For John, BLUF: The First Amendment is not a universal cure for petty tyrants. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Volokh Conspiracy, via The Washington Post, we have "Government funding and the Free Speech Clause".
Law Professor Eugene Volokh tell us that just because a University receives Federal Funding for Research (or student loans) does not mean it has some "First Amendment" Obligation.
No: The Free Speech Clause applies only to decisions by the government (including government-run institutions such as public universities). It generally does not apply when the government merely provides funds to a private institution, that then makes speech-restrictive decisions without command or pressure from the government. The Court squarely held this in Rendell-Baker v. Kohn (1982).There you are. Go to Harvard and have your speech curtailed. Go to UMass Lowell and maybe not.
Hat tip to the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff