University of Louisville

Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Website: http://www.louisville.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Louisville has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

This school does not have any cases at this time.

Red Light Policies

  • Computer Account Usage Agreement 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    I acknowledge responsibility for the use of all the computer accounts assigned to me on the University of Louisville’s centralized computing systems. I will accept any and all consequences due to the misuse or abuse of the computing facilities. I agree to: … not use the electronic communication facilities for the purpose of offending, annoying or harassing other users.

    » Read More


Yellow Light Policies
  • Affirmative Action Office: Sexual Harassment Prevention- Examples of Behavior 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Examples of conduct that may constitute or support a finding of sexual harassment in violation of the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following: … Obscene or offensive gestures; Scoping, staring, leering, or looking at a person’s body from head to toe (elevator eyes); … Display of calendars or web sites with sexually suggestive material; … Sexual comments or innuendoes; Offensive or derogatory comments or jokes of a sexual or gender specific nature; … Sexually explicit or sexually suggestive mail, email and voice mail.

    » Read More

  • Residence Hall Policies: Sign Posting Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    Posters, messages, flags, message boards, and other media to be distributed within, on or around the on-campus residence halls must be approved by one of the Campus Housing Offices located in West Hall and Kurz Hall prior to distribution or posting.

    No flyer will advertise or imply improper use of alcohol or drugs or other inappropriate or illegal activities.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following prohibited conduct is subject to the conduct sanctions outlined in section 12: … The use of actions or speech that threatens or endangers the health, well-being, property, or safety of any person(s).

    » Read More

  • Discriminatory Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The following are examples of behavior that should be reported for review under this policy:

    * Frequent taunting on the basis of an individual’s association with people of a particular national origin or race;
    * The oral use of offensive epithets, slurs, or comments aimed at a particular person or group, or the use of offensive gestures, pictures, body parts, drawings, and other items based on age, color, disability, gender (whether or not sexual in nature), national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status;
    * Teasing or mocking a person with a disability whether mental or physical;
    * Ridiculing a person’s religious beliefs;
    * Persisting in requests for dates after being told they are unwelcome;
    * Evaluating an employee or student more critically than performance warrants because the employee or student objected to a sexual advance (refer to consensual relations policy);
    * Sending unwelcome mail, voice mail or e-mail containing derogatory jokes or comments;
    * Displaying or sending mail, email, web sites or voice mail that are pornographic in nature;
    * Touching that goes beyond acceptable workplace or classroom interaction, meaning that a reasonable person would find it objectionable;
    * Repeated references to sex in the classroom or class assignments when there is no relationship between the reference and the content of the course.

    » Read More


Green Light Policies
  • Code of Student Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    The University of Louisville is a community dedicated to the principles of free expression in which diverse views are encouraged and embraced.

    » Read More

  • Student Rights and Responsibilities 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Students have the right of freedom of expression to the extent allowed by law.

    » Read More

  • Student Handbook: Sexual Harassment Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.

    » Read More

  • Code of Student Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    The term “harassment” means conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the student(s) educational experience, that the student(s) are effectively denied equal access to an institution’s resources and opportunities

    » Read More


  • Beware of universities that wear diversity label

    April 14, 2004

    In far too many instances, what passes as college life and education today is no less than shameful. Under the name of diversity and political correctness, billions of taxpayer dollars and donor contributions are used to promote what might be charitably called enlightened racism, uniformity of thought and political proselytizing. Let’s look at some of it.The student code of Shippensburg University, in Pennsylvania, said that students had a “right to express a personal belief system” but only if such expression did not “demean,” “annoy” or “alarm” others. Thus, if a student expressed a distaste for race or sex preferences in […]

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  • University of Louisville’s Nursing School ‘Tentacles’ Case Ends Quietly

    June 10, 2013

    In an anticlimactic finish to a case in which a nursing student was expelled for posting an unflattering description of a birth on her Myspace page, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in an unpublished opinion that the University of Louisville’s Nursing School did not violate student Nina Yoder’s First Amendment rights. The events in this case date back to 2009, when Ms. Yoder posted a long description of the birth of a baby that did not exactly follow the traditional "miracle of birth" storyline. Instead, Ms. Yoder gave a graphic description of the mother’s labor […]

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  • Did Somebody Say ‘Gazongas’? You’re Busted!

    August 22, 2012

    There’s a movement afoot in state legislatures to ban employers and universities from demanding control of or monitoring the social media accounts of their students or employees. One such bill specifically aimed at students unanimously passed the California Senate yesterday. Advocates of these laws justifiably worry that, when students are required to provide their usernames to their schools—and sometimes even to turn over the passwords to their accounts—universities are infringing on students’ expressive rights and invading student privacy. This kind of monitoring has caught on quickest in the case of student athletes. The University of Kentucky (UK) and University of […]

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  • University of Louisville Nursing Student’s Case Dismissed

    April 5, 2012

    Torch readers may recall the case of Nina Yoder, a nursing student at the University of Louisville who was expelled in 2009. As a nursing student, Yoder had witnessed a live birth and posted a detailed description of the event on social networking website MySpace.com. Yoder was quickly expelled for violating the school’s Honor Code and a Confidentiality Agreement, and she commenced a suit in federal district court alleging violations of her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Yoder sought reinstatement as a nursing student, as well as damages.  Initially, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky […]

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  • Sixth Circuit Orders Federal District Court to Rule on Student Blogger’s Free Speech and Due Process Claims

    April 14, 2011

    On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed a 2009 federal district court decision (full opinion here) in which a student claimed that the University of Louisville wrongfully dismissed her based on the contents of her personal blog. The district court had refused to rule on the student’s free speech and due process claims, and instead created a contractual claim on which to resolve the case. Now, thanks to the Sixth Circuit, that court will have to rule on important constitutional issues regarding the regulation of student speech. The case originated when Nina Yoder, a […]

