Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: http://www.iupui.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 7th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

Yellow Light Policies
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Personal Misconduct 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Verbal abuse of another person, including the following:
    1. An express or implied threat to:
    1. Interfere with an individual’s personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in university-sponsored activities and that under the circumstances causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur; or
    2. Injure that person, or damage his or her property; or
    2. "Fighting words" that are spoken face-to-face as a personal insult to the listener or listeners in personally abusive language inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction by the listener or listeners to the speaker.

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  • Residential Handbook: Anti-Bullying and Intimidation Policy 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies, Statement

    Bullying is defined
    by The Department of Housing and Residence Life as actions and
    behaviors that are intended to
    intimidate, coerce, degrade,
    abuse, badger, harm or
    negatively impact another
    person. This definition includes
    but is not limited to sexual
    orientation, gender expression,
    sex, race, ethnicity,
    socioeconomic status, ability,
    size, religion, age, and veteran
    status. This policy also includes situations in which roommates use
    bullying tactics to intimidate their roommate. Students who exhibit
    bullying behavior toward another student will be held accountable
    through the IUPUI Code of Conduct System.

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  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Preamble 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, Statement

    Individual rights are best protected by a collective commitment to mutual respect. A student who accepts
    admission to Indiana University agrees to:
    ...
    take responsibility for what he or she says and does,
    behave in a manner that is respectful of the dignity of others, treating others with civility
    and understanding ....

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Green Light Policies
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Right to Freedom from Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, including requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a student’s education, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic conditions affecting the student; or the conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment.

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  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Right to Freedom of Association, Expression, Advocacy, and Publication 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    In accordance with the state and federal Constitution and university policy, the university
    recognizes the rights of all students to engage in discussion, to express thoughts and opinions,
    and to assemble, speak, write, publish or invite speakers on any subject without university
    interference or fear of university disciplinary action.

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  • It’s safe to read again at Indiana University

    August 7, 2013

    by Jacob Sullum Reason Online   Remember Keith Sampson, the janitor at Indiana University–Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) who was accused of racially harassing his co-workers by reading a scholarly book about the Ku Klux Klan? When I last discussed the case, IUPUI’s Affirmative Action Office had backed off its initial charge—not because Sampson has a First Amendment right to read whatever books he wants at a state-run university but because the office could not determine exactly what he had been thinking while reading the book about the Klan. The implication was that if he ever read another book that […]

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  • Free-Speech Organization Launches Ad Campaign Warning Colleges That Violate Students’ Rights

    August 7, 2013

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post   Today, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education launched an extensive national advertising campaign highlighting five colleges that have unapologetically punished students and faculty for what should be clearly protected speech. The ad below appeared today directly adjacent to U.S. News & World Report‘s annual ranking of the best national colleges: The ad focuses on the almost unbelievable tale of Keith John Sampson, a student at a college in Indiana who was punished simply for sitting at a table and quietly reading a book. Over the next few days and weeks […]

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  • Unlearning liberty

    November 30, 2012

    ‘At Stanford, I took every human rights class that was offered, every First Amendment class, and in addition to that, for six additional credits, I did an independent study on the origins of the prior restraint doctrine of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. That’s how much of a nerd I am about this stuff.’ Greg Lukianoff lets out a big hearty laugh, before adding, ‘And I really enjoyed that last one’.             There is no doubting Lukianoff’s passion for the principles of liberty. In 2006, he was made president of the Foundation for Individual Rights […]

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  • How Free Speech Died on Campus

    November 16, 2012

    At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—”a bizarre, parallel dimension,” as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak.  […]

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  • How campus censorship makes us all a little bit dumber

    October 15, 2012

    If you feel that the quality of our national dialogue is at an all—time low, you’re not alone. But why, in a day and age when more of us are college educated than ever before, are we losing the ability to engage in informed, meaningful debate? Shouldn’t we be living in some kind of golden age of national dialogue? In our latest video (see below), the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work) sheds light on one potential contributing factor to this incongruity: decades of censorship on the modern college campus is teaching students all the wrong lessons […]

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  • Higher education can lower your expectations

