University of California, Davis

Location: Davis, California
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of California, Davis 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

Sexual Misconduct

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D

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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B

  • Report Hate and Bias: Definitions

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    A hate or bias incident includes non-criminal conduct that is motivated by hatred or bigotry and directed at any individual, residence, house of worship, institution, or business expressly because of the target’s real or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or m... Read More
  • Policy and Procedure Manual: 400-15, Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    Harassment—verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or education, or creates a hostile or offensive working or educational environment, when that conduct is based on the categories identified in II.A, above. Read More
  • University of California Campus Climate

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    If you experience or observe behavior that is inconsistent with our Principles of Community, please report it. You may report in a variety of ways: *Report anonymously or by name, via this Campus Climate page, by selecting the University of California campus where the incident occurred from the list to the right and... Read More
  • Policy and Procedure Manual: 400-01, Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    On University grounds open to the public generally, all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech, assembly, and worship (including the distribution or sale of noncommercial literature incidental to the exercise of these freedoms) Read More
  • Policy and Procedure Manual: 400-01, Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    Independent thought and diversity of opinions are the essence of the University, and freedom of expression is necessary for the University to fulfill its mission of producing and disseminating knowledge. Without the ability of its members to freely hear, express, and debate different ideas and points of view, the Un... Read More
  • Policy and Procedure Manual: 310-23A, Acceptable Use Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    Users must not use electronic communications resources in a manner that creates a hostile working environment (including sexual or other forms of harassment), or that violates obscenity laws. … Users must avoid spamming, and other inappropriate mass messaging to newsgroups, bulletin boards, mailing lists, or i... Read More
  • Policy On Student Conduct And Discipline

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    Harassment, defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to University programs or activities that the person is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities. Harassment includes, but is not li... Read More
  • Principles of Community

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    Prologue: UC Davis is a diverse community comprised of individuals having many perspectives and identities.  We come from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences, with distinct needs and goals.  We recognize that to create an inclusive and intellectually vibrant community, we must understand and value both our in... Read More
  • University of California: Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 28, 2019

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: … such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it unreasonably denies, adversely limits, or interferes with a person’s participation ... 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

Sexual Misconduct

D
6/20
  • 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

Non-Sexual Misconduct

B
13/20
  • 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
  • University of California, Davis: Investigation into Professor’s Commentary about Police

    March 8, 2019

    In February 2019, anti-police tweets and comments by University of California, Davis (UC Davis) professor Joshua Clover from 2014 and 2016 surfaced. Among other comments, Clover had written, “I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age #letsnotmakemore.” While… Read more

  • University of California, Davis: Administrators Reverse Decision to Punish Student Club That Used University Name

    August 27, 2015

    On November 26, 2014, UC Davis’ Center for Student Involvement (CSI) emailed the Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis informing the group that the website address for its Facebook page violated UC Davis’ trademark policy, as it contained “UCD” in the website URL. CSI demanded ARS take down its Facebook page or lose its “good standing” status, including its listing on UC Davis’ student-organization search page, as well as its ability to reserve campus meeting rooms and apply for funding and grants. ARS refused to comply with CSI’s request and on December 8, 2014 was notified that sanctions were being imposed against it. FIRE wrote UC Davis asking university officials to review and retract the punishment because it violated the students’ First Amendment rights and constituted an unreasonable restriction on the use of the college’s trademark. In August, 2015, CSI Director Anne Reynolds Myler wrote FIRE and ARS President Hong Phuc Ho Chung informing them UC Davis determined the club’s use of “UCD” did not violate the university’s trademark policy and that ARS’s status would be restored.

  • University of California, Davis: Mandatory Violence Prevention Program Violates Students’ Freedom of Conscience

    November 20, 2014

    Requiring students to profess viewpoints with which they may disagree violates the students’ freedom of conscience.

