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Freedom of Expression Resolution

This resolution is adapted and excerpted from the “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” at the University of Chicago. 

Because Rosalind Franklin University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the Rosalind Franklin University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of Rosalind Franklin University, the institution fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the Rosalind Franklin University community to discuss any topic that presents itself.

Rosalind Franklin University greatly values civility, diversity and integrity.  Although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, the ideas of different members of the Rosalind Franklin University community will often and quite naturally conflict. It is not the intent of Rosalind Franklin University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions that differ from their own, including those they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. The University’s values will not be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, and instead should be recognized as the foundation for exploring and/or supporting others’ points of view.

Rosalind Franklin University may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning or policies of Rosalind Franklin University. In support of this notion, Rosalind Franklin University may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt ordinary activities of the university. Members of the Rosalind Franklin University community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, but they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, Rosalind Franklin University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.  

Fostering the ability of members of the Rosalind Franklin University community to engage in these debates and deliberations in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of Rosalind Franklin University’s educational mission.

Related Policies

Approved: Senate Council August 3, 2018
Approved: President’s Cabinet August 6, 2018