Higher Education

MD State Legislators Take Aim at Protected Political Expression and Activity at State Colleges and Universities

By |2020-01-03T14:37:52-05:00March 13th, 2014|Incidents|

The National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Association of University Professors criticize academic boycotts, but warn public officials against interference with political expression and open discussion and debate.

Kennesaw State University To Restore Censored Artwork

By |2019-03-15T16:36:39-04:00March 4th, 2014|Incidents|

The National Coalition Against Censorship received word that Ruth Stanford's "A Walk in the Valley" has been restored to the Kennesaw State University's Zuckerman Museum of Art. KSU had said “A Walk in the Valley” was pulled because it did not fit the "celebratory nature" of the museum's opening.

NY State Legislators Take Aim at Protected Political Expression and Activity at State Colleges and Universities

By |2020-01-03T14:37:47-05:00February 27th, 2014|Incidents|

National Coalition Against Censorship criticizes academic boycotts, but warns public officials against interference with political expression and open discussion and debate. The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) issued a statement on Wednesday in opposition to state legislative proposals (A.8392a and S.6438) that would "penalize professional associations and their members for engaging in protected political activity," according to NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin. [...]

Embattled Colorado Professor Returns to Teach “Deviance” Course

By |2021-07-08T15:43:51-04:00January 2nd, 2014|Incidents|

UPDATE: Sociology professor Patti Adler has returned to teaching after CU-Boulder informed her she would be reinstated as instructor of the course "Deviance in U.S. Society." NCAC and other national organizations issued a statement warning CU-Boulder of their obligations to academic freedom.

Joint Statement about the University of Colorado’s Actions Relating to Professor Patricia Adler

By |2016-02-03T11:43:26-05:00January 2nd, 2014|Incidents|

Statement about the University of Colorado’s Actions Relating to Professor Patricia Adler From The National Coalition Against Censorship, American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and Student Press Law Center January 2, 2014 As groups concerned about academic freedom and free speech, we join the American Association of University Professors in expressing alarm over the [...]

Update on CU Boulder incident: faculty review could clear Adler to teach “Deviance” course

By |2020-01-03T14:08:16-05:00December 18th, 2013|Blog|

Updates are coming in on the threat to academic freedom at the University of Colorado Boulder. According to the Daily Camera (via the Chronicle of Higher Ed's Ticker blog), CU professor Patricia Adler might still have a chance to teach her "Deviance in U.S. Society" course as early as the Spring 2014 semester–if the class clears a review of Sociology faculty, [...]

Sociology Professor Sanctioned for Class on Prostitution at University of Colorado Boulder

By |2020-01-05T23:15:57-05:00December 17th, 2013|Blog|

Why is it that every time sex enters the conversation in academia, harassment always appears to shadow it? How perverse - and unfair to real victims of harassment -  that this serious charge is used against a professor for nothing else than creatively doing her job. In a lecture on prostitution, a highlight of her regular course on deviance, University [...]

Brooklyn College Supports Free Debate and Academic Freedom in Midst of Criticism

By |2020-01-03T14:33:49-05:00November 14th, 2013|Blog|

Author and activist Ben White will speak at Brooklyn College today at an event entitled “Israel: Aparteid not Democracy,” organized by Students for Justice in Palestine. Nearly two dozen other campus and other groups are supporting the lecture, including — notably — the English, Political Science … Continue reading

Professors and Advocates Call Out Former Gov. Mitch Daniels for Egregious Censorship Attempts

By |2020-01-03T14:07:26-05:00July 25th, 2013|Blog|

For those of you who haven't yet heard, the Associated Press recently revealed that Mitch Daniels, now President of Purdue University, attempted to ban the works of acclaimed historian Howard Zinn from classrooms in Indiana during his tenure as that state's governor. In 2010, after Howard Zinn's passing, Daniels (seen here in an artist's rendering) wrote an e-mail to the [...]

Yale Campus in Singapore Causes Concern For Academic Freedom

By |2020-01-03T14:17:45-05:00December 7th, 2012|Incidents|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michael O’Neil, NCAC Communications Director [email protected] or 347 788 1646. Yale University’s first joint campus is set to open in Singapore this August, and the Ivy League school needs to answer some tough questions about how its educational mission, which includes a tradition of respect for academic freedom, and freedom of thought and expression, can succeed [...]

Artists Speak Out Against Cancellation of Amiri Baraka Talk at Caldwell College

By |2020-01-03T13:48:06-05:00September 13th, 2012|Blog|

The staff at The Visceglia Gallery were very much looking forward to the opening of its GET IT ON THE RECORD exhibit, a collection of works by twenty-one African-American artists investigating the "collective history of Black America." As part of the exhibit, poet Amiri Baraka had been invited to speak. That invitation was rescinded, however, because the College President and others [...]

