-long harassment investigation based on charged remarks about Islam he made on his personal Facebook page and while teaching. A number of students, calling the remarks offensive, submitted complaints to PUC. But merely causing offense, even serious offense, does not constitute harassment in the educational setting. Indeed, speech has to be more than simply “offensive” to lose First Amendment protection and become actionable harassment. This is why we were glad that, following a letter from FIRE, PUC dismissed all […]» Read More
April 3, 2012
Following a talk by FIRE’s Adam Kissel at Purdue University Calumet last week, The Purdue University Calumet Chronicle has published an article reiterating Adam’s points about free speech on campus. The Chronicle highlights Adam’s discussion of the importance on a college campus of allowing a full exchange of ideas to take place: “What are the true ideas, what are the false ideas? What are the beautiful ideas, what are the ugly ideas?” Kissel said. He stressed that we must allow ourselves to get offended regularly, because surrounding oneself with homogenous groups of people limits learning and the ability to analyze […]» Read More
February 20, 2012
Purdue University Calumet (PUC) has been investigating a professor for months due to what looks like an organized onslaught of complaints about his expression on Facebook and in class about Muslims, even though some of the complainants never took his class and many have left unspecified what speech, exactly, they were complaining about. Professor Maurice Eisenstein has been under investigation since the complaints were filed in mid-November 2011, more than three months ago. FIRE wrote PUC Chancellor Thomas L. Keon on January 24, 2012, about the investigation: The principle of freedom of speech does not exist to protect only non-controversial […]» Read More