    August 3, 2010

    Ever since the Second World War, professional educators have promoted a college or university education for the wrong reason, viz., to make more money than otherwise would be the case. Around 1965 the passion for the egalitarian and pacifistic goals of the left began to corrupt higher learning even more. Today one enrolls at one’s own risk. The fundamental error of the claim that college makes you richer is that those who succeed after college are likely to succeed without it. While many students have indeed gone on to prosperous careers, many others have not, dropping out at some point […]

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  • IUPUI says sorry to janitor scolded over KKK book

    July 14, 2008

    A janitor whom a university official had accused of racial harassment for reading a historical book about the Ku Klux Klan on his break has gotten an apology — months later — from the school. Charles Bantz, chancellor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, apologized to Keith John Sampson in a letter dated Friday, saying the school is committed to free expression. ”I can candidly say that we regret this situation took place,” Bantz wrote. Sampson’s troubles began last year when a co-worker complained after seeing him reading a book titled ”Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated […]

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  • American politics aren’t ‘post-racial’

    August 7, 2013

    by Dorothy Rabinowitz The Wall Street Journal   The not-quite-concluded racial drama playing out at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the last months can’t be ranked with the embittering rape charge scandal at Duke that so recently mesmerized the nation. And as news it’s not in the same league as the total war waged against Harvard president Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that factors in addition to prejudice might have something to do with the underrepresentation of women in math and the sciences. Still, what happened at IUPUI is a pungent reminder of […]

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  • The case isn’t closed

    August 7, 2013

    by Staff Editorial Indiana Daily Student   In less than 10 seconds, with the aid of Google, you can find a full description of the controversy surrounding Keith Sampson. If you are Sampson, this will prove to be exceedingly detrimental to your job prospects in a world where 77 percent of employers now run Internet searches on prospective employees. Of course, these online sources are in addition to the publicity that resulted from the accusations and countless newsprint stories regarding the incident that circulated for months, tarnishing Sampson’s name and reputation. You may recall that Sampson was the IUPUI student […]

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  • Four Key Points About Free Speech and the Feds’ ‘Blueprint’

    July 15, 2013

    It’s been more than two months since FIRE and the higher ed community were shocked by a letter issued jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice to the University of Montana. FIRE staff have blogged extensively about the Departments’ “blueprint” for campus sexual harassment in the last 10 weeks, but there are four crucial points that I believe bear special emphasis.  1. Overbroad and vague harassment rationales have been the primary justification and legal theory behind campus speech codes since the 1980s.  In one sense, the attempt to stretch the definition of harassment beyond all recognition is nothing new. […]

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  • John Stossel on Over-Regulation and FIRE’s Case at IUPUI

    July 14, 2010

    Do you remember the case of the young girl who put a single french fry in her mouth as she entered the Washington, DC, Metro, and found herself handcuffed and arrested? Here’s the story as told by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit: Ansche had stopped at a fast-food restaurant on the way and ordered a bag of french fries—to go. While waiting for her companion to purchase a fare-card, Ansche removed and ate a french fry from the take-out bag she was holding. After proceeding through the fare-gate, Ansche was stopped by a plainclothed Metro Transit […]

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  • Temple University Case on CPNLive

    January 22, 2010

    I was on Talk to Solomon on CPNlive.com last night discussing FIRE’s case at Temple University, which charged an unconstitutional security fee to a student organization for an appearance by controversial Dutch legislator Geert Wilders. The discussion also covered FIRE’s work more generally, including a discussion of FIRE’s case at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), which once found a student-employee guilty of racial harassment because of the cover of a book he was reading. (Click here for our video on the IUPUI case: Political Correctness vs. Freedom of Thought—The Keith John Sampson Story.)

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  • Political Correctness vs. Freedom of Thought – The Keith John Sampson Story

    February 27, 2009

    One of FIRE’s most shocking cases in 2008 was that of Keith John Sampson, a student-employee at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) who was found guilty of racial harassment for merely reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan during his work breaks. Thanks to FIRE’s involvement and the extensive media coverage of the case, the finding against Sampson was eventually overturned and his school record was cleared, but the story behind this incident is still disturbing months later. Filmmaker Andrew Marcus has produced a short documentary on Sampson’s case in […]

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  • FIRE Pens Open Letter to President Obama

