FIRE adding to its faculty-assistance arsenal

Friday, February 26, 2021
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

YAF free speech signA nonpartisan organization that defends the rights of students and faculty on America's college campuses is expanding its mission to include free legal representation for faculty whose free-speech rights it says are increasingly being violated.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education plans to launch its "Faculty Legal Defense Fund" sometime in March – providing another tool the group says will allow them to help more faculty, more quickly. Darpana Sheth, FIRE's vice president of litigation, explains the fund will defend public college professors facing greater threats to their "expressive rights and academic freedom than at any other time in recent memory."

According to Sheth, a study involving approximately 500 academics indicated that "at least half of them thought that if they considered expressing views that were beyond the certain mainstream or consensus, in an academic setting, that that would be quite dangerous to their job and their career."

She notes that regardless if a faculty member is Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, FIRE plans to assist them when facing threats of censorship and punishment for their speech and research.

FIRE says the fund will be headed by First Amendment expert Ronald G. London, the former president and now the national chair of the First Amendment Lawyers Association.

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