REPORT: 3 in 4 campaigns targeting faculty expression result in punishment

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

A new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education shows an alarming 74% success rate for campaigns targeting collegiate scholars for their constitutionally protected speech — and the data suggest the worst is yet to come.

“Scholars Under Fire” documents attempts to penalize scholars for speech and expression that, although often controversial, is protected by the First Amendment. The research includes an interactive database examining over 400 incidents since 2015 — searchable by faculty characteristics, the source of the outrage, whether the pressure is from the political left or right of the scholar, the outcome, and more.

“Scholars should not lose their jobs for expressing controversial views,” said FIRE Research Fellow Komi German, one of the report’s authors. “But too often, that’s exactly what happens. Disagreement should be the catalyst for debate, not a license to silence disagreeable opinions and penalize those who hold them.”