Widener University School of Law

Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Type: Private

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  • At present, FIRE does not maintain information on this school's policies.
  • Widener University: Law School Threatens Professor’s Academic Freedom

    March 22, 2011

    In December 2010, tenured law professor Lawrence J. Connell was banned from campus and charged with numerous violations of the university’s Faculty Member Discrimination and Harassment Code, including using the term “black folks” and using hypothetical classroom scenarios (a common practice in law schools) involving law school dean Linda Ammons. In March 2011, after a… Read more

  • The top 12 worst colleges for free speech

    March 28, 2012

    Who doesn’t love a good awards show? The gowns, the acceptance speeches, the brutal infringements of civil liberties … the excitement just never ends. Once again, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work), has sorted through the hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation that severely restrict the First Amendment rights of… Read more

  • FIRE’s 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012

    March 27, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2012—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its 2012 list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in The Huffington Post today. Harvard is new to the list this year, joining Yale, Syracuse, and the University of Cincinnati at the top of the list. "These colleges and universities… Read more

  • Widener Settles Lawsuit Filed by Law Professor who was Punished for Protected Speech

    February 8, 2012

    For a year now, FIRE has been reporting on the case of wronged law professor Lawrence Connell, who was the target of a campaign spearheaded by Widener Law Dean Linda Ammons. Ammons sought Connell’s termination and banishment from Widener mainly on the basis of Connell’s use of hypothetical legal scenarios that used Ammons as a… Read more

  • Hans Bader Deconstructs Widener’s ‘Retaliation’ Argument

    January 4, 2012

    Over at Minding the Campus, Hans Bader exposes the flimsy legal underpinnings of Widener University’s finding this past July that Professor Lawrence Connell was guilty of “retaliation” for defending himself against baseless charges of racial discrimination. We’ve covered Connell’s ordeal extensively here on The Torch, but in case you’ve forgotten the shocking details, here’s Bader’s… Read more

  • Yes, Widener’s Major Supporters Are Leaving Because of Law Dean’s Treatment of Professor

    August 31, 2011

    Adam’s recent Torch post asked whether major supporters are indeed leaving Widener University School of Law over the dean’s treatment of law professor Lawrence Connell, after legal blogger William A. Jacobson reported that Capt. (Ret.) Robert P. Taishoff had resigned as chair of the law school’s National Campaign Committee. (Jacobson had seen the text of Taishoff’s resignation communication… Read more

  • Are Major Supporters Leaving Widener over Dean’s Treatment of Law Professor?

    August 24, 2011

    Over at Legal Insurrection, Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson has been providing updates on the outcry against Widener University School of Law (Delaware) and its dean, Linda Ammons. The latest news from Jacobson is that a member of the law school’s Board of Overseers has resigned, as has Capt. (Ret.) Robert P. Taishoff,… Read more

  • This Week in FIRE News: Warnings for Prospective Law Students at Widener and for College Parents Nationwide

    August 12, 2011

    Last Saturday, Volokh Conspiracy blogger and law professor David Bernstein wrote, "I can’t in good conscience have my reputation associated in any way with Widener Law"—and we don’t blame him. On Monday we learned that Widener University School of Law Dean Linda L. Ammons recommended that Professor Lawrence Connell be suspended without pay for one… Read more

  • ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’ on Widener University’s Unwarranted Suspension of Law Professor

    August 9, 2011

    Peter Schmidt of The Chronicle of Higher Education is the latest to bring attention to Widener University’s suspect decision to suspend law professor Lawrence Connell without pay for one year until he undergoes a psychological evaluation and apologizes to two students who accused him of making racist and sexist references in class. As we reported… Read more

  • Widener Law School, Dean Ammons Continue to Embarrass Themselves in Professor Connell Case

    August 8, 2011

    In late July, we provided an update to the case of Professor Lawrence Connell at Widener University School of Law in Delaware, reporting that Professor Connell had been cleared by a unanimous university hearing panel on charges of "harassment" and "discrimination." Connell’s case, which you’ll want to read up on if you’re not familiar with… Read more

  • FIRE Cases Figure Strongly in ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’ Article on Retaliation Against Faculty Speech

    August 3, 2011

    The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Peter Schmidt has an excellent article on the hair-trigger sensibilities of the college classroom, in which many professors have found themselves under fire for remarks seen as violent or threatening. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the free speech and academic freedom issues involved, several of the cases Schmidt cites in his… Read more

  • Widener Law Prof Fully Cleared of ‘Harassment’ and ‘Discrimination’ Charges for Using Hypothetical Scenarios

    July 25, 2011

    A unanimous hearing panel at Widener University School of Law in Delaware has fully cleared Professor Lawrence Connell of charges of "harassment" and "discrimination" for his use of the term "black folks" in class and for using law school dean Linda L. Ammons, who is black, as a character in hypothetical scenarios during lectures. A… Read more

  • Embattled Widener Law Professor Adds Student Defendants in Defamation Lawsuit

    July 5, 2011

    FIRE has been following the story of Widener University School of Law Professor Lawrence Connell, whose law school is attempting to fire him on the basis of extremely outlandish allegations about statements that supposedly violate the school’s harassment code. His alleged offenses include using the term "black folks" in class and using the names of law… Read more

  • Widener Law Professor, Targeted For Firing, Sues Dean for Defamation

    April 8, 2011

    Late last month FIRE took public the story of Widener Law School Professor Lawrence Connell, whose law school is attempting to fire him for extremely dubious violations of the school’s harassment code. His alleged offenses include using the term “black folks” in class and using the names of law school dean Linda L. Ammons and other… Read more

  • Widener Law School Attempting to Fire Professor for Classroom Speech

    March 24, 2011

    Yesterday’s press release tells the story of Widener University School of Law Professor Lawrence Connell, who is facing an unjustifiable harassment investigation for reasons unknown. Actually, Widener has provided the "reasons"—you can read them here—but this is one of those situations in which you know something is wrong about the accusations just by reading the… Read more

  • Widener Law School Attempting to Fire Professor for Classroom Speech

    March 23, 2011

    WILMINGTON, Del., Mar. 23, 2011—Widener University School of Law is attempting to fire longtime criminal law professor Lawrence Connell by charging him with dubious violations of the school’s harassment code, such as using the term “black folks” in class and using the names of law school Dean Linda L. Ammons and other law school colleagues… Read more

  • Law Prof Suspended for Fake Classroom Examples Is Cleared by Committee

    March 9, 2011

    I reported last month that a law professor at Widener University in Delaware had been put on administrative leave and was barred from campus, 26 years into his teaching career at Widener, because of fake examples he used in his classes on criminal procedure. He even was facing dismissal. Now a campus committee has recommended… Read more

  • Law Professor Could Lose Job over Fake Classroom Examples

    February 16, 2011

    At Widener University in Delaware, a law professor commonly used examples involving murder scenarios in his classes on criminal procedure. To make the examples memorable, he used recognizable names—his own and his dean’s. "Instead of saying Plaintiff A or Defendant B, teachers use names that will grab the attention of students, wake them up from… Read more