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FIRE Names The Ten Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2021

FIRE Names The Ten Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2021

“This year’s worst-of-the-worst list includes a college that fired a history professor for teaching history”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is the authority on this topic.

From the FIRE blog:

FIRE presents the 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2021

Would you make a student homeless during the pandemic because you didn’t like something he said? Or threaten faculty doctors fighting COVID-19 with termination for speaking to the press? If you’re a campus official at one of the schools on this list, you just might!

In the 10th edition of our annual “Worst Colleges for Free Speech” list, campus free speech watchdog the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education names and shames the worst in college censorship over the last year. And, as in years past, narrowing down the list was no easy task.

This year’s worst-of-the-worst list includes a college that fired a history professor for teaching history, one that tried to expel a student after she tweeted about Cardi B, and another that censored Students for Justice in Palestine with one hand and a pro-Second Amendment student with the other.

The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech are, in alphabetical order:

– Collin College (McKinney, Texas)
– Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
– Fordham University (New York City)
– Frostburg State University (Frostburg, Md.)
– Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, Kan.)
– New York University (New York City)
– Northwestern University Qatar (Doha, Qatar)
– St. John’s University (New York City)
– University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
– University of Tennessee (UT Health Science Center, Memphis, Tenn.)

Read more details on why these schools made the list.


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This post has an unintended but important consequence.

Case reports do not define statistical trends and significance and thanks to FIRE’s work we can see that in action with this list.

I’ve seen many reports on here of affronts to free speech. One or maybe two of them involved members of this list. A particularly disturbing case report does not a trend make.

Why do I point out this recency bias fallacy? Because it is used to manipulate the public on a near-daily basis about the prevalence of racism and police misconduct.

civisamericanus | February 19, 2021 at 1:17 pm

They left out Hardin-Simmons which apparently forced a student out for posting derogatory but essentially accurate material about Black Lives Matter being indignant only when a white person kills a Black person, to which I would go even further by pointing out that some Black lives matter more to them than others (see George Orwell for the original of that). E.g. they are not saying police captain David Dorn’s name very much and one of them called a Black police officer the N word.

Also Cornell Law School whose Dean, Eduardo Penlaver, used a Cornell web page to denounce Professor Jacobson, and Penlaver’s use of the web page in this manner was tolerated by Cornell’s President and Trustees. This is not the first time something like this has happened. ” In a commencement speech, former Cornell president Hunter Rawlings III praised students who seized and burned copies of the conservative Cornell Review in retaliation for printing a gross parody of Ebonics.” Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the parody, a commencement was not the right time or place for this.

Syracuse U has won its vaulted status in part by its heavy handed regulation of Greek Life and its application of guilt by association.