    January 20, 2009

    This Inauguration Day, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has sent President Barack Obama an open letter requesting that, as a scholar of constitutional law and the leader of the nation’s executive branch, he and his administration join the fight against college and university speech codes that are infringing on the rights of millions of our nation’s college students. As Greg says in today’s press release: Millions of American students are being taught that colleges have the power to censor and punish speech that the Bill of Rights protects … Failing to educate an entire generation about our constitutional […]

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  • Rights in the News: Controversy at Southern Illinois Ignites FIRE’s 2009 Efforts

    January 16, 2009

    Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) Chancellor Samuel Goldman and his administration have been a veritable one-stop shop for newsworthy content lately, as followers of The Torch this week are no doubt aware. In one of three articles penned by Adam Testa for the Southern Illinoisan, Goldman referred to FIRE as “embarrassing” SIUC into defending itself, as though its free speech crisis did not already exist, meanwhile having actually made FIRE’s requested change to SIUC’s protest policy. This prompted FIRE’s press release on SIUC’s doublespeak, to which Testa reported that the university will not respond. Goldman now asks for patience—but […]

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  • New Video Documents Student-Employee Found Guilty of Harassment for Reading a Book

    December 23, 2008

    One of FIRE’s most shocking cases in 2008 was that of Keith John Sampson, a student-employee at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) who was found guilty of racial harassment for merely reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan during his work breaks. Thanks to FIRE’s involvement and the extensive media coverage of the case, the finding against Sampson was eventually overturned and his school record was cleared, but the story behind this incident is still disturbing months later. During the media storm that followed Sampson’s case, filmmaker Andrew Marcus decided […]

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  • This Month in FIRE History: IUSB and Double Standards for Student Speech

    September 18, 2008

    In our nearly ten-year history, FIRE has seen many absurd cases in which students have been punished for exercising their First Amendment rights. One of our more interesting cases was finally resolved last September, when Indiana University–South Bend overturned its punishment of student reporter Robert Francis, whose only offense was asking questions of an actress in the cast of The Vagina Monologues. The play, which includes a great deal of graphic language and sexual content, is dedicated to the “celebration of female sexuality,” but Francis’s questions in a similar vein were deemed “lewd, indecent or obscene.” Francis got in trouble […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: Student Press Continues to Pressure IUPUI, and Harvey Silverglate on the Death of Parody on Campus

    August 1, 2008

    In what is already establishing itself as a regular feature of our Weekly Media Round-ups, I must begin by throwing out another hat tip to Chuck Norton at the IUSB Vision Weblog. This week Chuck has given a nod to Luke’s post on the lawsuit filed against Wayne State University by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Students for Life, a pro-life student organization denied funding by the university. Norton also plugged Kelly’s post from yesterday in which she analyzed the potential effects of the Canadian Federation of Students’ motion to deny funding and resources to all pro-life groups. […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: Student Journalists Take the Reins at IUPUI

    July 25, 2008

    Following last week’s Associated Press-driven spike in coverage of student employee Keith John Sampson’s struggles at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana University–South Bend student Chuck Norton has continued his thorough and illuminating coverage of the incident in his IUSB Vision Weblog. Updates to Norton’s blog this week include a hard-hitting investigation of recently appointed Director of Equal Opportunity Kim Kirkland, whose troubles following due process in a case at Bowling Green State University should make the IUPUI community suspicious of her ability to deliver necessary reform. In what should be a moment of tragicomic embarrassment for IUPUI, Norton has […]

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  • IUPUI chancellor: Race-based incident is ‘closed’

    July 23, 2008

    His name has been cleared with the University, but Keith J. Sampson is still unsure of how to proceed after being accused of racially harassing coworkers last fall. Sampson, an IU-Purdue University at Indianapolis student and employee, received a letter July 11 from IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz apologizing for a letter Sampson received in November from former IUPUI Affirmative Action Officer Lillian Charleston. In the letter, Charleston said reading an anti-Klan book in front of black co-workers after they asked him to stop “demonstrated disdain and insensitivity” on Sampson’s part. In a second letter Charleston sent to Sampson in February, […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: IUPUI Heats up the News Cycle, and Richard Celeste Continues to Get it Wrong

