CHICAGO, January 7, 2015—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) endorses the free speech policy statement produced by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago. Yesterday, the Committee, chaired by esteemed law professor Geoffrey Stone, released this powerful new report on the importance of freedom of expression on campus.
The Committee’s statement declares: “Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. … [I]t is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”
“The University of Chicago and its faculty, students, administration, and alumni should be proud of the university’s new free speech statement and the ideas it puts forth,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “The Committee’s robust statement deserves to take a place alongside the American Association of University Professors’ famous 1915 ‘Declaration of Principles,’ its 1940 ‘Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,’ Yale University’s Woodward Report, and the University of Chicago’s own Kalven Report as inspiring statements on the unique importance of free speech to any university community. We hope other universities will adopt similar policy statements in order to protect freedom of speech and academic freedom on their own campuses.”
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.