Phi Beta Kappa: Member Institutions' Speech Codes
When George Mason University cancelled a speech by filmmaker Michael Moore, the Phi Beta Kappa Society denied George Mason University's application for a campus chapter of the honor society, citing academic freedom concerns. Given the Society's professed commitment to freedom of speech, FIRE wrote to Phi Beta Kappa Secretary John Churchill to point out the speech codes that abound at Phi Beta Kappa member institutions. FIRE's letter specifically called attention to outrageous codes at Cornell University, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, Penn State University, Rhodes College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and West Virginia University. Given Phi Beta Kappa's stance on GMU, it seems reasonable to assume that the society would uphold the same tenets of academic freedom that it expects from others.
- "FIRE Asks Phi Beta Kappa to Hold Members Accountable for Speech Codes," November 30, 2005: Earlier this year, the Phi Beta Kappa Society made national headlines by rejecting George Mason University's application for membership after GMU cancelled a speech by filmmaker Michael Moore. FIRE is publicly urging this prestigious honor society to stand by its professed commitment to academic freedom and freedom of inquiry by taking action against its member institutions’ many speech codes.
- "Phi Beta Kappa Guidelines on 'How to Form a Chapter'," November 29, 2005
- "FIRE Letter to Phi Beta Kappa Secretary John Churchill, November 29, 2005," November 29, 2005
- "Washington Post Article on Denial of Request for Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at George Mason University, March 1, 2005," March 1, 2005
- "Washington Post Article on Michael Moore's Speaking Invitation Being Rescinded, October 1, 2004," October 1, 2004
- "Academe Article by Former Phi Beta Kappa Executive Secretary Douglas W. Foard, November/December 2001," November 1, 2001
- "Commentary & News Briefs,"
by Jim Brown, Agape Press, December 2, 2005
- "FIRE criticizes honor society,"
by Benjamin Jones, The Badger Herald (UW-Madison), December 1, 2005
- "Free-Speech Group Questions Phi Beta Kappa's Commitment to Academic Freedom,"
by Sara Lipka, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 30, 2005
- "Quick Takes,"
by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, November 30, 2005