  • University of California, Davis: Retaliation Against Medical School Professor over Newspaper Column

    July 3, 2012

    In September 2010, UC Davis School of Medicine professor Michael Wilkes, a recognized expert on prostate cancer screening, published an article in the San Francisco Chronicle criticizing the effectiveness of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Wilkes also criticized UC Davis’ co-sponsorship of an event he felt excessively promoted the test. The same day the article… Read more

  • University of California, Davis rejects legislator’s push for termination of professor for years-old tweets about police

    March 29, 2019

    Yesterday, the leadership of the University of California, Davis, publicly rejected calls for the termination of Joshua Clover, a professor whose years-old tweets about police officers drew condemnations from the university’s College Republicans, law enforcement officials, and members of the California State Assembly, who introduced a resolution in the state legislature calling for Clover’s termination…. Read more

  • UC Davis confirms professor will not be investigated for years-old tweets amid legislative pressure

    March 18, 2019

    On March 8, FIRE wrote to University of California, Davis chancellor Gary May in response to reports that professor Joshua Clover was under investigation for years-old comments regarding law enforcement, despite the university’s initial statement upholding his First Amendment rights. UC Davis has now confirmed to FIRE that Clover is not under investigation, an important… Read more

  • California assemblyman calls for UC Davis professor’s firing, claims it ‘isn’t a First Amendment issue.’ (It is.)

    March 11, 2019

    Last week, FIRE wrote to University of California, Davis Chancellor Gary May concerning reports that the university had launched an investigation into professor Joshua Clover over years-old comments he made that were hostile toward police. Clover (who is currently on medical leave) reportedly made the following statements: “I am thankful that every living cop will… Read more

  • FIRE warns University of California, Davis against investigating professor’s anti-police tweets

    March 8, 2019

    Last month, University of California, Davis student Nick Irvin published an investigation in The California Aggie into “rumors” that a professor had “advocated for violence against law enforcement” in an interview and on social media. Irvin wrote that he felt compelled to learn more about the rumors after the murder of Davis police officer Natalie… Read more

  • UC Davis warns students about speech restrictions in China

    January 29, 2019

    Earlier this month, FIRE launched its “Commitment to Campus Free Expression at Home and Abroad,” a statement we’re encouraging universities to adopt to show that they take seriously the rights of their community members in both the United States and abroad. One important ask in FIRE’s “Home and Abroad” commitment is that administrations notify students… Read more

  • UC Davis law professor subjected to open records request over criticism of financial groups

    November 9, 2018

    A recent New York Times article highlights the peril state university professors may face from targeted open record requests over their writings and expression. The piece demonstrates the damage that burdensome open records requests can inflict upon the academic freedom of public university professors. As with many of these incidents, this story begins with an… Read more

  • UPDATE: After Florida school shooting, ‘Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ promising high schoolers a right to protest

    March 14, 2018

    Update: FIRE has tallied the number of colleges and universities that have made statements supporting free speech, based on the list compiled by Chris Peterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology assistant director of undergraduate admissions. Out of the schools in our Spotlight database that made statements on free speech, 61 have a “red light” speech code… Read more

  • UC Davis to students: You have no right to silence opposing viewpoints

    March 2, 2017

    At a time when some college leaders seem wary of vocally supporting free speech on their campuses, University of California, Davis Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter is making a strong, pro-speech stance a priority. Hexter announced in a Feb. 23 letter to the UC Davis community that he will form a working group of students, faculty,… Read more

  • UC Davis, College Republicans Disagree on Why Milo Yiannopoulos Event Was Cancelled

    January 16, 2017

     A speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was cancelled at the University of California, Davis on Friday, with campus officials and the Davis College Republicans disagreeing over precisely why the event was cancelled. Earlier in the week, Yiannopoulos announced he would be joined at the event by former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli. Shkreli, who became… Read more

  • UC Davis Spends $175,000 to Learn About the ‘Streisand Effect’

    April 19, 2016

    You’ve probably already seen the image of a University of California, Davis (UC Davis) campus police officer pepper spraying a group of seated student protesters on November 18, 2011. In addition to being one of the most striking images from the past few years, it evoked concern about the way colleges respond to student protests… Read more

