DePaul University

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Website: http://www.depaul.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

DePaul University is not currently rated in our system. To request speech code information about this school, please submit a speech code request form.

  • DePaul University: Student Punished For Exposing Vandals of Pro-Life Display

    February 21, 2013

    DePaul student Kristopher Del Campo was charged with student conduct violations after he publicly posted the names of students who had vandalized a pro-life display.

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  • DePaul University: Discrimination against Student Organization

    September 30, 2010

    In Spring 2010, the student group Students for Cannabis Policy Reform (SCPR) submitted an application for formal recognition at DePaul. After holding up SCPR’s application for several months, Director of Student Life Suzanne Kilgannon rejected the group’s application on September 15, 2010, stating that recognizing the group “would send an institutional message that [Vice President for Student Affairs James R. Doyle] believes we are not prepared to manage.” This denial clearly violated DePaul’s promises of freedom of speech and association. After FIRE wrote to DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider on September 30, Doyle defended DePaul’s discrimination against SCPR by stating that […]

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  • DePaul University: Shutdown of Affirmative Action Bake Sale Protest

    January 23, 2006

    DePaul University acquitted a conservative student group that was charged with harassment for holding an event that satirized affirmative action. Until FIRE intervened, DePaul administrators had been investigating the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) for holding an “affirmative action bake sale” protest. The DCA members were found not guilty of violating the harassment policy, but were found guilty of failing to disclose in advance that the bake sale would be used to protest affirmative action.

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  • DePaul University: Censorship of Student Group Protesting Ward Churchill

    November 23, 2005

    A student group that protested a campus appearance by University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill has become DePaul University’s latest victim of censorship. FIRE denounced DePaul’s Orwellian actions after the university banned its College Republicans from posting flyers protesting Churchill’s visit and actually changed its own rules to prevent the organization from attending a workshop that he would be leading.  The school issued a formal warning condemning the student group.

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  • DePaul University: Professor Suspended for Expression Without Due Process

    October 8, 2004

    DePaul University administrators suspended Professor Thomas Klocek without a hearing after he engaged in an out-of-class argument with pro-Palestinian students at a student activities fair. When the students complained that they were offended by Klocek, he was denied the rights that DePaul guarantees to professors accused of wrongdoing and immediately suspended. Statements from DePaul administrators indicate that Klocek was disciplined because of his harsh criticism of the students’ viewpoint, despite DePaul’s stated commitments to free speech and academic freedom. Klocek received a letter confirming his punishment of suspension with pay and further stating that he would be able to teach […]

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Red Light Policies

Yellow Light Policies
  • Guide to Student Housing: Offensive Displays 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies, Statement

    Displays that advertise commercial products/services; advocate the use of alcohol or drugs; are discriminatory;
    unlawfully harass by abusing, assailing, intimidating, demeaning, victimizing, or having the effect of creating a hostile environment
    based on any of the protected characteristics in the university’s Anti-Discriminatory Harassment Policy (which is available on the university’s policies & procedures Web site); or are not otherwise in keeping with the university’s mission are prohibited and may be removed at any time.

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Green Light Policies
  • Student Handbook: Student Rights 09-10

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    Students have the right to their own ideas, beliefs and political associations. Students have the right to ask questions and express their opinions without affecting their academic evaluations, as long as such do not interfere with the normal operations of their classes or infringe on the rights of other students in their classes.

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Not Rated Policies
  • Departments of Education and Justice, ‘arguably the biggest free-speech-on-campus story of the year.’

    December 27, 2013

    by Timothy Dionisopoulos The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has released a list of the worst colleges in the United States for free speech. In an article on the Huffington Post, FIRE listed the top ten most egregious free speech abuses on campus since March of 2012. DePaul University made the list after the school charged conservative student activist Kristopher Del Campo with multiple violations after he published the names of students who admitted to vandalizing the Young Americans for Freedom’s pro-life display. Troy University was profiled for their restrictive “harassment” policy, which FIRE claimed “prohibits an astonishing amount of protected speech, including almost […]

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  • DePaul Investigates Mock Bake Sale for Possible ‘Harassment’

    August 9, 2013

    by Nathan Burchfiel Cybercast News Service A DePaul University bake sale, mocking affirmative action, has exposed the student who organized the sale to an investigation on the grounds that he discriminated against and harassed other students. The Chicago-based school is investigating whether senior Michael O’Shea may have violated the school’s anti-discriminatory harassment policy with an “affirmative action bake sale” he organized with the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA). Affirmative action bake sales, in which white and Asian students are charged more for baked goods than blacks and Hispanics, are popular among conservative activists on college campuses. They are designed to criticize […]

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  • Fighting Against Political Correctness on Campus

    August 9, 2013

    FIRE defends student freedoms and fights a university that won’t let students protest against a professor who called 9/11 victims ‘little Eichmanns’ by Dave Eberhart NewsMax   Attached Files Fighting Against Political Correctness on Campus, PDF, 838 KB , NewsMax

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  • Pro-life student reportedly threatened with expulsion; and you’ll never believe why

    August 5, 2013

    by Billy Hallowell The Blaze   Pro-life students at DePaul University recently erected an anti-abortion display to mark the 40th anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. While they were intent on exercising their free-speech rights, their work was inevitably torn down by other pupils at the school who clearly disagreed with the message. Surprisingly, in the wake of the incident, it’s the head of the conservative campus group responsible for assembling the memorial who’s now in the hot seat. Kristopher DelCampo, 23, could face potential expulsion for publishing the names of his peers who destroyed the flag display. The […]

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  • Student punished for publicizing vandal names

    March 5, 2013

    Kristopher Del Campo’s campus group became a victim of vandalism at Chicago’s DePaul University when its pro-life display was torn apart and tossed in garbage cans. But it’s Del Campo, chairman of the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, who is being punished by the Catholic institution. For publicizing the names of the vandals, who have admitted their guilt, university officials have charged Del Campo with “disorderly, violent, intimidating or dangerous behavior to self or others.” “Kristopher Del Campo’s group was the victim of a politically motivated crime — and yet DePaul University is punishing Del Campo for naming the people […]

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  • HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: DePaul Punishes Student for Exposing Vandals of Pro-Life Display.

