Southern Illinois University at Carbondale: Free Speech Crisis Over Unconstitutional Policies

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

To cover up a free speech crisis on his campus, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s chancellor has resorted to deceit. SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman called documented claims about SIUC’s unconstitutional policies “baseless,” attacked FIRE in false and misleading public statements, and strongly defended SIUC’s Protest Policy despite actually changing the policy in response to a detailed letter from FIRE, the Southern Illinois Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Illinois Association of Scholars challenging SIUC’s manifestly unconstitutional free speech zone.]

  • FIRE responds aggressively against chancellor’s defense

    August 7, 2013

    by Brian Feldt Daily Egyptian   A day after SIUC Chancellor Sam Goldman called free speech accusations against the university ‘baseless,’ the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has responded, calling Goldman’s actions deceitful. In a release on the group’s Web site Tuesday, FIRE said Goldman’s letter to the group dated Jan. 7, ” … attacked the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in false and misleading public statements and strongly defended SIUC’s Protest Policy despite actually changing the policy in response to a detailed letter from FIRE …” Goldman’s letter responded to allegations that the university’s Registered Student Organization […]

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  • SIUC officials say policies need time before judgments are passed

    January 14, 2009

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials are asking the national organization challenging its policies to allow time for ongoing revision efforts to be completed, a university spokesman said. SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman will not respond to a press release issued Tuesday by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, university spokesman Rod Sievers said. Goldman and FIRE officials have recently exchanged words over the university’s free speech policy. FIRE issued an initial letter on Dec. 22, asking for a reply from university leaders. Goldman responded to the letter by standing by existing university policy and calling FIRE’s claims “baseless.” FIRE retaliated […]

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  • SIUC says speech policy is consistent

    January 13, 2009

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale has modified its student handbook policy on protests amid a controversial challenge on its free speech policies, but a university spokesman said deceit was never the intention. In the latest exchange of communication between SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, officials with FIRE accuse Goldman of “quietly” changing the handbook while publicly attacking the organization. “SIUC railed against FIRE in public while failing to mention that it changed one of its absurdly unconstitutional policies in the face of our criticism,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said in a news release. The […]

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  • Goldman refutes claim against SIUC free speech policies

    January 12, 2009

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Samuel Goldman called allegations attacking the university’s free speech policies a “baseless claim.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter challenging SIUC’s policies and student handbook on the issue of free speech on campus. The letter states that the university’s use of designated free speech zones “chills expression” on campus. Goldman’s response indicates that these areas, located near Anthony Hall and Morris Library, exist for groups to use amplified noises. “There is no prohibition on our campus that prevents anyone from handing out leaflets or pamphlets,” Goldman wrote in a reply to […]

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  • SIU to answer free-speech complaint by Monday

    January 8, 2009

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials will respond to the organization challenging the university’s free-speech policies by Monday. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education along with local affiliates of the National Association of Scholars and the American Civil Liberties Union issued a letter to the Chancellor Samuel Goldman last month expressing concerns about the campus’ “free-speech zones.” “The university is not clear where it stands,” said Jonathon Bean, an SIUC history professor and president of the Illinois Association of Scholars. “They have a designated free-speech area and they say you can do it (protest) outside (of the zone) – except […]

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  • SIUC’s Sexual Harassment Policy Badly Needs Revision

    April 8, 2010

    “The mistakes in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s sexual harassment policy,” my colleague Azhar says in a letter published in yesterday’s Daily Egyptian student newspaper, “are much worse than what could be attributed to minor oversight or simple misunderstanding.” Coming in the wake of deeply controversial prosecutions of two professors for sexual harassment—which led to lawsuits, a free speech crisis, administrative deceit, and possibly even the death of one of the faculty members due to the stress associated with SIUC’s treatment of him—what could SIUC possibly be thinking? As Azhar writes: In fact, SIUC’s policy severely misapplies sexual harassment law, violating the […]

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  • Rights of the Accused

    February 12, 2010

    When outlining the procedures for reporting sexual harassment, the instinct may be to focus on creating a safe and supportive environment for the alleged victim. But in the aftermath of two recent cases at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in which some believe the administration treated two longtime professors unfairly, faculty members there are fighting to make sure the new sexual harassment protocols include adequate protections from trumped-up charges against their colleagues. The debate over those protocols, which are currently under review while the administration and the faculty union negotiate a new contract, came to the fore again this week […]

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  • February 2009: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

    February 5, 2009

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for February 2009: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC). Followers of FIRE’s work are likely familiar with the ongoing controversy at SIUC. FIRE, along with the heads of the Illinois Association of Scholars and the ACLU of Southern Illinois, recently wrote to SIUC Chancellor Sam Goldman regarding the university’s free speech zone policy. In response to FIRE’s letter, Chancellor Goldman lashed out, erroneously alleging (among other things) that FIRE had given SIUC its “red light” rating because of its proposed sexual harassment policy rather than for its many existing policies that violate […]

