University of South Carolina: Mandated Orthodoxy in the Classroom
FIRE protested University of South Carolina Professor Lynn Weber's imposition of a political litmus test in order to succeed in "Women's Studies 797: Seminar in Women's Studies," which was required of students who sought to earn a graduate certificate in Women's Studies. Professor Weber's "Guidelines for Classroom Discussion" required students to "acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other institutionalized forms of oppression exist" and agree that "we are all systematically taught misinformation about our own group and about members of other groups." The guidelines amounted to a loyalty oath to the professor's ideology. USC President Andrew A. Sorensen defended them, however, because to him they were not "rules" but merely a way to promote "civility." Many other professors nationwide, however, have adopted Weber's assumptions as "rules," threatening the academic freedom and freedom of conscience of their students.
- "Lynn Weber's 'Guidelines for Classroom Discussion'," June 15, 2004
- "USC's Policy on Student Rights and Freedoms Within the Academic Community," USC Policy, June 15, 2004
- "American Association of University Professors Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students," AAUP Statement, June 15, 2004
- "American Association of University Professors Statement on Graduate Students," AAUP Statement, June 15, 2004
- "Letter from University of South Carolina to FIRE," October 1, 2002
- "Mandated Orthodoxy Under Fire in South Carolina," September 26, 2002: In May 2002, FIRE brought to the nation's attention a set of ideologically partisan and stifling "Guidelines for Class Discussion" from a women's studies course at the University of South Carolina. This week, in an extremely revealing article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, administrators at that public institution have begun to dissociate themselves from the professor's mandated orthodoxy.
- "Letter to University of South Carolina President Andrew A. Sorensen," September 9, 2002
- "University of South Carolina Mandates Political Indoctrination and Orthodoxy," May 13, 2002: The University of South Carolina (USC), in the "Guidelines for Classroom Discussion" of a required course in a degree-granting program, demands allegiance to a narrow set of partisan political beliefs—on pain of being graded poorly for honest disagreement.
- "FIRE's Letter to USC President John M. Palms," April 25, 2002
- "Professor Lynn Weber's "Guidelines for Classroom Discussion" in Women's Studies 797," January 16, 2002
- "Guidelines for Discussion, or Thought Control?,"
by Thomas Bartlett, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 27, 2002
- "FIRE Lights a Match Under Dr. Palms and Women's Studies Classroom Requirements Cause Controversy,"
by Angel Sizemore, The Daily Gamecock, September 25, 2002
- "Free Speech at USC,"
by Mark Kalinowski, The Daily Gamecock, September 23, 2002
- "Campus Thought Tyranny,"
by David Limbaugh, Townhall.com, May 29, 2002
- "Women's Studies Course at the University of South Carolina Requires Loyalty Oath,"
by Brian Carnell, EquityFeminism.com, May 28, 2002
- "The End of Teaching History,"
by Joanne Jacobs, FoxNews.com, May 17, 2002
- "Women's Studies Mandates Seen as Threats to Free Speech,"
by Ellen Sorokin, The Washington Times, May 16, 2002
- "University Mandates Ideological 'Loyalty Oath, ' Rights Group Alleges,"
by Lawrence Morahan, CNSNews, May 15, 2002