    March 2, 2013

    “DePaul University has punished a student for publicizing the names of fellow students who admitted to vandalizing his organization’s pro-life display. The student, Kristopher Del Campo, has been placed on probation after being found responsible for multiple conduct violations, including one that absurdly brands the publication of the names as ‘disorderly, violent, intimidating or dangerous.’ The Foundation for Individual Rights In Education (FIRE) has intervened in his case.” University administrators like to characterize anything they don’t like as a threat.

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  • Pro-life student sanctioned at DePaul University for exposing vandals

    March 2, 2013

    Kristopher Del Campo, the chairman of the conservative student organization, has been sanctioned by the university after having being charged for violating DePaul’s Code of Student Responsibility and found guilty on two counts: Disorderly, Violent, Intimidating, or Dangerous Behavior to Self or Others, and Judicial Process Compliance. To mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in January, Del Campo, a 23-year old psychology major, and other students were granted permission from the university to build a pro-life display that featured 500 flags. However, vandals destroyed the display and stuffed some of the flags into trash cans. A university investigation released […]

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  • DePaul student punished for exposing pro-life display vandals

    March 1, 2013

    Try to follow this logic: Students vandalize a pro-life display at a university, and the student who exposes those behind the crime gets in trouble. That’s what happened at DePaul University in Chicago – the nation’s largest Catholic university, no less. The student in question, Kristopher Del Campo, has been placed on probation after being found responsible for multiple conduct violations, including one that absurdly brands the publication of the names as “disorderly, violent, intimidating or dangerous,” the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education reports. Del Campo must also complete an “educational project” in the form of a reflection letter. […]

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  • DePaul punishes student who exposed vandals of memorial for aborted babies

    March 1, 2013

    Back in January, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a group of 13 students destroyed a makeshift memorial for aborted babies on the main campus of DePaul University. The display — 500 pink and blue flags — was set up by DePaul’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. (RELATED: Abortion display destroyed on campus) Senior Kristopher Del Campo, who chairs the DePaul YAF chapter, contacted public safety officials after pro-abortion thugs tore the flags from the ground and threw them in trash cans around campus. About a week later, as The Daily Caller reported, Kevin Connolly, an investigator for DePaul’s public safety […]

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  • DePaul Punishes Pro-Life Student for Releasing Names of Vandals

    February 28, 2013

    The head of a conservative student organization at DePaul University has been sanctioned by the university and could be expelled after he released the names of vandals who destroyed a pro-life flag display. Kristopher Del Campo, the chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter, was found guilty by the university on two counts – “Disorderly, Violent, Intimidating or Dangerous Behavior to Self or Others” and “Judicial Process Compliance.” The charges were a result of posting a copy of the university’s incident report on the YAF’s website. Click here to read the posting.  DePaul University did not return calls seeking comment. Last January […]

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  • A Canadian College Student Vandalizes Free Speech Wall, Then Claims Moral High Ground

    January 30, 2013

    Introducing Arun Smith, heroic censor. Last week at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, this student tore down a “free speech wall” display that a libertarian student group had set up on campus. Such displays usually take the form of a large, blank sheet of paper on which students are invited to write anything they like. Student groups sponsor the displays as a way of demonstrating that universities need not fear open expression. In a self-congratulatory letter,also posted publicly on Facebook, Smith explained that his vigilante censorship was a “moral imperative” because the wall created the potential for “hate speech,” and asserted that […]

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  • DePaul and the Duke Lacrosse Case

    February 1, 2007

    Aside from their school mascots, there has never been much in common between the Blue Demons of DePaul and the Blue Devils of Duke. About seven years ago Duke beat DePaul in overtime in a memorable game that featured at least six future NBA players. But other than basketball the two schools had little connecting them. Until now, that is.   As the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax unravels and the falsely accused students and their families struggle to put their lives back together, a law suit filed against DePaul university by a former adjunct professor may be a cautionary tale […]

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  • University presidents battle for honors in spinelessness

    May 1, 2006

    It’s time for this column to announce its Sheldon Award, given annually to the university president who does the most to look the other way when free speech is under assault on campus. As all Sheldon fans know, the prize is a statuette that looks something like the Oscar, except that the Oscar shows a man with no face looking straight ahead, whereas the Sheldon shows a man with no spine looking the other way. The award is named for Sheldon Hackney, former president of the University of Pennsylvania and a modern legend in looking the other way. College presidents, […]

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  • Campus Left to Christians, Conservatives: Shut Up!