Trading Academic Freedom for Foreign Markets

By |2020-01-05T23:15:47-05:00July 30th, 2012|FEPP Articles|

The current controversy over Yale University’s planned campus in Singapore is, at bottom, an argument over how much compromise on free speech is justified in exchange for the presumed benefits of locating branches of U.S. universities within authoritarian regimes. For although the champions of global ventures like Yale’s often claim that academic freedom will be available at the foreign outposts, [...]

Colorado Academic Center Institutes Censorship Regime After Controversy Over Student Art Work

By |2019-03-15T17:10:10-04:00April 20th, 2012|Blog|

Until a few weeks ago, the Arts Building at the Aurari Higher Education Center in Denver featured several walls emblazoned with the kindly decree to “Post Artwork Here.” However, in light of recent controversy over the graphic work that student Estee Fox hung on one of these walls, the “authorities” (that blissfully meaningless blanket term) have rechristened these areas as [...]

NCAC and FIRE Issue Joint Letter To Villanova U. on Cancellation of Tim Miller Artist-In-Residency

By |2020-01-03T13:43:21-05:00February 24th, 2012|Blog|

This week, Villanova University's administration cancelled a weeklong, artist-in-residency program led by performance artist Tim Miller. NCAC and FIRE are calling on Villanova to reverse this decision. The joint letter (below) points out that the decision to cancel Miller's residency violates the principle of academic freedom. Miller is known as one of the "NEA Four" – four artists whose grants [...]

Anti-Bullying Legislation: Good Intentions, but…

By |2020-01-03T13:43:11-05:00September 1st, 2011|Blog|

A New Jersey state law coming into effect today (Sept 1st)  is considered the “toughest legislation against bullying in the nation”. It may, however, also prove to be dangerously overbroad and stifle student speech on a variety of topics. Called the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the law was adopted in the aftermath of the suicide of a Rutgers University student [...]

CUNY Likely to Reverse On Kushner, But The Pattern Stands

By |2020-01-03T13:40:36-05:00May 9th, 2011|Blog|

A Seattle billboard removed by Clear Channel Outdoor It is appalling that the trustees of CUNY voted not to bestow an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, because a trustee disagreed with his views on Israel. Denying him this honor solely because of his political views violates core First Amendment principles and is [...]

NCAC Signs Amici Brief For Barnes v. Zaccari Student Censorship Case

By |2020-01-03T14:08:40-05:00April 13th, 2011|Incidents|

In 2007, Hayden Barnes was expelled from Voldosta State University for the simple act of posting a photo-collage to Facebook to protest the envirnonmental impact of a new university parking garage. VSU President Ronald Zaccari was warned by his administrators that punishing Barnes would violate his First Amendment rights, but Zaccari persisted and, after failing to dig up any dirt on Barnies, kicked him out anyway. TheFIRE.org has supported Barnes' case since 2007, and NCAC is happy to join this Amici Brief to support student free speech rights in campuses across America.

In Censoring Art Gainesville State College President Violates Academic Freedom

By |2020-01-05T23:15:44-05:00February 17th, 2011|Blog|

Stanley Bermudez' Heritage? (above) had been displayed for just over two weeks at the Gainesville State College Gallery before Martha Nesbitt, the President of GSC, ordered its removal. The painting, which layers images of a Klansman and a lynching upon a Confederate battle flag, drew protests spurred by a post on Southern Heritage Alerts. The Heritage Preservation Association, which has [...]

Controversial artwork vandalized in Colorado

By |2020-01-03T13:38:38-05:00October 7th, 2010|Incidents|

What began as a heated protest over Enrique Chagoya's artwork at the Loveland Museum in Colorado has ended in vandalism. A disgruntled woman ripped into Chagoya's controversial lithograph after she busted the artwork's plexiglass case with a crowbar. City council members, religious groups and individuals had hoped that the public pressure caused by the artwor's racy religious content would get Chagoya's piece yanked from the government-funded museum.


Student’s film removed from Boston University classroom

By |2019-03-07T23:19:06-05:00May 27th, 2010|Blog|

NCAC recently fielded a plea for help from a Boston University student filmmaker, at the College of Communication, whose film Wake Up had been removed from regular class consideration and critique for reasons which depended very much on point of view. The student thought it was art. The faculty called it pornography. What was not in dispute was that the [...]

Virginia Attempts to Address Underage Drinking by Impinging Upon Free Speech

By |2020-01-03T13:37:36-05:00April 20th, 2010|Blog|

Last week, a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on the advertising of alcohol in college newspapers.  The case involved a challenge to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s expansive ban on the advertising of beer, wine and mixed drinks in student-run publications throughout the state of Virginia. Beyond the obvious economic implications (the newspapers [...]