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  • University of Louisville Responds Admirably to FIRE Concerns about New Policies

    January 25, 2010

    Back in June, as Will wrote, the University of Louisville was inviting comment about proposed changes to the school’s Code of Conduct, including a new Values Statement. FIRE was invited to review the drafts of the new policies by a faculty member concerned about possible violations of individual rights. We communicated a few comments and concerns to the university, and we learned today that essentially all of our concerns have been addressed in the new campus-wide Code of Conduct. Most of all, we recommended that the university follow Penn State’s lead in separating aspirational values from specific standards of conduct: […]

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  • At Louisville, Proposed Policy Changes are Problematic

    June 12, 2009

    The University of Louisville is inviting comment from the university community about proposed changes to the school’s code of conduct, including a new Values Statement and a new faculty, staff, and administrator Code of Conduct. FIRE was invited to review the drafts of the new policies by a faculty member concerned about possible violations of individual rights. We have a few comments about certain requirements we think might pose problems, were these policies to be enacted. First, the proposed Values Statement reads, in relevant part: Members of the University of Louisville community share these core values: [...] – Respect for […]

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  • Rights in the News: At Maryland, Virginia Tech, UMass and Elsewhere, FIRE Cases Grabbing Headlines

    April 10, 2009

    Another week, another crush of FIRE cases from around the country battling for headlines. I’ll start with Greg’s Huffington Post blog on the controversy swirling around the University of Maryland campus in the wake of a legislator’s threat to pull funding from the university if it allowed students to screen an adult film on campus—which, after a hiccup or two, they went ahead and did anyway. Elsewhere, Robert addressed a brewing controversy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst via a column in The Boston Globe, while Adam took to the editorial pages of Virginia Tech’s student newspaper The Collegiate […]

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  • Hearing Friday for expelled U Of L nursing student

    April 9, 2009

    Friday, a federal judge will hold a hearing in the case of Nina Yoder, a University of Louisville nursing student who was expelled over posts on her MySpace page. Yoder is suing the university, claiming the action violated her First Amendment rights Between January 2008 and February 2009, University of Louisville Nursing Student Nina Yoder wrote dozens of posts on her MySpace blog. “Let’s say I was being unorthodox and expressing my opinions,” she says. …Opinions on topics like abortion, gun ownership and patients she’d treated as part of her training. It was the last topic that led to Yoder’s […]

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  • Student expelled for MySpace blog postings

    March 30, 2009

    Who crossed the line?  Did the University of Louisville cross the line in March when it expelled a nursing student, Nina Yoder, for her MySpace postings?  Or did Yoder cross the line when she blogged about gun control, abortion, politics, religion and being a nurse? At the end of the day, a court will decide.  Yoder filed a lawsuit in March against the University of Louisville, alleging that her civil rights were violated.  According to court documents, Yoder is seeking that she be reinstated as a student at the School of Nursing; receive full credit for all school work missed; […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE Enters the Fray Over Dawkins Investigation in Oklahoma

    March 20, 2009

    In his column posted last weekend on RichardDawkins.net, Greg helped bring attention to what is potentially a deeply troubling breach of free expression: the rumored investigation of the University of Oklahoma’s funding of a speech by evolutionary biologist and bestselling author Richard Dawkins by the state’s legislature. As Claire noted on Monday, Greg’s post has attracted attention from blogs both nationally and internationally; as of today it has also received 270 comments on Dawkins’ site. And as Greg notes in his most recent column for The Huffington Post, an investigation is indeed afoot. Be sure to read his column for […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE Issues Get the Lou Dobbs Treatment

    March 13, 2009

    As Will wrote earlier in the week, FIRE has seen far too many instances of students’ First Amendment rights being thrown out the window when used to support Second Amendment rights. FIRE has been all over the news concerning the most recent instance of this, in which a student at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) was reported to the police by his professor and subjected to an interrogation on the basis of a class presentation he had given in favor of concealed carry rights on campus. Building on a FoxNews.com front-page story (tipped this week in an editorial on the […]

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  • Nursing student sues after dismissal over blogging

    March 13, 2009

    A woman dismissed from the University of Louisville nursing school because of posts on her personal blog sued Friday, saying her First Amendment rights were violated. Nina Yoder of Louisville asked U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson to issue an injunction that would allow her to resume classes and graduate in August. The school dismissed Yoder on March 2, saying in a letter that she violated the school’s honor code by posting blog items concerning patient activities and naming the university on her MySpace page. A week later, the university rejected Yoder’s written appeal to return to school. Yoder’s attorney, Daniel […]

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  • The rising cost of intuition

    May 10, 2008

    Administrators at the University of Louisville should be cardinal red with embarrassment. The school’s speech code has been held up by a free speech organization as a shining example of what not to do in regulating speech on college campuses. “The University of Louisville maintains such a repressive speech code, it’s hard to know where to begin,” says a statement from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which recently awarded Louisville its sardonic “Speech Code of the Month.” The university, in its own words, “requires that public speech and discourse on campus shall be civil.” That’s certainly an admirable […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Louisville

    May 2, 2008

    We at FIRE pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our steadfast commitment to getting the facts right. So when we make a mistake—which is very rare, happily—we think it’s important to address our error as quickly and transparently as possible. That’s why I must slightly correct the record regarding the University of Louisville’s speech codes, highlighted last week as our Speech Code of the Month for May 2008. Our selection was based largely on Louisville’s Procedures on Speech and Distribution of Literature in Public Areas, which we believed regulated student speech. In fact, the policy applies to non-community […]

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