    December 24, 2005

    Scratch many of the administrators in charge on American campuses these days and you often find a neo-Stalinist who has no hesitation about suppressing views that deviate from leftist orthodoxy. If you doubt me, try supporting Christianity or conservatism in a public way in the ivy covered groves of American academe. Take California State University at San Bernadino, for example, where administrators refuse to charter the Christian Students Association because the group thinks its members should be professing Christians. Imagine that! The group ‘would not be required to admit members who did not support the purpose of the organization (beliefs),’ […]

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  • Letter to the Editor

    December 5, 2005

    John J. Miller’s “Pariahs, Martyrs — and Fighters Back” (Oct. 24) casts some much-needed rays of sunlight on the double standards currently running rampant on our nation’s campuses. The academic establishment jealously protects the free speech and academic freedom of the likes of Ward Churchill, but time after time violates the rights of those who don’t toe the party line. Prof. Thomas Klocek, a conservative, Kerry-supporting Democrat whose situation Miller examined in detail, was fired from DePaul University for engaging students in a heated discussion about Israel and the Palestinian territories. (He was butting heads with students who compared Israel […]

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  • Pariahs, Martyrs — and Fighters Back

    October 24, 2005

    At the start of the last school year, activists at DePaul University set up a pair of tables along a student thoroughfare and distributed literature to passers-by. They caught the eye of faculty member Thomas Klocek, who took one of their handouts and read about Israel’s “brutal and murderous occupation” of “Palestine” as well as its “apartheid violence” in the West Bank and Gaza. This was provocative stuff — but nothing out of the ordinary for the two groups behind it all, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA). Engaging the students in a discussion […]

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  • The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2013

    December 27, 2013

    College is where inquisitive minds go to be exposed to new ways of thinking. But on some campuses, the quest for knowledge is frustrated when administrators censor speech they would prefer be kept out of the marketplace of ideas. To close out the year, we at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) want to highlight some of the worst colleges for free speech since March 2012—the last time we published this list. (Our first list, from 2011, is here.) Most of the schools we include in this year’s list are public colleges or universities bound by the First Amendment. But some of […]

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  • Student at IU Attempts to Censor Fellow Students by Vandalizing Pro-Life Display

    October 1, 2013

    FIRE often exposes how colleges censor students—but last week, it was a student at Indiana University who decided to engage in some vigilante censorship by vandalizing a pro-life display.  According to a student account, new student organization Students for Life at IU intended to have a peaceful demonstration on campus as part of an organized protest dubbed the “Planned Parenthood Project.” The trouble reportedly began when a student approached the demonstration, removed wooden crosses meant to represent the number of abortions performed daily by Planned Parenthood from the ground, and threw them into a trash can. (The student report includes […]

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  • Injustice at DePaul Hits News Outlets Across the Country

    March 4, 2013

    Last week, FIRE broke the news that DePaul University has sanctioned student Kristopher Del Campo for exposing 13 fellow students who confessed to vandalizing a DePaul Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) pro-life display in late January. Del Campo’s story has since made news across the country. In addition to 61 FM and AM radio stations, the following outlets have shared Del Campo’s ordeal with their readers: FOX News Radio  The Blaze Breitbart.com The Daily Caller The College Fix Instapundit In addition, FIRE’s Peter Bonilla appeared on 1210 AM WPHT Radio on Friday afternoon and Saturday. He also spoke with Jason […]

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  • DePaul Punishes Student for Exposing Vandals of Pro-Life Display

    February 28, 2013

    Here’s today’s press release: CHICAGO, February 28, 2013—DePaul University has punished a student for publicizing the names of fellow students who admitted to vandalizing his organization’s pro-life display. The student, Kristopher Del Campo, has been placed on probation after being found responsible for multiple conduct violations, including one that absurdly brands the publication of the names as “disorderly, violent, intimidating or dangerous.” The Foundation for Individual Rights In Education (FIRE) has intervened in his case.  “Kristopher Del Campo’s group was the victim of a politically motivated crime—and yet DePaul University is punishing Del Campo for naming the people who committed […]

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  • DePaul Punishes Student for Exposing Vandals of Pro-Life Display

    February 28, 2013

    CHICAGO, February 28, 2013—DePaul University has punished a student for publicizing the names of fellow students who admitted to vandalizing his organization’s pro-life display. The student, Kristopher Del Campo, has been placed on probation after being found responsible for multiple conduct violations, including one that absurdly brands the publication of the names as “disorderly, violent, intimidating or dangerous.” The Foundation for Individual Rights In Education (FIRE) has intervened in his case. “Kristopher Del Campo’s group was the victim of a politically motivated crime—and yet DePaul University is punishing Del Campo for naming the people who committed the crime,” said FIRE […]

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  • DePaul Student: Stop Me From Looking at Things I Don’t Like!

    February 11, 2013

    If you’re getting a bit too cheery this Monday (unlikely as that may be), please allow me to dampen your spirits with this letter from an anonymous student to The DePaulia, DePaul University’s student newspaper, about his or her vandalism of a pro-life display on campus. (It’s a big story—if you don’t know what I am talking about, take a quick look.) I am going to go through the whole thing because it is such a severe example of “unlearning liberty” that there’s an illustration of it in nearly every thought expressed. Let’s start:  As I was walking to class […]

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  • Students Admit to Vandalism at DePaul University

    February 7, 2013

    Just two weeks after we first reported news of student vandalism at DePaul University, school officials have concluded their investigation and released a report on the students involved. As Torch readers may recall, the controversy first began when the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom erected a pro-life display consisting of 500 small blue and pink flags to mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Rather than engage in a debate with their fellow students, several individuals tore up the display and tossed the flags into nearby trash cans. According to the school’s report, the named students  had […]

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  • No, Mob-Rule Censorship Is Not Free Speech

    February 4, 2013

    At the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) website, the organization posts a nice response from DePaul University President Dennis Holtschneider in response to the recent vandalism of the campus YAF chapter’s pro-life display. Holtschneider assures YAF president Kristopher Del Campo that a thorough investigation of the vandalism is being conducted. He also acknowledges that the vandalism is “deeply upsetting in that your and your fellow students’ opportunity to give voice to your beliefs was unacceptably stifled by other students.” That’s right. I had planned on ending this blog entry right there. Then I read to the bottom of the page, […]

