Information and Resources on Free Speech and Academic Freedom at the University of Utah: Home

Use this guide to find relevant University policies and information about free speech and academic freedom as well as committees and groups that help in these areas.

University of Utah Speech Policy and Non-Discrimination Policy

"The primary function of a University is to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching. To fulfill these functions a free interchange of ideas is necessary. It follows that the University must insure within it the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and protect the opportunity of all members of the University community and their guests to exercise their intellectual freedom and protect their right to communicate with others in the University community."

Read the full University of Utah Speech Policy (Policy 1-007)

"The University of Utah does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or protected veteran status (“protected class”), in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. Additionally, the University provides reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities."

Read the full University of Utah Non-Discrimination Policy (Policy 1-012)

U of U Student Bill of Rights

Full descriptions available in Section II of 6-400, the Student Code of Conduct

  1. Learning Environment: conducive to thinking; respect for dignity of personhood; academic freedom & autonomy
  2. Rights in the Classroom: general notice of content of the course and how performance will be evaluated
  3. Role in Governance of the University: policy-making; evaluating teaching
  4. Due Process: right to be heard and reviewed by impartial entities if being sanctioned
  5. Freedom from Discrimination & Sexual Harrassment: no discrimination, harrassment, or prejudicial treatment because of protected class
  6. Freedom of Expression: right to examine and communicate ideas by lawful means; no sanctions for 1st amendment rights
  7. Privacy and Confidentiality: matters told in confidence stay confidential unless subpeaoned; freedom from unreasonable search & seizure
  8. Student Records: no disclosure of educational records; right to examine educational records
  9. Student Government and Student Organizations: right to vote and participate in ASUU


U of U Racist & Bias Incidence Response Team

RBIRT oversees the creation, implementation, and long-term success of U of U protocols, programs, and processes in order to provide appropriate and calculated responses to incidents bias and racism at the U of U.

University Resources for Inclusion and Education (URISE)

URISE is a team of University of Utah faculty, staff, and students who serve as a resource for the campus community about civil dialogue across all areas of campus.

Senate Committee on Academic Freedom & Faculty Rights (SCAFFR)

SCAFFR reports to the full Academic Senate and consists of twelve elected members. The committee:

  • Investigates issues of academic freedom at the university
  • Reviews, determines merit, and advises in response to grievances brought by students, staff, faculty
  • Hears academic freedom matters referred by the president of the university or the Consolidated Hearing Committee
  • Oversees the Code of Faculty Rights & Responsibilities (6-316)


Academic Freedom

Section III.B of Policy 1-007

Academic freedom in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge through all media shall be maintained at the University of Utah. Academic freedom shall be recognized as a right of all members of the faculty, whether with or without tenure or continuing appointment, of all administrative officers, and of all students. The University of Utah endorses and hereby incorporates in these regulations the following statements of the American Association of University Professors related to defining academic freedom: "The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure" and the "1970 Interpretive Comments" thereon; the "1970 Statement on Professors and Political Activity"; the "1970 Statement of the Association's Council: Freedom and Responsibility"; and, the "1967 Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students".


Freedom of Speech and Assembly

Section III.A of Policy 1-007

Members of the University community shall have the right to freedom of speech and assembly without prior restraint or censorship, subject only to clearly stated, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rules and regulations regarding time, place, and manner.

Freedom from Harrassment

Discrimination Complaint Rule of Policy 1-012

Harassment means unwelcome or offensive conduct which has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s work or academic environment or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or otherwise adverse working or learning environment, when such conduct is based on or because of an individual’s membership in a protected class described in University Policy 1-012. This definition applies for any harassing conduct other than Sexual or Gender- Based Harassment, which is defined separately, for consistency with federal law. Harassment is a form of Discrimination.


Data Ownership, Publishing, and Student Rights

Freedom to publish research results gets informed by the U of U Research Handbook, the Faculty Code, and the Student Code

  • Research Handbook Section 9.9.1: Records of research are owned by the University
  • The Principal Investigator typically manages the data as well as the decisions regarding its readiness for publication, but student-employees can challenge this decision-making in light of duties to students mentioned in both the Research Handbook and the Faculty Code. 
  • Consider any disagreement thoughtfully. Be respectful. Know what is expected from the outset by reading lab agreements, policies, or procedures. Read the Student Code 
  • Submit complaints to the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights

Other Related Policies

Contact a Librarian about Academic Freedom and Free Speech at the U

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Allyson Mower, MA, MLIS
University of Utah, Marriott Library
295 South 1500 East, Room 5150E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-5458
Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library