Lake Superior State University: Veteran Professor Ordered to Remove Posted Materials from Office Door

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Lake Superior State University

Lake Superior State University (LSSU) ordered a professor to remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door or face charges of “insubordination.” After an anonymous person complained that the materials were offensive, LSSU officials told Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to immediately remove the items and to practice his academic freedom with “responsibility”—while allowing other professors to maintain similar postings about the same issues on their office doors

  • Freedom of speech group takes aim at Lake Superior State

    April 11, 2008

    A U.S. freedom of speech organization is crying foul, charging Lake Superior State University unfairly ordered a sociology professor to take down cartoons on Islamic terrorism and other politically-charged materials from his office door. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says an anonymous complaint led the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. school to demand in March, 2007 that Prof. Richard Crandall take down a number of materials adorning his office door. FIRE says the materials in question include cartoons and other materials pertaining to Islamic terrorism, gun control, abortion, presidential politics and the war in Iraq. One poster from Crandall’s door […]

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  • Mother Superior State College jumped the gun images

    April 10, 2008

    Over at Inside Higher Ed, a publication that covers post-K-12 education issues with vim, vigor, and verve, Andy Guess reports on the case of Robert Crandall, a tenured prof at Lake Superior State College who has gotten in trouble for posting offensive content to his office door. LSSC’s case, according to a lawyer representing the school, is that the prof has “acted in an unprofessional and insubordinate manner [and] his actions cannot be considered protected speech.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), co-founded by reason contributors Harvey Silverglate and Alan Charles Kors, is publicizing the case. Writes Guess: […]

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  • Pardon me, but your door is terribly offensive

    April 10, 2008

    Getting one’s own office can be a rite of passage right up there with defending a dissertation or receiving tenure—and many professors’ lairs are reflections of their own attitudes and beliefs. Usually, it takes just a quick glance at the door, as anyone who’s taken a stroll down the hall of an academic building can attest: What a professor finds amusing, outrageous or just plain interesting is there for all to see. At a public university, such common displays of individual preference would presumably fall under the protections of the First Amendment. But not when such displays are offensive to […]

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  • ‘Blasting Bush OK, but don’t criticize terrorists’

    August 7, 2013

    Foundation says university needs to drop speech ‘limits’ WorldNetDaily   A college in Michigan has decided to allow harsh criticisms of President Bush to be posted on university property, but has banned criticism of violent terrorists and abortion, according to an educational rights group that is challenging the school’s practice. The issue involves Lake Superior State University in Sault St. Marie, which has ordered Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to remove the expressions of opinion from his office door and practice his academic freedom with “responsibility.” “LSSU is displaying serious disrespect for faculty rights by demanding […]

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  • Victory at Temple College Explained in Today’s Podcast

    November 10, 2008

    Last Thursday, FIRE’s press release described our latest victory for freedom of expression at Temple College (Texas), where the school’s president quickly reversed the censorship of a religiously themed cartoon and the Nietzsche quotation “God is dead” after receiving a letter from FIRE. In today’s episode of FIREside Chats, Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, discusses this case in further detail and calls on administrators at Lake Superior State University and Lone Star College–Tomball to follow Temple’s lead by undoing the censorship of controversial posted materials on campus. To listen to the entire podcast, click here.

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  • Colorado College and LSSU Media Round-Up

    April 18, 2008

    April has been a media-friendly month here at FIRE and we’d like to take a minute to catch you up on all the latest coverage of our cases, specifically articles on Colorado College and Lake Superior State University. As Torch readers know, the controversy at Colorado College continues, with student Chris Robinson awaiting the decision of his appeal for being punished for posting a satirical flyer on campus. Media from all over Colorado have been covering the case persistently, including the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and numerous television news outlets. At Lake Superior State […]

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  • Reason’s Hit & Run on LSSU

    April 10, 2008

    Check out Nick Gillespie’s post over at Reason blog ‘Hit & Run’ about FIRE’s case at Lake Superior State College. Nick writes: FIRE has always made a consistent argument (and has defended scholars and the right and the left) that public universities, precisely because they are government-sponsored, are totally bound by the First Amendment in ways that private universities are not necessarily (yeah, yeah, I understand that the line between public and private is totally nebulous given various funding issues ranging from federal research grants to Pell grants, etc). I agree with that argument, and think that Crandall and all […]

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  • LSSU. Bastion of academic freedom. Killer of comics

    April 10, 2008

    A brouhaha over freedom of speech at Lake Superior State University is gaining attention in academic circles. Office door postings by LSSU professor Dr. Richard Crandall are at the centre of the storm. Crandall’s conservative-leaning cartoons and photos have offended some and led university officials to consider reprimanding him. According to an article on the Insider Higher Ed website, LSSU’s administration believes such postings contribute “to a hostile environment.” As a result, school officials argue, the materials aren’t protected by the First Amendment’s guaranteed right to freedom of speech. Crandall and a supportive organization called the Foundation for Individual Rights […]

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  • Political Double Standard at Lake Superior State University

    April 9, 2008

    In a press release today, FIRE adds Lake Superior State University to the list of schools where double standards for political expression are the norm. (Compare to the ludicrous situation at Colorado College.) Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has ordered a professor to remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door or face charges of “insubordination.” Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, has adorned his office door and the wall near his office with conservative political cartoons and postings since he started teaching […]

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  • Lake Superior State University Violates Free Expression Rights

    April 9, 2008

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., April 9, 2008—Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has ordered a professor to remove materials dealing with issues such as Islamic terrorism, gun control, presidential politics, and the war in Iraq from his office door or face charges of “insubordination.” After an anonymous person complained that the materials were offensive, LSSU officials told Professor Richard Crandall, a nearly 40-year veteran of teaching, to immediately remove the items and to practice his academic freedom with “responsibility”—while allowing other professors to maintain similar postings about the same issues on their office doors. Crandall has turned to the Foundation for […]

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