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  • DePaul University Investigating Vandalism of Group’s Pro-Life Display

    January 23, 2013

    Fox News Radio and other outlets are reporting an unfortunate and, as Gina’s blog of earlier today shows, all too common instance of student-led censorship. At DePaul University, the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (with university permission) erected a pro-life display consisting of 500 small blue and pink flags. As Fox reports, “The flags represented the number of unborn children aborted every day.” When YAF members went to check on their display toward the end of the day, however, they found that some DePaul students had taken the liberty of getting an early start on cleaning up the […]

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  • DePaul University’s Double Standard

    November 11, 2011

    Student newspaper The DePaulia ran a student opinion piece on November 8 calling out DePaul University for its double standard regarding freedom of association. The piece by Ernie Enriquez explains that DePaul refuses to give equal treatment to Students for Cannabis Policy Reform (SCPR) simply because of the views the unrecognized student group is promoting. Enriquez quotes SCRP president Jeff Kramer: This school has an LGBT club, which is a great thing, but it demonstrates that their “Catholic” values have little to do with similar minded people assembling on their grounds. No, this was purely political. Indeed, as a private university, DePaul would […]

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  • DePaul Alumnus Speaks out Against University’s ‘Managing’ of Ideas

    April 5, 2011

    As I wrote here a few weeks ago, the DePaul University administration has offered shifting explanations, none of them satisfactory or in line with the free speech promises DePaul makes to its students, for its refusal to recognize the student group Students for Cannabis Policy Reform. Regarding a February 28 article in The DePaulia, I wrote of DePaul Vice President for Student Affairs James Doyle (emphasis mine): [I]n a February 28, 2011, article in the student newspaper The DePaulia, Doyle … distorts SCPR’s goals and confirms that the group is being discriminated against on the basis of its viewpoint, but nonetheless […]

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  • The Shifting Sands of DePaul University’s Censorship of Student Group

    March 4, 2011

    DePaul University Vice President for Student Affairs James R. Doyle has played no small role in putting DePaul on our recent list of the “12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech,” featured at The Huffington Post. He secured DePaul’s spot not only by denying recognition to the student group Students for Cannabis Policy Reform (SCPR)—in defiance of DePaul’s promises of free speech and freedom of association—but also by continuously shifting his rationale for doing do. Briefly, let’s recount Doyle’s history with SCPR. Following months of delays in processing the group’s application, Director of Student Life Suzanne Kilgannon told SCPR via e-mail […]

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  • How Did DePaul University Get on FIRE’s ‘Worst 12′ List?

    January 28, 2011

    Hopefully by now you’ve seen FIRE’s picks for “The 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech” at The Huffington Post. Six of them were relatively obvious choices—those being the six schools currently on FIRE’s Red Alert list, the “worst of the worst,” as we often say. Given the hundreds of other schools out there, many with one or more red-light speech codes as rated in FIRE’s Spotlight database, what went into deciding which others made our “dirty dozen”? Well, repeat run-ins with FIRE, repeated free speech offenses over the years, and having incredibly bad speech codes that violate clear promises of free […]

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  • FIRE in ‘The Huffington Post’ on America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech

    January 27, 2011

    Today, The Huffington Post published FIRE’s list of America’s 12 Worst Schools for Free Speech. An expansion of FIRE’s Red Alert List of the “worst of the worst” schools for student and faculty rights, this “dirty dozen” slideshow includes the schools that come onto FIRE’s radar screen again and again for their repeated and egregious violations of fundamental rights, as well as schools whose policies are so bad that they simply had to be included. For longtime Torch readers, the presence of most of these schools on our list won’t come as a surprise. But we don’t want to give it all away here. Is […]

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  • Illinois Supreme Court Ends Professor Klocek’s Free Speech Case at DePaul

    December 13, 2010

    The Illinois Supreme Court recently decided not to hear the appeal of former DePaul University professor Thomas Klocek, who has been fighting for justice ever since he lost his job simply for arguing with students. Here is what Greg said about DePaul University back in 2006: Professor Klocek lost his job at DePaul University in Chicago without any due process after he argued with several students about issues in the Middle East at a student activities fair. … Klocek’s case was FIRE’s first major clash with DePaul, but it would not be our last. As loyal Torch readers know, we have since battled with DePaul over its […]

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  • Catholic Bishops Stood With FIRE in ‘CLS v. Martinez’; Where Will they Stand on Freedom of Association at DePaul?

    November 19, 2010

    The annual fall general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) concluded its four-day sessions in Baltimore yesterday. Of interest to FIRE and interested Torch readers is that just prior to the assembly’s beginning on Monday, USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education accepted the recommendations from a working group of bishops and college presidents on how to evaluate the success of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican’s blueprint for Catholic colleges. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Monday: Ex corde, the Vatican’s document to guide Roman Catholic colleges, was released by Pope John Paul II in 1990. The U.S. […]

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  • Discriminatory Treatment of Student Organizations at DePaul University

    October 18, 2010

    DePaul University is engaging in unjust and deceptive viewpoint discrimination against student organizations despite its promise to support “robust debate and exposure to differing points of view.” After DePaul manipulated its student organization policy to deny equal treatment to Students for Cannabis Policy Reform—a point of view the university evidently disfavors—the group came to FIRE for help, but DePaul has refused to back down from its discriminatory policy. As Greg said in today’s press release, “DePaul University promises student groups freedom of expression, but instead delivers censorship. If DePaul wants its guarantees of free inquiry and debate to be taken […]