NCAC Calls for Reinstatement of Tenured U of Colo Professor

By |2019-03-07T23:00:41-05:00February 19th, 2010|Blog|

NCAC joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in filing a friend of the court brief calling for the reinstatement of Ward Churchill, who was fired from his tenured position at the University of Colorado after writing a controversial essay.  The case became highly politically charged after public officials began to call for [...]

NCAC, ACLU and AAUP File Brief In Ward Churchill Case

By |2019-03-07T23:00:42-05:00February 19th, 2010|Incidents|

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Colorado, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and NCAC submitted a brief on Februrary 18, 2010, to a Colorado Court of Appeals arguing that the University of Colorado, a publicly funded university, should reinstate a tenured professor who was wrongly terminated from his job there for exercising his right to free speech.

NCAC, AAUP and Others Issue Call to Action Over Censorship in Response to Threats of Violence, Real and Imagined

By |2019-03-14T17:35:55-04:00December 1st, 2009|Blog|

The National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Association of University Professors, joined by leading groups in the academic, civil liberties, journalism, and free speech fields, issued a Statement of Principle and Call to Action urging governments, institutions and private individuals to support freedom of expression and academic freedom, and to resist caving in to threats of violence, real and [...]

Against Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts State Senate’s wishes, UMass allows Levasseur to speak

By |2020-01-03T13:36:18-05:00November 10th, 2009|Blog|

The attempted cancellation of Ray Luc Levasseur’s talk at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, under pressure from Governor Patrick’s office, raises serious concerns not only about the state of academic freedom at the University but also about the Governor’s respect for the First Amendment. UMass, in an effort to educate students about the social unrest that occurred during the [...]

Letter to Yale University Opposing Removal of Mohammed Images from Book

By |2016-01-25T10:59:34-05:00September 16th, 2009|Incidents|

We write to protest the decision to remove all images of Mohammed from the forthcoming book, The Cartoons That Shook the World, by Jytte Klausen, which will be published by Yale University Press in early October.  The University’s role in that decision compromises the principle and practice of academic freedom, undermines the independence of the Press, damages the University’s credibility, and diminishes its reputation for scholarship.

NCAC Executive Director on Ward Churchill and protecting controversial speech

By |2020-01-03T13:34:05-05:00July 9th, 2009|Blog|

A court Tuesday upheld the University of Colorado’s firing of professor Ward Churchill after controversy arose from his essay which referred to victims of the 9/11 attacks as “little Eichmanns.” Judge Larry Naves ruled that Churchill would neither get his job back nor receive financial compensation. According to the LA Times, in ruling, the Judge stated “I am bound by [...]

Provost of UNCW resigns, short tenure overshadowed by censorship

By |2019-03-07T22:40:56-05:00April 7th, 2009|Blog|

Brian Chapman, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, resigned this week after a less than a year-long tenure. The resignation came shortly after the UNCW Faculty Senate passed a motion admonishing the UNCW administration for not consulting with the Women's Resource Center, Faculty Senate Steering Committee and other interested parties before requesting [...]

BGSU Interim Provost Responds Regarding the Recent Removal of an Artwork from an Exhibition at Firelands’ Little Gallery

By |2016-01-15T16:31:26-05:00March 23rd, 2009|Incidents|

In an email to faculty BGSU Interim Provost stated that “the piece was initially removed so that [] legal review could occur.” Apparently, BGSU administrators wondered whether “the sculpture constituted child pornography or breached restrictions on depictions of child abuse.”

UNC Wilmington pulls nude photographs of minors from The Century Project

By |2020-01-05T23:15:46-05:00March 2nd, 2009|Updates|

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UNCW Resigns Brian Chapman, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, resigned this week after a less than a year-long tenure. The resignation came shortly after the UNCW Faculty Senate passed a motion admonishing the UNCW administration for not consulting with the Women's Resource Center, [...]

Letter to UNCW Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo

By |2016-01-15T15:14:55-05:00March 2nd, 2009|Incidents|

Rosemary DePaolo Chancellor UNC Wilmington 601 South College Road Wilmington, N.C. 28403-3297 [email protected] February 27, 2009 Dear Chancellor DePaolo- On behalf of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of over 50 national non-profit organizations united in defense of free expression, I would like to express deep concern over the removal of a substantial part of The Century Project photo [...]

Self-Censorship on Campus

By |2019-03-07T22:39:40-05:00February 14th, 2009|Blog|

A new book, Closed Minds?: Politics and Ideology in American Universities (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), by Bruce L. R. Smith, Jeremy D. Mayer, and A. Lee Fritschler examines claims that America’s universities are dominated by faculty members who indoctrinate students in a leftist or liberal ideology and, instead found evidence of an “emerging risk-averse campus climate that threatens to impoverish [...]

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