Commentary: Something stinks at Tarleton: Secret documents, censorship demands, and an apparent newspaper takeover

Lindsie Rank
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Excerpt: This is a story about a public university that paid a professor — after finding that he acted in a “highly inappropriate and unprofessional” manner with at least one female student — $61,000 to leave quietly, stripped a student newspaper of editorial independence when it wouldn’t stay quiet, and has now failed to comply with FIRE’s public records requests seeking documents related to its relationship with the student newspaper.

Pause a moment to let that sink in. The university paid a faculty member it found had acted inappropriately $61,000 to leave the university without complaint. Then it used unsubstantiated fear of legal risk as a reason to censor the student paper. And if it did not fear legal exposure, its decision to force the deletion of student articles about allegations of sexual harassment — by a university employee — was entirely voluntary.