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  • Discriminatory Treatment of Student Organizations at DePaul University

    October 18, 2010

    CHICAGO, October 18, 2010—DePaul University is engaging in unjust and deceptive viewpoint discrimination against student organizations despite its promise to support “robust debate and exposure to differing points of view.” After DePaul manipulated its student organization policy to deny equal treatment to Students for Cannabis Policy Reform—a point of view the university evidently disfavors—the group came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “DePaul University promises student groups freedom of expression, but instead delivers censorship,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “If DePaul wants its guarantees of free inquiry and debate to be taken seriously, it should […]

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  • Connecticut College Password-Protects Key Documents

    May 21, 2009

    Connecticut College—which in past years has earned a red light from FIRE for its speech codes—has password-protected two key documents, the Student Handbook and the Bias Incident Protocol. We at FIRE believe that prospective students and their parents have the right to know whether Connecticut College prohibits free speech—and whether the college even still promises free speech, since those promises were contained in earlier versions of the Student Handbook. This move is part of a disturbing trend among colleges to restrict access to these documents to those already on campus (we’ve recently seen this happen at DePaul University and Edinboro […]

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  • DePaul University Password-Protects its Policies, Leaving Prospective Students in the Dark

    November 4, 2008

    DePaul University—historically no friend to free speech—now keeps its policies password-protected, leaving prospective students and their families in the dark about the types of restrictions on speech they will face as DePaul students. When we last updated DePaul’s entry on Spotlight, we rated the university a “red light” for maintaining several policies that seriously infringed on students’ free speech rights, despite the university’s explicit promises, in the wake of several free-speech controversies there, to protect those rights. At last look, DePaul prohibited “language” that “demeans another person because of his/her gender,” as well as “any behavior (verbal, written or physical)” […]

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  • The life of a free speech task force

    January 16, 2008

    DePaul University, which bills itself as “the Largest Catholic University in America,” was described as a “basket case” on a Hannity and Colmes segment because of its questionable “commitment” to free speech. In the past couple of years DePaul has suspended, without due process, a professor who defended Israel. It has created de facto policies to prevent students from posting flyers opposing an on-campus event featuring the plagiarist professor Ward Churchill. It has also shut down a student-run Affirmative Action Bake Sale in which cookies were sold at different prices depending on the customer’s skin color because the campus left […]

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  • Minding the Campus Essay on ‘Collegiality’ as Criterion for Tenure

    July 2, 2007

    Last week, Minding the Campus featured an interesting essay by Anthony Paletta on DePaul University’s denial of tenure to the controversial polemicist Norman Finkelstein. Tenure decisions have traditionally rested largely on the excellence of published scholarship. Finkelstein’s scholarship has raised many questions about its cogency and quality with the tenure review committees. But the thrust of DePaul’s case against Finkelstein was the issue of “respect for colleagues.” By many accounts he’s an unpleasant fellow, but as an academic that should not be the centerpiece for his tenure denial. Paletta cites FIRE’s recent case with Professor Walter Kehowski at Glendale Community […]

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  • Academic Freedom: Crucial for All Professors, Tenured or Not

    April 2, 2007

    In recent years, American higher education has been stricken with a growing sense of worry regarding the current trend of hiring more non-tenure track “adjunct” faculty members. As colleges and universities schedule more and more of their classes to be taught by faculty members who will never be tenured, no matter how long they teach, reaction has been far-reaching. Faculty unions like the National Education Association (NEA), the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have all released plans for dealing with the increasing reliance on adjunct faculty, and in states like Florida and […]

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  • Klocek Speaks

    January 25, 2007

    Thomas Klocek, who was dismissed from DePaul University after engaging in a heated discussion with several pro-Palestinian students, returned last night to warn students about the state of free speech at DePaul. He talked about his dismissal—made without any due process—and warned students that discussing controversial ideas may get them in trouble. Although Klocek’s immoral dismissal has yet to be reversed, DePaul administrators may soon have to justify their actions. In 2006, Klocek filed a defamation lawsuit against DePaul which a judge refused to dismiss last year.

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  • Klocek Returns to DePaul

    January 17, 2007

    John J. Miller has a post on Phi Beta Cons announcing that DePaul University will soon be the site of another controversial event when Professor Thomas Klocek returns to campus on January 24, along with David Horowitz, to discuss the role of free speech at Catholic universities.   In 2005, FIRE advocated for Klocek, who was dismissed without a hearing from his position as a religious studies professor after he got into an out-of-class argument with students about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Klocek subsequently filed a lawsuit against the school.   His visit to campus will be sponsored by the College […]

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  • Columbia University: Land of the Free?

    September 25, 2006

    On the same day last week, Columbia University announced that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been invited to speak on campus and then, a few hours later, revoked that same invitation. Although the entire situation presents many issues relating to free speech and academic freedom, I was most struck by a statement that Columbia President Lee Bollinger made shortly after news of the controversial invitation broke. While defending the invitation, he proclaimed his love for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas. The Columbia Spectator reported that: Bollinger said he believes students and faculty will use the opportunity to […]

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  • Klocek Petition Closing in on Goal

    August 31, 2006

    A petition—previously discussed on The Torch—that seeks the immediate reinstatement of former DePaul University professor Thomas Klocek has been gaining steam over the summer. The petition only needs 295 more signatures to reach the goal of 2,000 for the second anniversary of Klocek’s unjust termination. Once the petition reaches its goal it will be delivered to the President of DePaul University.   As loyal Torch readers will recall, Thomas Klocek was indefinitely suspended, without due process, for engaging in a discussion about issues in the Middle East at a student activities fair. He was terminated after a few students who […]

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  • Chalk One Up for the Little Guy

    July 3, 2006

    FIRE intern Acton Gorton, who gained fame earlier this year for being fired as editor-in-chief of the Daily Illini after printing the Danish Mohammed cartoons, has written the following blog entry describing the latest goings-on in the never-ending saga of fired DePaul Professor Thomas Klocek:   ***   Earlier this month, Thomas Klocek was given the green light to sue DePaul University for summarily firing him after he debated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with pro-Palestinian students at a student fair last year. As reported in the June 2, 2006, Chicago Tribune (story is now in pay-only archive), Judge Stuart Nudelman dismissed […]

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  • ‘What Difference Can My Measly $18 Million Make?’

