University of Wisconsin – Stout

Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin
Type: Public
Tell University of Wisconsin – Stout to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

University of Wisconsin – Stout has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more

This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech.
  • UWS 18 Conduct on University Lands: Computer Use

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 4, 2022

    UWS 18.11  Offenses against public peace and order. (1)  Computer use. (a) No person may, with intent to harass, annoy or offend another person, send a message to the person on an electronic mail or other computerized communication system and in that message use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any ... Read More
  • Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: February 4, 2022

    This policy applies to employees, students, contractors and consultants. … The following activities are prohibited. This list is not all-inclusive but provides a framework for activities which fall into the category of unacceptable use. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) may exempt an employee from one or mor... Read More
  • Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 4, 2022

    Discriminatory harassment is a form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal, written, graphic or physical conduct that: 1. Is directed at an individual or group of individuals based on the individual’s or group of individuals’ actual or perceived protected status, or affiliation or association with person(s... Read More
  • Sexual Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: February 4, 2022

    Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the deliberate, repeated making of unsolicited gestures or comments of a sexual nature; the deliberate, repeated display of offensive sexually graphic materials not deemed necessary for business purposes; or deliberate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual natur... Read More
  • Dean of Students: Bias Incident Reporting

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: February 4, 2022

    Bias incidents are acts motivated by bigotry and/or hate based on the victim’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion or disability. … Bias or hate-motivated speech may be illegal such as harassment, threats, or disruptive speech. Howe... Read More
  • REPORT: Artists clash with campus censors

    July 10, 2018

    Art purged for being “one-sided,” among other excuses Censors, often not understanding the message, ban art rather than grapple with its meaning PHILADELPHIA, July 10, 2018 — Art censorship is nothing new. Spanish conquistadors smashed ceramics of ancient Peruvian cultures that portrayed gay and lesbian sex. The Roman Catholic Church of the 15th century was… Read more

  • FIRE, NCAC Disappointed with UW-Stout’s New Plan for Controversial Paintings

    August 9, 2016

    The University of Wisconsin–Stout’s (UW-Stout’s) chancellor has changed his mind about relegating two historical paintings to storage amid worries they reinforce stereotypes of Native Americans and could have “a harmful effect on … students and other viewers.” But the new plan for the paintings—moving them to new locations where they can be viewed in a… Read more

  • Good News for the Student Press at University of Wisconsin-Stout

    October 29, 2014

    One of the most gratifying and inspiring parts of my job here at FIRE is seeing our work on behalf of student and faculty rights help spark changes in an institution’s approach to freedom of expression. I’m very pleased to pass along news of just that sort of positive change today from the University of… Read more

  • Bergen Administrators Fear ‘Game of Thrones’ Quote, Censor Professor

    April 16, 2014

    Brace yourselves; censorship is coming!

    Displaying a lack of both pop culture and First Amendment awareness, administrators at Bergen Community College in New Jersey placed Professor Francis Schmidt on leave this past January, requiring him to meet with a psychiatrist before returning to campus—just for posting a picture of his daughter in a T-shirt quoting the popular HBO television show Game of Thrones.

  • Best of the Blog: “Aim to Misbehave: Donate to FIRE Today!”

    August 7, 2013

    This week, FIRE has a special treat for you. We’ve rounded up some of our best blogs from over the years: pieces we think are particularly well written or cases we are particularly passionate about. Today, we hear from Gina Luttrell, who wrote about our "Firefly" case at the University of Wisconsin-Stout on December 21… Read more

  • Greg’s Anthem Film Festival Award Acceptance Speech — The Long Version!