  • UC Davis Reverses Punishment of Student Club That Used University Name

    August 27, 2015

    DAVIS, Calif., August 27, 2015—The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has reversed its punishment of a student club, concluding that the Ayn Rand Society at UC Davis (ARS) did not violate the university’s trademark policy by using the university’s name in its club title and Facebook page Web address. The about-face comes after the… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Conscience at UC Davis: University Removes Coercive Slide from Sexual Assault Training Materials

    November 20, 2014

    Last month, FIRE wrote to the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) about a module in the university’s online sexual assault training that required students to identify certain types of speech as “problematic” in order to complete the training and register for classes. The module contained a section on “Harmful Language,” which informed students that… Read more

  • UC Davis Response to FIRE Letter Misses the Point on Freedom of Conscience

    November 17, 2014

    FIRE wrote to the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) last month to express our concerns about a mandatory “Violence Intervention & Prevention” (VIP) online program which requires students to affirm that certain phrases—all of which are constitutionally protected expression—are “problematic.” Students who do not complete the program cannot register for classes. As we explained… Read more

  • Free Speech, UC Davis, and the Anti-Defamation League

    September 17, 2014

    Peter Schmidt of The Chronicle of Higher Education reports today on an email that was sent to University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi by Seth Brysk of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which Katehi’s office forwarded to campus administrators. The email, the full text of which is publicly available on the Electronic Intifada… Read more

  • Is UC Davis’ Investigation of Academic Freedom Case Fatally Flawed?

    March 7, 2013

    For months now, FIRE has followed the case of University of California, Davis School of Medicine professor Michael Wilkes, who has faced threats against his academic freedom for more than two years after he co-authored a controversial op-ed about prostate cancer testing in the San Francisco Chronicle in September 2010. As I noted previously on… Read more

  • UC Davis Update: Panel Rejects Finding of Academic Freedom Violation Against Professor

    January 14, 2013

    Last year, FIRE reported on the case of University of California, Davis medical school professor Michael Wilkes, who alleges that he faced retaliation from the university over comments made in a column he co-authored for the San Francisco Chronicle. Last spring, the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility of the UC Davis Academic Senate found… Read more

  • Waiting Time for Justice at UC Davis Med School? Two Years, and Counting

    October 17, 2012

    This summer, FIRE alerted Torch readers to the saga of Michael Wilkes, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Wilkes faced retaliation at UC Davis after co-authoring an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle in which he criticized both a particular screening method used to detect prostate cancer (an area in… Read more

  • ‘USA Today’ on UC Davis, Pepper Spray, and Free Speech on Campus

    October 3, 2012

    Over at USA Today College, Jordan Friedman reports on the University of California, Davis incident where student protesters were pepper-sprayed while exercising their First Amendment rights. The students were each awarded $30,000 as a part of a settlement last week. Friedman notes: [T]he incident at UC-Davis and its implications raise a greater question: What are… Read more

  • Free Speech in Two-Year Deep Freeze At UC Davis Med School

    August 29, 2012

    FIRE is fighting to defend the academic freedom and free expression rights of University of California, Davis School of Medicine professor Michael Wilkes. Wilkes has been under threat of punishment for nearly two years after he co-authored a column in the San Francisco Chronicle in which he criticized both the effectiveness of the Prostate-Specific Antigen… Read more

  • In ‘Forbes,’ Professor Takes UC Davis to Task for Academic Freedom Violations

    August 27, 2012

    On Friday, we introduced Torch readers to the case of Michael Wilkes, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Wilkes faced retaliation from the university for co-publishing a critical column in the San Francisco Chronicle in September 2010. Wilkes, an expert on prostate cancer screening whose research includes serving as a… Read more

  • At UC Davis Med School, a Two-Year Cloud Over Faculty Expression

    August 24, 2012

    Perhaps the University of California, Davis School of Medicine (SOM) just doesn’t "get" free speech. It turns out that, at around the same time SOM was punishing medical student Curtis Allumbaugh on the basis of his protected emails, it was engaged in a campaign of intimidation against Michael Wilkes, an SOM faculty member. Wilkes’ great… Read more