    June 30, 2006

    Two days ago, David French had a great post over at National Review’s Phi Beta Cons about Larry Ellison’s decision to rescind his $115 million gift to Harvard University following the Larry Summers fiasco. I have consistently been amazed at how wealthy alums give to their alma maters uncritically and almost as if they had no choice in the matter. The most extreme version of this that I have been exposed to was at a speech in New York City, when an audience member stood up and said (this is far from an exact quote, but it gets the point […]

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  • Petition for Klocek

    June 22, 2006

    Thanks to John J. Miller at Phi Beta Cons for bringing greater attention to a petition being circulated by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East on behalf of Professor Thomas Klocek. Professor Klocek lost his job at DePaul University in Chicago without any due process after he argued with several students about issues in the Middle East at a student activities fair. Miller wrote an excellent article about the Klocek scandal in National Review last fall.   Klocek’s case was FIRE’s first major clash with DePaul, but it would not be our last. As loyal Torch readers know, we […]

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  • John Leo Awards ‘Sheldons’ to the Richly Deserving

    May 1, 2006

    Those who follow John Leo’s columns know that he awards a yearly booby prize called the “Sheldon” (in dubious honor of former University of Pennsylvania President Sheldon Hackney, who presided over the famous “water buffalo” affair) to the university president who “does the most to look the other way when free speech is under assault on campus.” As Leo describes it, “the prize is a statuette that looks something like the Oscar, except that the Oscar shows a man with no face looking straight ahead, whereas the Sheldon shows a man with no spine looking the other way.”   This […]

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  • FIRE Comes to Chicago

    April 24, 2006

    Be advised, Chicago-area Torch readers: FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff is heading your way. Our fearless leader will be part of a panel discussion on the Danish cartoons of Mohammed tomorrow night at the University of Chicago. More information can be found in our press release on the event.   Incidentally, the Windy City is a very appropriate place for Greg to go these days. Chicago’s own DePaul University has been in the news repeatedly for suspending a professor for his criticism of Palestinians, squelching a student group’s efforts to protest a visit by Ward Churchill, and clamping down on an […]

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  • DePaul: The Nightmare That Keeps on Recurring

    April 3, 2006

    Today, the Collegiate Network announced that DePaul University won second “prize” in its Campus Outrage Awards, commonly known as the Pollys. Here’s how the CN put it: DePaul University has essentially declared war on free speech on campus. First, the university suspended—without a hearing—a veteran adjunct professor for daring to debate students handing out pro-Palestinian literature on campus. Next, the administration branded as “propaganda” a College Republican protest of a Ward Churchill speech on campus. Finally, college officials shut down an affirmative action bake-sale sponsored by the campus conservative club and charged the club member who organized the event with […]

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  • More Insanity at DePaul: Racial Graffiti a Hoax?

    March 16, 2006

    DePaul University has been the site of so many ridiculous assaults on liberty that it has quickly gained recognition at FIRE as a “basket case” when it comes to the issue. Unfortunately, it looks like DePaul is going to need an even bigger basket.   Mathematics professor Jonathan Cohen has the whole story in a must-read post on The American Thinker. On the morning of March 8, DePaul students woke up to an e-mail from DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider informing them that racist graffiti had been found on campus during the early morning hours. The school scheduled an information session […]

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  • Update: DePaul Censures Anti-Affirmative Action Group

    February 24, 2006

    A conservative student group has been acquitted of a charge that it violated DePaul University’s anti-harassment policy when it conducted a protest against affirmative action, the school announced Monday. However, the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) was found guilty of violating the Code of Student Responsibility and censured. In January, the DCA held an “affirmative action bake sale” to mock affirmative action policies in higher education. The protests, which have occurred on other college and university campuses, involve white and Asian students being charged more for baked goods than blacks and Hispanics. The mock bake sales are designed to criticize affirmative […]

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  • DePaul Students Acquitted of Harassment Charges

    February 20, 2006

    FIRE’s press release today details the resolution of the latest infringement upon free speech at DePaul University. DePaul recently charged members of the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) with harassment for holding an “affirmative action bake sale,” the point of which was to spark debate by satirizing affirmative action policies. FIRE intervened by writing a letter to DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider on January 23 and then going public on January 30. DePaul took FIRE’s objections into consideration, saw the error of its ways, and acquitted the students of harassment charges. The students, however, were not cleared of all charges, as DePaul […]

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  • Partial Victory for Free Speech at DePaul

    February 20, 2006

    CHICAGO, February 20, 2006—DePaul University has acquitted a conservative student group that was charged with harassment for holding an event that satirized affirmative action. Until the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened, DePaul administrators had been investigating the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) for holding an “affirmative action bake sale” protest. “It’s about time DePaul realized that dissenting opinions are not the same thing as harassment,” stated FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff. “FIRE has had to intervene in case after case of viewpoint discrimination at DePaul. The university’s record of repression is shameful.” On January 17, the DCA held […]

