Thursday, February 7, 2019
Chicago Tribune editorial, Chicago State Symposium: How to Squander a Fortune:
For those who care about Chicago State University’s future, we recommend a visit to the CSU Faculty Voice blog. The online site () specializes in bracing, acerbic criticism — of former President Wayne Watson, of the university’s culture of cronyism, of bloated administrative salaries and sagging enrollment. Its slogan: “Crony $tate University: Where competent people are fired and our friends are hired.”
For years, CSU spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to shut down the blog. Thin-skinned, anyone?
In 2014, blog founders and professors Robert Bionaz and Phillip Beverly sued CSU, alleging that university brass were tromping on the bloggers’ constitutional right of free expression. The profs noted that theirs is a private blog, not housed on university servers, and not run for profit.
Now comes welcome (if expensive) word that the university has agreed to pay $650,000 in damages and attorney’s fees to the two professors. That’s a resounding victory for free expression, and a warning to any college leader who seeks to muzzle critics.
No, we’re not endorsing every stance or statement on the blog. But we are endorsing the professors’ right to speak up about what they view as administrators’ corruption, incompetence or mismanagement.
- Campus Reform, Chicago State Shells Out Mega Money to Silence Free Speech Lawsuit
- Chicago Tribune, Chicago State to Pay $650K To End Lawsuit Over Faculty Blog Criticizing School Leaders
- Chronicle of Higher Education, Chicago State U. Will Pay $650,000 in Legal Settlement Over Faculty Blog
- College Fix, Public University Pays Professors $650,000 For Trying to Shut Down Their Blog
- Legal Insurrection, Chicago State University Agrees to Pay $650K Settlement in Free Speech Case
- Reason, Professors Win First Amendment Lawsuit, Chicago State University Settles for $650,000