    July 18, 2008

    FIRE’s public efforts on behalf of Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) student-employee Keith John Sampson, who was convicted of racial harassment for reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan, received a major boost this week, courtesy of the Associated Press. The AP ran a story covering IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz’s belated apology to Sampson following months of contemptible treatment at the hands of the university and IUPUI’s Affirmative Action office. The article, which first appeared on July 14, has been picked up by more than 200 separate news outlets, including […]

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  • FIRE Calls on IUPUI to Resolve Sampson Matter for Good

    July 17, 2008

    In a letter sent today to Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Chancellor Charles R. Bantz and others, FIRE calls on IUPUI to clarify the university’s official stance regarding the racial harassment charge against Keith John Sampson. As we have discussed on The Torch recently, IUPUI Director of Media Relations Rich Schneider has engaged in publicly smearing Sampson to the press, stating that the racial harassment finding against Sampson was based not on his reading the book in question, but rather some undisclosed harassing behavior. Schneider has refused to reveal the nature of this alleged behavior. In light of […]

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  • The Associated Press Covers IUPUI Debacle

    July 15, 2008

    Hot on the heels of last week’s Wall Street Journal opinion piece, the Associated Press has become the latest major media outlet to cover the travails of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis student-employee Keith John Sampson, found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book during his breaks from work. In an article published by the wire service late yesterday evening, AP reporter Deanna Martin documents the basic facts of Sampson’s ordeal, with particular attention to the recent apology Sampson received from Chancellor Charles Bantz. The article also identifies the work of FIRE to secure a favorable outcome for […]

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  • Institutional Disharmony at IUPUI

    July 14, 2008

    Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) student-employee Keith John Sampson has received a letter from IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz apologizing for the exceptionally poor treatment he has received at the hands of the university. While Bantz’s letter represents a positive step, however, others within IUPUI’s administration have not done nearly as well by Sampson. The result is that the administration at IUPUI appears publicly to be in a state of disharmony and disarray. In his letter to Sampson, Bantz reaffirms that the university’s Affirmative Action Office (AAO) was wrong to conclude that Sampson’s act of reading a book […]

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  • University attacks student for reading this book

    July 9, 2008

    A student at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis who first faced discipline when officials caught him reading a history book that was available in the school library during a break at work was cleared of those charges, but now officials say he is guilty of something but they won’t say what. If that sounds complicated, you’re in company with Keith John Sampson, who first was convicted of racial harassment for reading a history book about the defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a 1924 street brawl. And you’d be in company with officials with the Foundation for Individual Responsibility […]

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  • IUPUI Changes Tune on Student’s ‘Racial Harassment’ Charge

    July 8, 2008

    Back in May, FIRE informed Torch readers that Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) had revoked its finding that student-employee Keith John Sampson was guilty of racial harassment for publicly reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan. School administrators sent us a letter confirming that no documents regarding the incident remain in Sampson’s file and claiming that IUPUI hopes “this experience as well as feedback from the campus community will result in an improved [complaint] process.” We declared victory and applauded IUPUI publicly for admitting regret over the incident. […]

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  • Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Attacks Student Cleared of Racial Harassment

    July 8, 2008

    INDIANAPOLIS, July 8, 2008—Two months ago, in the face of withering public criticism, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) revoked its original finding that student-employee Keith John Sampson had committed racial harassment by reading a book at work that celebrated the defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a 1924 street brawl. Now, IUPUI is claiming that Sampson was in fact punished for some other behavior, but the school refuses to reveal any details of this alleged conduct. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling on IUPUI to either reveal and prove this alleged offense or […]

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  • ‘The Wall Street Journal’ Covers Keith John Sampson’s Ordeal at IUPUI

    July 7, 2008

    In today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz documents the shocking case of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) student-employee Keith John Sampson, found guilty of “racial harassment” simply for reading a book during a break from work. Calling FIRE a “potent national watchdog group,” Rabinowitz, a member of the WSJ’s Editorial Board, writes: Ludicrous harassment cases are not rare at our institutions of higher learning. But there was undeniably something special – something pure, and glorious – in the clarity of this picture. A university had brought a case against a student on grounds of a […]

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  • Administrator in “Racial Harassment” Case at IUPUI Retires