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  • DePaul, Meet Kutztown

    February 10, 2006

    DePaul University, a private institution that proudly bills itself as the nation’s largest Catholic university, could learn a few lessons from Pennsylvania’s little-known Kutztown University. Earlier this week, the College Republicans at Kutztown did exactly what the DePaul Conservative Alliance tried to do—that is, they had an “affirmative action bake sale.” As FIRE’s recent press release on DePaul noted: Affirmative action bake sales are a widely used form of satirical protest against affirmative action. Organizers display a menu on which black and Hispanic students are charged lower prices than Asian and white students for the same items. The bake sales […]

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  • DePaul’s Sordid Legacy Continues

    January 30, 2006

    Yet another incident of censorship and administrative abuse has arisen at DePaul University. This time, as today’s press release explains, the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) protested affirmative action by holding an affirmative action bake sale, which was intended to spark debate. Before an hour had passed, however, the Dean of Students, in true DePaul style, shut the bake sale down.   The students who organized the bake sale are now under investigation for possible violations of DePaul’s Anti-Discriminatory Harassment Policy and Procedures. First, DePaul spokeswoman Denise Mattson said that the bake sale was held in an inappropriate location, yet FIRE […]

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  • DePaul University Calls Affirmative Action Protest ‘Harassment’

    January 30, 2006

    CHICAGO, January 30, 2006—Earlier this month, DePaul University shut down an “affirmative action bake sale” protest, and is now investigating a student organizer for “harassment.” DePaul’s latest offense against liberty follows its 2005 dismissal of a professor for arguing with pro-Palestinian students and its censorship of students’ peaceful protest of controversial professor Ward Churchill. With this incident, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is intervening at DePaul for the third time in less than a year. “DePaul cannot seem to resist punishing its students and professors for expressing their political viewpoints,” stated Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s interim president. “Fighting […]

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  • Conservative ‘bake sale’ causes controversy

    January 20, 2006

    A newly-founded student organization called the DePaul Conservative Alliance (DCA) held an event dubbed as a bake sale on Tuesday in the Student Center. However, there was the anti-affirmative action message that lay under all the cake and cookies. Michael O’Shea, a senior political science and history student, is one of the founding fathers of the DCA, a member of DePaul College Republicans and organized the event that eventually drew up to 50 people. “It was a protest to spark discourse and have people engage in the topic,” said O’Shea. The group set up a table in the Lincoln Park […]

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  • On National Television Tonight: DePaul Surrenders

    January 6, 2006

    As today’s press release announces, FIRE has restored the DePaul University College Republicans to their rights. The CRs ran into problems when they tried to post flyers using University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill’s own words to protest his then-upcoming appearance at DePaul. Then, quoth the press release: When the CRs submitted the flyers for approval, administrators responded first by misleading the CRs into thinking that the event was cancelled, then by invoking a policy that stated, “We do not approve propaganda.” The students, who did not believe that quoting a person’s own remarks was “propaganda,” posted the flyers anyway, […]

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  • DePaul University Revokes Vague Ban on ‘Propaganda’

    January 6, 2006

    CHICAGO, January 6, 2006—Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), DePaul University has lifted a vague ban on “propaganda” that it used last fall to silence student protest of a campus appearance by controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. “The revocation of the ‘propaganda’ ban is a step in the right direction for DePaul,” said FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff. “Yet DePaul’s disregard for freedom of expression reaches far beyond this one policy. The true test will be how DePaul reacts the next time students attempt to express dissenting opinions.” DePaul’s College Republicans (CRs) suffered […]

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  • College Republicans Prevented from Protesting Speaker [Transcript]

    January 6, 2006

    [This interview aired on the Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes show on Friday, January 6, 2006, at approximately 9:40 p.m. ET.] [...] HANNITY: Meanwhile, the College Republicans of DePaul University in Chicago say that the university tried to violate their free speech. The group protested a campus appearance by the controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. But prior to the protest, the university banned the group from posting fliers, and they also changed the rules to prevent the group from attending Churchill’s workshop. The college has since lifted their ban, but the question remains: did DePaul censor free […]

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  • DePaul Under Fire Again For Censoring Free Expression On Campus

    January 4, 2006

    DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, is being accused of violating the free speech rights of a student group that protested a campus appearance by controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, an often inflammatory speaker who has compared America’s 9/11 victims to Nazis. The College Republicans at DePaul claim officials at the Catholic university barred the student organization from putting up posters in protest of a campus lecture and workshop featuring Churchill in October. The school’s Office of Student Life reportedly called the group’s posters “propaganda,” even though the flyers primarily quoted words the controversial speaker himself had said. Robert […]

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  • DePaul U Confronts Amerikan ‘Empire’

    January 3, 2006

    [...] A few months ago, a speaker of honor hosted at DePaul was none other than Ward Churchill, speaking with open endorsement and support from the DePaul administration. In fact, the administration prohibited the holding of a protest against the Churchill visit by DePaul students. [...] DePaul has some bizarre notions about free speech. Its President, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, publicly defends the employment of Finkelstein as a professor, and defends the operation on campus of a Bash-Israel propaganda show dressed up as an art exhibit. Holtschneider has also publicly celebrated the performance on this Catholic university campus of the […]

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  • Administrative Abuses Live On

    December 30, 2005

    This year has seen a lot of activity around the theme of social justice in academia. Commitments to social justice are popping up in universities’ mission statements and on course syllabi across the humanities. The problem I see with any university proclamation is that the terms involved are often ill-defined. What does a college mean when it says that it supports social justice? FIRE board member Daphne Patai advocated in a blog post earlier this month that students define social justice in their own ways, because any nebulous phrase lends itself to re-signification.  Liberals and conservatives alike should realize that […]

