Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Type: Private
Tell Massachusetts Institute of Technology to revise its speech policies by filling out this form.

Speech Code Rating

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more

Due Process Rating

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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F

Sexual Misconduct

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F

  • MITNet Rules of Use

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: June 6, 2019

    Any use that might contribute to the creation of a hostile academic or work environment is prohibited … Read More
  • MIT Policies & Procedures: 9.4 Policy on Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 6, 2019

    Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a verbal, nonverbal or physical nature that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a work or academic environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive and that adversely affects an individual’s educational, work, or living envir... Read More
  • Mind and Hand Book: Policies Regarding Student Behavior- II (8) Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: June 6, 2019

    Freedom of expression is essential to the mission of a university. So is freedom from unreasonable and disruptive offense. Members of this educational community are encouraged to avoid putting these essential elements of our university to a balancing test. Read More
  • MIT Policies & Procedures: 11.1 Protection of Personal Privacy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 6, 2019

    MIT is committed to protecting the personal privacy of members of the MIT community. The mutual trust and freedom of thought and expression essential to a university rest on a confidence that privacy will be respected. Read More
  • MIT Policies & Procedures: 1.1 Mission and Objectives

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: June 6, 2019

    The Institute seeks through research and reflection to extend the boundaries of knowledge and the horizons of the human intellect. In so doing, it aims to create an atmosphere of intellectual excitement, a climate of inquiry and innovation in which each student develops a consuming interest in understanding for its ... Read More
  • Mind and Hand Book: Policies Regarding Student Behavior- II (22). Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: June 6, 2019

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when: Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or ... Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.

Grades

Non-Sexual Misconduct

F
4/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous

Sexual Misconduct

F
4/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • FIRE Chairman Calls Out Northeast Colleges in Annual ‘Muzzle Awards’

    July 6, 2015

    Each summer for the past eighteen years, FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate has announced the winners of his annual “Campus Muzzle Awards”: colleges and universities in the Northeast stifling campus discourse in particularly outrageous ways. Along with myself and fellow research assistant Timothy Moore, this year, Harvey has written about incidents at Brown University,… Read more

  • MIT Grad Student Raises Concerns About Broad New Hazing Policy

    September 5, 2014

    In a guest column published in today’s edition of The Tech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) oldest student newspaper, graduate student Brian Spatocco opens with a startling admission: “Under MIT’s recently overhauled hazing policy in the Mind and Hand Book, I am guilty of hazing students.” Is Spatocco forcing his fellow students to sizzle… Read more

  • FIRE President: ‘When the Artist’s Brush Catches the Censor’s Eye’

    November 26, 2013

    In a column published today by The Tech, an independent student newspaper at MIT, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff explores how far colleges will go to censor controversial art on campus. Titled “When the Artist’s Brush Catches the Censor’s Eye,” Greg’s column cites numerous troubling examples, including the following from MIT: MIT students recently witnessed this type of suppression… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: MIT

    June 8, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester and into the early summer, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which FIRE has given a yellow-light rating for maintaining policies… Read more