    May 19, 2008

    Lillian Charleston, the administrator at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) who conducted the school’s investigation of Keith John Sampson for racial harassment, has decided to retire from her position as Affirmative Action Officer. In the aftermath of IUPUI’s mishandling of the case, Charleston as well as her department, the Affirmative Action Office (AAO), had come under fire from many commentators (indeed, the stream of negative publicity for IUPUI has picked up again more recently). Given the AAO’s blatant and severe disregard for Sampson’s basic constitutional rights, Charleston’s retirement marks a momentous occasion at IUPUI. This turn of events […]

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  • Keith John Sampson on His ‘Nightmare’ at IUPUI

    May 9, 2008

    In an insightful column in the New York Post (hat tip: Instapundit), Keith John Sampson describes his experience at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in his own words. Sampson discusses the shock he felt at being found guilty of racial harassment for the mere act of reading a book in the break room at his workplace: A friend reacted to the finding with, “That’s impossible!” He’s right. You can’t commit racial harassment by reading an anti-Klan history. For months, I felt isolated and dejected. Yet I knew that most of the faculty, staff and students at Indiana University […]

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  • My ‘racial harassment’ nightmare

    May 9, 2008

    In November, I was found guilty of “racial harassment” for reading a public library book on a university campus. The book was Todd Tucker’s “Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan I was reading it on break from my campus job as a janitor. The same book is in the university library. Tucker recounts events of 1924, when the loathsome Klan was a dominant force in Indiana – until it went to South Bend to taunt the Irish Catholic students at the University of Notre Dame. When the KKK tried to rally, the […]

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  • Judging a Book By Its Cover – Literally

    May 5, 2008

    Over at The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff has blogged about the conclusion of FIRE’s case at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). In it, Greg recalls how university administrators punished student-employee Keith John Sampson for reading a book called Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan: But never mind what’s actually inside the book—it’s got a picture of hooded Klansmen burning a cross on the cover! Following this nasty bit of anti-intellectual illogic, Sampson’s workmates promptly freaked out. One coworker told Sampson that reading a book about the Klan was […]

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  • Judging a book by its cover – literally

    May 2, 2008

    I hate the abuse of the word literally. Somehow our society has co-opted the word to mean something like “very much so” as opposed to, you know, literally. Since I’m a nerd about this stuff, it’s fun for me to use the word as it’s meant to be used. And today’s one of those fun times, because today marks the end of a case where a student employee was punished because other employees judged a book he was reading by its cover — literally. Keith John Sampson is a janitor in his early fifties at Indiana University – Purdue University […]

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  • Victory at IUPUI: Student-Employee Finally Vindicated on Racial Harassment Charge

    May 1, 2008

    Today’s press release covers some great news from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI): Student-employee Keith John Sampson has finally been cleared of the racial harassment finding which was made against him. This thankfully marks the end of a prolonged and embarrassing episode. Torch readers will recall that Sampson was found guilty of racial harassment for the simple act of reading the book, Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan during his work breaks. IUPUI’s Affirmative Action Office (AAO) responded to a co-worker’s complaint against Sampson by ordering him to cease reading […]

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  • Victory at IUPUI: Student-Employee Found Guilty of Racial Harassment for Reading a Book Now Cleared of All Charges

    May 1, 2008

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 1, 2008—Administrators at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) have revoked their finding that a student-employee was guilty of racial harassment merely for publicly reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan. Following pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), IUPUI has declared that Keith John Sampson’s record is clear and said it will reexamine its affirmative action procedures relating to internal complaints. “Just when you’d thought you’d seen every crazy act of censorship a college administrator can dream up, along comes a case […]

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  • Individual Rights Languishing in Indiana

    April 16, 2008

    The April 15 issue of the IUSB Vision Weblog features a very good interview with Indiana University – South Bend’s former Chief Justice, Chuck Norton, who has been a close ally of FIRE in the case of Robert Francis, a reporter on a campus production of The Vagina Monologues. He was saved from punishment on appeal after FIRE intervened, but IUSB has refused to remove the information about the disciplinary proceedings and appeals from his student file. Norton tells about the retaliation that the school’s SGA President faced after contributing to Francis’s defense (note: this interview did not include documentation): […]

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  • “Muzzle Tov” to Brandeis and Valdosta State from Greg

