In today's Southern Illinoisan, Chancellor Sam Goldman lashed out at academic watchdog group F.I.R.E. Focusing solely on the speech zone policy, Goldman faulted FIRE for being "a group that does not do their homework whatsoever."
FIRE helped win a major court decision against SIUC on religious freedom (2006), it spoke out against the sexual harassment policy and due process treatment of Cal Meyers (2008) and continues to monitor all of its "Red Alert" institutions, including SIU-C. In a word, FIRE's interest in student and faculty rights is longstanding, whatever you think of their position.
Today, the group responded with a broad critique of SIU's "many existing policies, which violate the First Amendment." FIRE accused the chancellor of "deceit" in failing to announce that SIU had silently changed the RSO Handbook. FIRE also accused the chancellor of misleading the media about the reasons for SIU-C's "Red Alert" status. The FIRE statement comes before a promised second statement by Chancellor Sam Goldman defending SIU against FIRE's "Red Alert" rating of the school.
With the controversial sexual harassment policy due for review soon, FIRE will probably be watching the end result, not expected until February, if media reports are accurate.
For more on FIRE's monitoring of SIUC, click the Traffic Sign widget to the right of this blog, or click here.
See also "Attention, Chancellor Goldman: Here’s Why SIUC is a 'Red Light' School."
Council to Vote on Maintaining Sales Taxes
20 hours ago