University of Alaska: Investigation of Protected Speech
In a memorandum to the faculty of all campuses of the University of Alaska, President Mark R. Hamilton came to the rescue of Professor Linda McCarriston, a poet and teacher of creative writing who was subjected to administrative interference and investigation because of the content of her work. FIRE brought the details and issues of the case to the attention of the University and secured the rights of unhindered free expression for McCarriston. McCarriston was investigated for offending students with a poem she wrote titled "Indian Girls," about the sexual abuse of children. FIRE President Alan Kors wrote President Hamilton that the threat of investigation, whether it existed or appeared to exist, was a first amendment violation because it creating a chilling effect on free speech. President Hamilton sided with Kors and deemed the matter closed. FIRE's victory should serve as a reminder to colleges that simply investigating speech creates a chilling effect on it, and is therefore unconstitutional.
- "Alaska Revisited: FIRE's Alan Charles Kors to Speak at the Celebration of a Great Victory For Free Speech and Academic Freedom," March 11, 2002: In 2001, FIRE intervened successfully to secure the rights of Professor Linda McCarriston and to secure the Bill of Rights at the University of Alaska. University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton, after several exchanges with FIRE, gave a ringing, unequivocal, and exemplary defense of liberty in academic life. On March 10 and 11, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks will be celebrating liberty. On March 10, the National Association of Scholars will be giving an award for defense of academic freedom to President Hamilton, who then will give a major address on freedom of expression. On March 11, Alan Charles Kors will address the University of Alaska at Fairbanks on the state of liberty on America's campuses.
- "Buckley and Seebach on FIRE," April 12, 2001: FIRE's two recent victories—at the University of Alaska and at Pennsylvania State University—continue to provoke profound editorial commentary about the academic betrayal of fundamental rights, the double standards that prevail on America's campuses, and the role of FIRE in securing liberty for both students and faculty. As Justice Brandeis said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."
- "Linda McCarriston's Letter to FIRE," April 9, 2001
- "NAS Supports U of Alaska President, Censures OCR," National Association of Scholars Press Release, April 3, 2001
- " Linda McCarriston's "Indian Girls"," March 27, 2001
- "University of Alaska President Proclaims Full Rights of Free Speech," March 27, 2001: In a memorandum to the faculty of all campuses of the University of Alaska, President Mark R. Hamilton came to the rescue of Professor Linda McCarriston, a poet and teacher of creative writing subjected to administrative interference and investigation because of the content of her work. FIRE brought the details and issues of the case to the attention of the University and secured the rights of unhindered free expression for McCarriston.
- "President Hamilton's Memo," March 13, 2001
- "Letter from FIRE to University of Alaska-Anchorage President Mark Hamilton," January 30, 2001
- "Professor's poem draws fiery conflict," The Northern Light, January 16, 2001
- "Examining Cultural Authority,"
by Alan Charles Kors, HEArt, July 23, 2004
- "UA President Worthy of Top Honors,"
by Stephen Haycox, Anchorage Daily News, March 15, 2002
- "The Few and the Brave,"
The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2001
- "The Few, the Brave, and FIRE,"
Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2001
- "UA's Free Speech Policy Worthy of Highest Praise,"
by Stephen Haycox, Anchorage Daily News, April 6, 2001
- "P.C. Hits Anchorage,"
by Stanley Kurtz, National Review, April 2, 2001
- "Sounding the Clarion Call to Defend Academic Freedom,"
by Linda Seebach, Rocky Mountain News, April 1, 2001
- "UA Chief Strikes Hard for Free Speech,"
by Doug O'harra, Anchorage Daily News, March 30, 2001
- "The Scene: Free Speech at the University of Alaska,"
by Virginia Postrel, Dynamist.com, March 29, 2001
- "Best of the Web Today: Intestinally Challenged,"
The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2001
- "U. of Alaska President Calls for Unambiguous Defense of Free Speech,"
by Scott Smallwood, The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2001