    April 11, 2008

    In his latest Huffington Post blog, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff recaps the 2008 Jefferson Muzzle awards, bringing special attention to with “winners” at Brandeis University and Valdosta State University. He also puts in an early nomination for 2009′s Muzzles: Finally, while I know it’s only April, I already have two nominations for next year’s Jefferson Muzzles. First, I would like to nominate Colorado College, where administrators have used tragic school shootings of recent years as justification for finding two students guilty of “violence” for posting a flyer making fun of another flyer. I ask readers once again to compare these […]

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  • New ‘FIREside Chats’ Podcast Available

    March 31, 2008

    In today’s episode of FIREside Chats, FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley and Justice Robert H. Jackson Fellow Azhar Majeed discuss Keith John Sampson’s case at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Sampson, a student-employee, was found guilty of racial harassment for reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan during his breaks from work. Azhar has been following this case closely and recently wrote an op-ed for the Indianapolis Star about it. Continue to check back for updates on IUPUI, and join us next week for another episode of FIREside […]

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  • FIRE Column on IUPUI Racial Harassment Finding in ‘Indy Star’

    March 25, 2008

    Today’s Indianapolis Star features a column written by FIRE’s Azhar Majeed, a Justice Robert H. Jackson Fellow, on Keith Sampson’s case at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Sampson, a student-employee, was found guilty of racial harassment for reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan. After Sampson’s co-worker filed a complaint with IUPUI’s Affirmative Action Office based on the book’s cover—which showed pictures of burning crosses—the AAO sent Sampson a letter of reprimand informing him that he had been found guilty of racial harassment. The AAO failed to give […]

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  • Book-reading IUPUI worker deserved better

    March 25, 2008

    It has become all too common for our nation’s colleges and universities to trample upon the free speech rights of students and faculty. Yet, to even the most seasoned observer of university foibles the case of Keith Sampson at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis is extreme. Sampson, an IUPUI student-employee, was found guilty of racial harassment last fall for reading a book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” during his work breaks. The book is an account of a street fight in 1924 between University of Notre Dame students and members of the Ku Klux Klan in South Bend. Its author, Todd […]

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  • ‘Indianapolis Star’ Covers Racial Harassment Case at IUPUI

    March 18, 2008

    Keith Sampson’s case at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) was recently covered in the Indianapolis Star. As we have reported previously on The Torch, Sampson, a student-employee at IUPUI, faced allegations of racial harassment for the mere act of reading a book entitled Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan during his work breaks. Even though he did nothing more than read by himself in the break room, without targeting any conduct toward his co-workers, one of them filed a complaint on the basis of the subject matter of the book. […]

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  • Commentators, Readers Weigh in on Racial Harassment Case at IUPUI

    March 7, 2008

    We at FIRE are certainly not alone in our outrage over the ludicrous treatment of Keith Sampson at Indiana University– Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Commentators and Torch readers alike have expressed shock, dismay, frustration, and other justifiable reactions to this case. To summarize, a co-worker complained about Sampson reading a book which provides a historical account of a street fight in 1924 between University of Notre Dame students and members of the Ku Klux Klan. Even though Sampson did nothing more than read the book in the break room during his work breaks, IUPUI’s Affirmative Action Office (AAO) sent him […]

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  • A Follow-Up on Racial Harassment at IUPUI

    March 6, 2008

    Our coverage of Keith Sampson’s unbelievable case at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) appears to have generated a lot of discussion, in places such as Concurring Opinions, the Volokh Conspiracy, and Workplace Prof Blog. Unsurprising, as Sampson’s case represents a mind-boggling misapplication of workplace harassment law, and at a public university no less. Essentially, a co-worker charged Sampson with racial harassment for reading a book which provides a historical account of a street fight in 1924 between University of Notre Dame students and members of the Ku Klux Klan. Despite the fact that Sampson only read the book […]

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  • Read a Book, Harass a Co-Worker at IUPUI

    March 5, 2008

    In a stunning series of events at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Keith Sampson, a university employee and student, has been charged with racial harassment for reading a book during his work breaks. Sampson is in his early fifties, does janitorial work for the campus facility services at IUPUI, and is ten credits shy of a degree in communication studies. He is also an avid reader who usually brings books with him to work so that he can read in the break room when he is not on the clock. Last year, he began reading a book entitled […]

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