    July 17, 2012

    At the conclusion of FreedomFest this weekend, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff took the stage to accept the 2012 Award for Best Short Documentary at the Anthem Film Festival for FIRE’s film Don’t Mess with Firefly! How Scifi Fans Made a Campus Safe for Free Speech. The documentary, directed by Ted Balaker, tells the true story… Read more

  • FIRE’s ‘Firefly’ Video Wins Best Short Documentary at 2012 Anthem Film Festival

    July 16, 2012

    And the Browncoats have it! This past weekend, FIRE’s video "Don’t Mess with Firefly! How SciFi Fans Made a Campus Safe for Free Speech" was screened for audiences at FreedomFest in Las Vegas as part of the Anthem Film Festival. We are thrilled to announce that our video, which features legendary author Neil Gaiman, was… Read more

  • FIRE’s ‘Firefly’ case in ‘Reason’ Magazine

    April 18, 2012

    In the May issue of Reason, you’ll find a whole page devoted to FIRE’s case involving University of Wisconsin-Stout Professor James Miller, whose Firefly poster was removed by campus authorities because "it [could] be interpreted as a threat." The case is featured in the Artifact section of the magazine. The case drew widespread attention this… Read more

  • College Risk Management Industry: Hoodies Are Threatening

    April 11, 2012

    After deadly shootings on college campuses in recent years, the risk management industry and universities have teamed up to design "threat assessment teams" to try to identify potential threats as early as possible. Unfortunately, innocent people often get caught up in the hysteria, like University of Wisconsin – Stout professor James Miller, who was reported… Read more

  • FIRE Visit Marks Progress for Free Speech at UW-Stout

    March 29, 2012

    Yesterday, I wrote that Adam would be at the University of Wisconsin – Stout this week. He spoke twice on campus yesterday, first addressing the campus community at a public lecture and then leading a discussion with students from a General Ethics class. His campus visit was reported by Pamela Powers of the Leader-Telegram (Eau… Read more

  • Announcing Our ‘Firefly’ Twitter Contest Winner

    March 5, 2012

    Lauren E. Becker, known on Twitter as @MsBecker, has won FIRE’s contest for the best tweet promoting our video about our case at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Lauren’s tweet was chosen from more than 300 entries collectively receiving more than 1,000 votes at Her winning entry, which included a link to the video, was:… Read more

  • ‘Firefly’ Video Hits 75,000 Views; Win a Prize for Promoting It!

    January 12, 2012

    Just a few weeks after its launch, FIRE’s newest video has reached 75,000 views—OK, 76,702 as of this writing—and the numbers keep on rising! If you have yet to see it, you should watch it right away. The video, Don’t Mess with Firefly! How SciFi Fans Made a Campus Safe for Free Speech, outlines the… Read more

  • Neil Gaiman talks ‘Firefly,’ free speech on campus, and one of the craziest cases of the year

    December 29, 2011

    As I reported back in September, a drama professor at a campus in the University of Wisconsin System appeared to be in danger of losing his job for two posters he had placed outside his door. The first poster included a quote from the beloved yet short-lived science-fiction classic Firefly. The second warned the university… Read more

  • Tens of Thousands Watch FIRE’s New ‘Firefly’ Video

    December 28, 2011

    Barely a day after its launch, FIRE’s new video has already been viewed well over 25,000 times! Thanks to links from io9, Instapundit, Forbes, Hot Air, geekology, Geeks of Doom, reddit, and more, the new video has taken off! The new video, Don’t Mess with Firefly! How SciFi Fans Made a Campus Safe for Free… Read more

  • Talking ‘Firefly’ in ‘Daily Caller,’ Greg’s Sci-Fi Roots Show

    December 28, 2011

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff is a self-described Firefly "fanboy"—and in a column today for The Daily Caller, he talks about how his love for the sci-fi TV series and his First Amendment advocacy intersected in FIRE’s recent win at the University of Wisconsin-Stout: As I reported back in September, a professor at the University of… Read more

  • Neil Gaiman and fans of sci-fi classic ‘Firefly’ save free speech on campus!