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  • At SIUC, Faculty, Graduate Student, and Staff Unions Push Back Against Proposed Sexual Harassment Policy

    January 21, 2009

    Torch readers have heard a lot about Southern Illinois University–Carbondale (SIUC) lately, and with good reason. Although Chancellor Samuel Goldman won’t admit as much, SIUC has been embroiled in a free speech crisis of sorts as of late, as we described in our press release last week. To recap quickly, there are three free speech concerns at SIUC: (1) SIUC’s unconstitutional speech codes, which remain problematic even after the quiet revision of the school’s free speech zone policy; (2) the prosecution of two long-time SIUC professors on suspect sexual harassment charges, in which the professors were denied basic due process […]

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  • SIUC Administrators Hypocritically Ask FIRE to “Reserve Judgment”

    January 15, 2009

    Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s administrators can’t make up their minds. One day Chancellor Samuel Goldman is blasting FIRE in the media, calling us an “embarrassing” organization making “baseless” claims regarding SIUC’s free speech policies. The next, university spokesman Rod Sievers is claiming that the policy in the student handbook had been in error and that FIRE’s letter to the school pointing out that the speech code was unconstitutional had nothing to do with the fact that the policy was changed just days after the letter was received. And finally, yesterday—the icing on the cake—Sievers asked that FIRE allow time […]

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  • SIUC ‘Daily Egyptian’ on FIRE’s Press Release

    January 15, 2009

    The Daily Egyptian, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s (SIUC’s) student newspaper, ran an article Tuesday night covering FIRE’s press release on the ongoing free speech controversy at SIUC. Overall, the article was a comprehensive and fair treatment of the issues—a pleasant surprise in the wake of the Egyptian‘s editorial earlier Tuesday blasting FIRE and defending the now-revised free speech zone policy as “reasonable and necessary for learning.” Last night’s article addresses the fact that at the same time Chancellor Samuel Goldman was defending the free speech zone policy, the university was quietly changing the policy to eliminate the objectionable section […]

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  • Deceit at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as Chancellor Tries to Cover Up Free Speech Crisis

    January 13, 2009

    To cover up a free speech crisis on his campus, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale‘s chancellor has resorted to deceit. SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman called documented claims about SIUC’s unconstitutional policies “baseless,” attacked FIRE in false and misleading public statements, and strongly defended SIUC’s Protest Policy despite actually changing the policy in response to a detailed letter from FIRE, the Southern Illinois Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-S.Ill.), and the Illinois Association of Scholars (IAS) challenging SIUC’s manifestly unconstitutional free speech zone. As we have reported before, SIUC has also been facing campus outrage and at least two […]

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  • Attention, Chancellor Goldman: Here’s Why SIUC is a “Red Light” School

    January 13, 2009

    In an article in today’s Southern Illinoisan, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale (SIUC) Chancellor Samuel Goldman attacks FIRE for our recent letter challenging the university’s free speech zone. As we will be explaining here in detail on The Torch via several upcoming posts over the next several days, Goldman’s comments to the Illinoisan are fraught with errors, one of which in particular I would like to address here. Goldman tells the Illinoisan that he is preparing a second response to FIRE, this one for “being placed on the organization’s ‘red light’ list for its proposed sexual harassment policy.” While the proposed policy […]

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  • Deceit at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as Chancellor Tries to Cover Up Free Speech Crisis

    January 13, 2009

    CARBONDALE, Ill., January 13, 2009—To cover up a free speech crisis on his campus, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s chancellor has resorted to deceit. SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman called documented claims about SIUC’s unconstitutional policies “baseless,” attacked the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in false and misleading public statements, and strongly defended SIUC’s Protest Policy despite actually changing the policy in response to a detailed letter from FIRE, the Southern Illinois Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Illinois Association of Scholars challenging SIUC’s manifestly unconstitutional free speech zone. SIUC is also facing campus outrage and […]

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  • FIRE Letter to Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Samuel Goldman Regarding Speech Policies

    December 22, 2008

    December 22, 2008 Interim Chancellor Samuel Goldman Southern Illinois University – Carbondale Office of the Chancellor Carbondale, IL 62901-6899 Sent by U.S. Mail and Facsimile (618-453-5362) Dear Interim Chancellor Goldman: We write to you today because we are deeply concerned about the unconstitutionally restrictive speech policies of Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIUC). The university’s Protest Policy—which designates only one small area of campus for protests, rallies, demonstrations and speeches—chills expression on SIUC’s campus and ignores constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech that SIUC, as a state-supported institution, is obligated to protect. SIUC’s implementation of a “free speech zone” is […]

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