  • Ninth Circuit: UC Davis Student May Sue Police Over ‘Pepperball’ Incident

    July 12, 2012

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a former student at the University of California, Davis may go forward with his lawsuit against UC Davis police, as well as police officers of the City of Davis, for hitting him in the face with… Read more

  • Civil Disobedience and Free Speech on Campus

    April 16, 2012

    In a thought-provoking article for Jurist published last week, University of California, Davis, School of Law Professors Alan Brownstein and Vikram Amar explore the intersection between freedom of speech and civil disobedience on campus. Prompted by a recent protest at UC Davis in which 11 students and one faculty member “repeatedly obstructed access to a… Read more

  • Disruptive Protesters at UC Davis Called Out by University of California President

    March 9, 2012

    Yesterday, in an open letter to the University of California (UC) community, UC President Mark G. Yudof made it clear that First Amendment rights do not protect substantially disruptive protests of an event held by others. On February 27, as these videos show, one particularly persistent heckler and what look like dozens of other students… Read more

  • University of California Schools Flout Student Speech Rights

    November 29, 2011

    While some University of California schools are facing scrutiny due to their handling of students’ exercises of free speech and civil disobedience, others in the system have unfinished business protecting students’ free speech rights in their policies. All eight of the UC universities reviewed by FIRE have “red light” or “yellow light” ratings for restricting campus… Read more

  • UC Davis Update: Amid Calls for Resignation, Chancellor Apologizes

    November 22, 2011

    Outrage over the shocking use of pepper spray on seated students by campus police at the University of California at Davis continues to grow, and repercussions for the institution’s administration may follow. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports this morning that calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi are mounting. The Board of… Read more

  • FIRE President Greg Lukianoff on UC-Davis Pepper Spray Abuse

    November 21, 2011

    In a shocking incident which has garnered international attention, campus police officers at the University of California at Davis used pepper spray on at least a dozen seated students participating in protests against economic inequality this past Friday. Video of the incident quickly went viral, and reaction to this remarkably harsh and, by all appearances,… Read more

  • UC Davis Backtracks on Discriminatory Definition of Religious Discrimination

    February 17, 2011

    In my nearly five years with FIRE, I’ve seen a lot of terrible campus speech policies—incredibly restrictive speech codes, tiny free speech "patios", wildly overbroad harassment policies, and more. But just when I thought I’d seen it all, along comes a school that infringes on student rights in an altogether new and fascinating way. Congratulations,… Read more

  • ‘California Aggie’ Covers Speech Codes at University of California-Davis

    January 13, 2010

    The California Aggie, the student paper at the University of California-Davis, has an excellent article on FIRE’s recently released Spotlight on Speech Codes 2010 as well as the speech codes at its own university. The article notes FIRE’s major finding in the 2010 report: that restrictive speech codes declined at public universities but increased at… Read more

  • A False View of Academic Freedom at UC Davis

    October 15, 2007

    Deb Niemeier and John Cary Sims at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) offer a defense of the UC Davis campaign against Larry Summers, arguing that academic freedom is violated when a speaker speaks at an event that does not include the possibility of “debate or discussion.” They argue, amazingly, that “Summers’ appearance… Read more

  • Professor, Examine Thyself

    October 8, 2007

    Check out Peter Berkowitz’s op ed, “Ethics 101,” in today’s Wall Street Journal. In his article, Berkowitz points out that, while centers to study ethics exist at many campuses across the country, including some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, few spend much time examining ethical issues relating to higher education. He writes: Celebrating its… Read more

  • Larry Summers and ‘Academia at Its Worst’

    September 19, 2007

    It was disappointing to learn that the University of California (UC) withdrew its speaking invitation to former Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers after the invitations had gone out. The main pressure appears to have originated with a petition organized by faculty at UC Davis who argued that Summers “has come to symbolize gender and racial… Read more