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  • DePaul Forbids Student Group to Protest Ward Churchill

    December 21, 2005

    CHICAGO, December 21, 2005—A student group that protested a campus appearance by University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill has become DePaul University’s latest victim of censorship. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened after the university banned its College Republicans from posting flyers protesting Churchill’s visit and actually changed its own rules to prevent the organization from attending a workshop that he would be leading. “Just as DePaul was free to invite Ward Churchill to speak, so should its students be free to object to that invitation,” said FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Greg Lukianoff. “DePaul’s […]

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  • ‘I’m not the ideal poster boy’

    December 20, 2005

    Before he became an unlikely cause celebre, Thomas Klocek was an anonymous foot soldier in the bookish garrison of the ivory tower. The job title may be “adjunct,” but their myriad ranks are a bulwark of higher education. They teach the introductory courses the permanent faculty disdains. That frees tenured professors to do research and work with graduate students. It also helps balance the budget. Adjuncts are paid by the course, at academia’s equivalent of Wal-Mart wages. At DePaul University, where Klocek long taught, he reached a high of $34,000, one year. Other years, his earnings were $16,000. But he […]

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  • ‘National Review’ Highlights Klocek Case

    October 10, 2005

    John J. Miller has written an excellent article (subscription required) in the most recent issue of National Review detailing the plight of many conservative professors on campus. He focuses particular attention on the ridiculous treatment of Professor Thomas Klocek at DePaul. Klocek, as Torch readers may recall, was suspended after a heated, out-of-class argument with pro-Palestinian students. Miller has an excellent summary of the worst aspects of the case: Klocek’s case is particularly striking because the DePaul administration has left a long paper trail that demonstrates its disdain for his ideas as well as its disregard for the principles of […]

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  • Klocek Files Suit

    June 17, 2005

    Thomas Klocek, the DePaul professor who lost his job without due process after arguing with several students about the Middle East at a student activities fair, has now sued DePaul. Much of the suit focuses on claims that DePaul defamed Klocek, in part by providing the public with false and misleading information about his health. Klocek also claims breach of contract.   In this case, DePaul has shamefully taken a single encounter where the facts are in dispute (the students and professor present radically different versions of the event), and has transformed it into a veritable festival of repression. First, […]

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  • DePaul Professor Suspended Without a Hearing After Arguing with Students on Middle East Issues

    May 18, 2005

    CHICAGO, May 18, 2005—DePaul University administrators have suspended Professor Thomas Klocek without a hearing after he engaged in an out-of-class argument with pro-Palestinian students at a student activities fair. When the students complained to administrators, Klocek was denied the rights that DePaul guarantees to professors accused of wrongdoing and immediately suspended. Statements from DePaul administrators indicate that Klocek was disciplined because of his harsh criticism of the students’ viewpoint, despite DePaul’s stated commitments to free speech and academic freedom. “DePaul has unquestionably violated Professor Klocek’s due process rights, and the university did so because his statements were allegedly offensive,” commented […]

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  • DePaul Dispute Has Blogs Buzzing

    May 14, 2005

    CHICAGO – A longtime DePaul University instructor who argued with pro-Palestinian students at a campus activities fair last fall no longer works for the school. That much is not in dispute. But why Thomas Klocek lost his job while other professors under fire for their statements kept theirs has created a buzz among conservative-leaning Internet blogs about free speech rights at campuses across the country. John Ruberry, who writes the Marathon Pundit blog, started following the case after Klocek staged a news conference and appeared with his mouth taped shut. “There seems to be kind of a double standard as […]

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  • A question of decency

    April 14, 2005

    Chicago’s DePaul University, which has taken a couple of hits for its grotesque squashing of a professor’s free-speech rights, is hitting back, adding defamatory insult to career-ending injury – and a question comes to mind.It’s a question that was asked by the counsel for the Army in 1954 when Sen. Joseph McCarthy was seeking out communists in the government. He threw his charges around with little or no evidence, others in Congress did the same and sometimes reputations were recklessly ruined.In the hearing, McCarthy got tangled with the counsel, Joseph Welch, in suggesting that a young associate of Welch’s had […]

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  • FIRE Letter to DePaul President Dennis H. Holtschneider, March 24, 2005

    March 24, 2005

    March 24, 2005 President Dennis H. Holtschneider DePaul University 1 E. Jackson Blvd Chicago, Illinois 60604   John B. Simon Chairman of the DePaul University Board of Trustees Jenner & Block One IBM Plaza 330 N. Wabash, 43rd Floor Chicago, Illinois 60611   Sent by U.S. Mail and Facsimile (312-362-6822) Dear Father Holtschneider and Chairman Simon: As you can see from the list of our Directors and Board of Advisors, FIRE unites leaders in the fields of civil rights and civil liberties, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of liberty, legal equality, due […]

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  • Academic Freedom For Some

    March 4, 2005

    When it comes to the basic protections of due process and academic freedom, it often appears that students and professors live in two worlds – one world for those who follow the current academic political orthodoxy and another for those who dissent.  Take for example, two untenured professors at major universities, Joseph Massad of Columbia and Thomas Klocek of Depaul. Many FrontPage readers are undoubtedly familiar with Professor Massad.  Extensively discussed in the documentary “Columbia Unbecoming” and in national media reports, Professor Massad has been quoted as comparing Israelis to Nazis and Prime Minister Sharon’s cultural views to those of […]

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