Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A few days ago, I posted the story that appears below. Update: The University has come to its senses and is permitting the professor to rehang his posters. (Oct. 4). All's well that ends well, I guess.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education online:
U. of Wisconsin Professor and Administrators Clash Over Posters Called Threatening
September 28, 2011, 2:23 pm
The University of Wisconsin-Stout has come under fire from free-speech advocates for refusing this month to let a theater professor decorate his office door with posters described by some administrators as threatening. The conflict over speech began when the professor, James Miller, hung a poster from the science-fiction television series Firefly that referred to killing. The campus police chief took it down, telling Mr. Miller in an e-mail exchange that he could face a criminal charge if he rehung the poster or another one similar to it. When Mr. Miller hung a second poster denouncing fascism as leading to violence, the campus police took it down, as implying a threat, at the urging of a campus threat-assessment team that had conferred with the university system’s office of general counsel. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a free-speech advocacy group, has accused the university of censorship, but top campus officials argued in an e-mail to the faculty and staff that they had “a responsibility to promote a campus environment that is free from threats of any kind.” As discussed in a July 31 Chronicle article, colleges have struggled to balance free-speech and security concerns in dealing with complaints that faculty members have somehow threatened others on the campus.