College Republicans Held Public Event Calling for Chico State to Dismiss Tenured Professor


Kimberly Morales

Chico State Republicans President Michael Curry announced the call for the termination of employment and more against assistant professor Lindsay Briggs. Photo taken Sept. 17, 2020.

Chico State Republicans held a public event outside Trinity Hall on Thursday morning to call for the termination of Dr. Lindsay Briggs, a tenured associate professor in the Department of Public Health & Health Services Administration.

The Orion did not attempt to verify or dismiss the allegations made against Briggs or anyone else involved in the dispute. Instead, the rally puts a spotlight on how Chico State will balance free speech, gatherings on campus and controversial employee behavior on social media during the pandemic. 

With much of campus closed to the public, Chico State does not have a one-size-fits-all strategy for public gatherings in the run-up to the November election.

“Those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis with considerations for imminent safety, COVID-19 safety and free speech as part of the input for consideration,” said Alex Karolyi, executive director of University Communications. “Ultimately, no one person will make that decision alone, and viewpoints from different areas of campus expertise will be necessarily included.”

About 20 masked students and individuals, some wearing “Dismiss Briggs” facial coverings, gathered Thursday morning on the campus lawn. 

Marc Reed arrived on campus Thursday morning wearing a mask labeled, “#DismissBriggs.” Sept. 17 2020.

Chico State Republicans President Michael Curry and Vice President Elizabeth Terpening accused Briggs of harassment, cyberstalking and terrorist affiliations. The group also issued a press release outlining its allegations and calling for the FBI and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office to investigate. 

“As an individual and private citizen, Dr. Briggs has every right to speak her mind publicly,” Curry said. “I, as well as every member of the Chico State Republicans, support everyone’s First Amendment right of freedom of speech, but it does not take away consequences to your words or actions.” 

The ongoing dispute flared up after Briggs accused Chico State University Police Sgt. David Bird of starting a fake Facebook profile where he criticized UPD’s decision to remove social media photos. Chico State Republicans later accused Briggs of doxing Bird, but she vigorously denies the allegation.

“I didn’t share anybody’s private information. I shared public information and that’s the big difference,” Briggs said in a phone interview with The Orion. “(UPD Sgt.) David Bird was using a fake profile name — which is against the Facebook community guidelines. And this Facebook account had his address on his background header … that is not doxing. That is just putting some bits and pieces together.”

Briggs said she did not ask for Bird’s removal. Instead, she wanted to make a point about why some people have a hard time trusting law enforcement.

The Orion reached out to the university for a response to the Chico State Republicans’ claims against Briggs.

“UPD is aware of the situation,” Karolyi said. “Because the situation is an ongoing personnel matter, we cannot comment on it. It should be clearly known that Chico State and the UPD do not condone doxing. If complaints are made, they are addressed. If they elevate to the level of a personnel matter, we allow that process to take place and do not comment.” 

Briggs stated that she had not been contacted by the university, FBI or district attorney regarding her social media posts. Briggs also stated that she would not pursue any legal action against Curry or the Chico State College Republicans.

“I think it has been much more blown out of proportion and ridiculous than it needs to be,” Briggs said. “I’m not a litigious person. And I don’t want to. I just wish he would leave me alone.”

Kimberly Morales can be reached at [email protected] or @kimberlymnews on Twitter