    December 28, 2011

    Despite my 10 years working to defend free speech on campus, university censors keep finding new ways to surprise me. This year a campus in the University of Wisconsin system managed to do something that offended me both as a First Amendment lawyer and as a sci-fi fan, two parts of my life that I… Read more

  • New FIRE Video: How ‘Firefly’ Fans Saved Free Speech on Campus

    December 28, 2011

    Yesterday, FIRE released our newest short video, Don’t Mess with Firefly: How SciFi Fans Made a Campus Safe for Free Speech. The video, which features an interview with legendary author Neil Gaiman, is a lighthearted look at how the University of Wisconsin-Stout backed down from its censorship of Professor James Miller’s posters, one featuring a quote… Read more

  • Greg on PJTV’s ‘Instavision’

    October 14, 2011

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff appeared this week on PJTV’s "Instavision" with host Glenn Reynolds to discuss FIRE’s recent case at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the state of free speech on our nation’s campuses. To watch the segment, visit (registration required).

  • ‘Firefly’ Poster Censorship Update

    October 13, 2011

    The University of Wisconsin–Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin, which confiscated two posters that Professor James Miller had posted outside his office door last month, has finally returned the posters to him. In case you missed it, Miller was reported to the "threat assessment team" and threatened with criminal charges because of the two satirical postings. One of them… Read more

  • This Week in FIRE News: UW-Stout Folds on ‘Firefly’ Censorship

    October 8, 2011

    By now you’re likely well aware that University of Wisconsin-Stout (Stout) professor James Miller had been censored twice, reported to the university’s "threat assessment team," and threatened with criminal charges because of a satirical posting outside his office door depicting a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in the television series Firefly. After taking it down,… Read more

  • Greg in ‘The Daily Caller’ on the End of ‘Firefly’ Censorship at UW-Stout

    October 7, 2011

    The University of Wisconsin–Stout’s foolish decision, now reversed, to tear down two posters, one quoting the TV show Firefly and one denouncing fascism, has continued to draw headlines across the nation. You can read the latest from FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff in The Daily Caller. 

  • College Changes Course on Censorship of ‘Firefly’ Poster

    October 7, 2011

    Last week I wrote about a remarkable case of censorship at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (Stout). Stout Professor James Miller was threatened with “disorderly conduct” for posting outside his office door a quote from the beloved yet short-lived sci-fi TV show Firefly, and a second poster in which he mocked the college for its heavy-handedness…. Read more

  • ‘Hot Air’ and ‘Firefly’ Actors Praise FIRE

    October 5, 2011

    Since FIRE’s recent victory at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the Internet has been abuzz with news of our success. Some of the praise comes from Firefly actors Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, who were instrumental in getting the word out about the censorship of Professor James Miller’s posters and pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of… Read more

  • For All You Firefly Fans Out There

    October 5, 2011

    For those FIRE fans who are also Firefly fans (as we recently found out, the two groups include many of the same members), we thought you might enjoy the first graphic I jokingly made to celebrate UW-Stout’s decision to back down from its censorship of Professor James Miller’s Firefly and anti-fascism posters (we used this… Read more

  • Victory at UW-Stout: Chancellor Folds after Censorship of ‘Firefly’ and Anti-Fascism Posters

    October 4, 2011

    MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 4, 2011—Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), national media, and actors Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, the University of Wisconsin-Stout (Stout) has reversed its censorship of theater professor James Miller’s poster featuring a line from Fillion’s character in Joss Whedon’s television series Firefly. Campus police had threatened Miller… Read more

  • Adam Baldwin Fingers UW-Stout’s Censorship Double Standard at ‘Big Hollywood’

    October 4, 2011

    On Big Hollywood, actor Adam Baldwin has written an excellent piece about FIRE’s case at the University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS). It is getting hard to keep up with all of the press attention to the university’s censorship of two posters by theater professor James Miller. After all, it’s hard to believe that UWS would threaten a professor… Read more

  • More than 900 Voice Opposition to Censorship at UW-Stout

    October 3, 2011

    The outpouring of support for University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS) theater professor James Miller, whose Firefly and anti-fascism posters hung outside his office door resulted in threats of arrest and a report to his university’s threat assessment team, has streamed in from around the country. It’s not just the dozens of articles in the national media. So… Read more

  • More Dangerous ‘Threats’ Come to Light at UW-Stout after ‘Firefly’ Censorship

    October 3, 2011

    FIRE has learned that another professor has made a serious threat of violence at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS, also known as "Stout"): This professor clearly is making a threat to punch through the head of a colleague during a campus meeting. Someone should notify Chief of Police/Director of Parking Services Lisa A. Walter as soon… Read more

  • Cue the Shameless Virginia Tech Comparisons: UW-Stout Takes Defense of Unconstitutional Censorship to New, Disgraceful Lows

    September 30, 2011

    I sometimes feel for the university spokespersons occasionally called on to defend unpopular decisions by their university—decisions which frequently are made by administrators without any clue about the likely public reaction, necessarily reduced to a set of talking points from which they must try not to depart.  But then I remember that such persons normally… Read more

  • Greg Reports the Latest on ‘Firefly’ Case in ‘The Huffington Post’

    September 29, 2011

    In his latest piece for The Huffington Post, Greg reports on FIRE’s outrageous case at the University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS). As he writes, despite FIRE’s wide-reaching publicity campaign, Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen released a statement earlier this week standing by the school’s decision to censor Professor James Miller. The case began when campus police removed a poster… Read more

  • Censoring Joss Whedon’s Firefly and the Chancellor Who Cried Wolf

    September 29, 2011

    A time comes in the life of every campus leader when a regrettable or silly mistake is made. If you serve long enough, errors are inevitable, but leaders should be judged not for their errancy, but how they handle mistakes when they do come up. By that measure, let’s take a look at Charles W…. Read more

  • University Police & Administration Freak Out Over Nathan Fillion Firefly Poster; Censor, Threaten Professor

    September 29, 2011

    Via Neil Gaiman, we come across yet another case of idiotic censorship by law enforcement who appear to have little understanding of the law. It involves a professor, James Miller, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, who had the temerity to put up a picture of actor Nathan Fillion on his door, with the text of… Read more

  • What’s the Context of the ‘Firefly’ Quote?

    September 28, 2011

    University of Wisconsin–Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen has absurdly doubled down on the university’s claim that a quote from the short-lived sci-fi classic Firefly is a credible threat of violence. In an email sent to faculty and staff yesterday, Sorensen writes: "It was our belief, after consultation with UW System legal counsel, that the posters… Read more

  • 24 Hours Later, 500 Emails to UW-Stout Chancellor Demanding Justice in ‘Firefly’ Case

    September 27, 2011

    FIRE knew yesterday’s announcement of the University of Wisconsin–Stout’s (UWS’s) intimidation and bullying of theater professor James Miller would make a big splash, given its outrageous facts. Nonetheless, the response has been overwhelming, in the best of ways. Joanna noted yesterday the widespread attention the case has received in the media, which since then has… Read more

  • Will on the Radio Tonight Discussing ‘Firefly’ Case

    September 27, 2011

    In case you missed it yesterday, the outrageous censorship of University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS) professor James Miller’s Firefly poster has inspired lots of news media coverage. Be sure to check out today’s stories in Gawker and The Onion‘s AV Club. Tonight, FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley will be on "Thunk Tank… Read more

  • ‘Firefly’ Case in FIRE News

    September 26, 2011

    This morning we reported that University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS) professor James Miller has been censored twice, reported to the university’s "threat assessment team," and threatened with criminal charges because of satirical postings outside his office door. The first poster depicted a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in the television series Firefly. After taking it down, the… Read more

  • Insult to injury: Quote from sci-fi classic ‘Firefly’ censored on campus

    September 26, 2011

    December 20th, 2002, is a date that lives in infamy to me and many of my fellow geeks. On that (presumably) dark and gloomy day, Fox aired the last episode of Joss Whedon’s brilliant space western Firefly. The impatient network canceled the show after barely half a season of episodes — aired in the wrong… Read more