University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

University of Chicago has been given the speech code rating Green. Green light institutions are those colleges and universities whose policies nominally protect free speech. Read more

Due Process Rating

Non-Sexual Misconduct

Read more
D

Sexual Misconduct

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D

  • Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the Unive... Read More
  • College Housing: Policies & Procedures- College Housing Discipline

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    A posting will not be restricted unless it violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the University. Postings may neither ad... Read More
  • Student Manual: Student Life and Conduct- Protest and Demonstrations Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    The primary function of a university is to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching. To fulfill this function, a free interchange of ideas is necessary not only within the university but also with the larger society. At the University of Chicago, freedom of expression is vital to our shar... Read More
  • Student Manual: Student Life and Conduct- Protest and Demonstrations Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    To further the effectiveness of their event, organizations and other groups of students organizing a protest or demonstration are encouraged to make advance arrangements with the staff of the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CLI) and/or their appropriate Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Advisor. Advance n... Read More
  • College Housing: Policies & Procedures- College Housing Discipline

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: May 2, 2019

    [R]esidents may not engage in threatening or harassing behavior that is directed again [sic] other residents, guests, or members of the Housing & Residence Life Staff. Any form of threatening or harassing behavior will be considered grounds for serious disciplinary action by Housing & Residence Life and may ... Read More
  • Campus and Student Life: Bias Education & Support Team (BEST)

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    Expressions that cause hurt or discomfort can, but do not for that reason alone, constitute a violation of the law or of University policy.  Rather, the communications are assessed within the standards provided by germane University reports and policies, including the Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression... Read More
  • Student Manual: University Policies- Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    Harassment based on [race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes as required by law] is verbal or physical conduct or conduct using technology that... Read More
  • Student Manual: University Policies- Civil Behavior in a University Setting

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: April 3, 2019

    The ideas of different members of the University community will frequently conflict, and we do not attempt to shield people from ideas that they may find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even offensive. Nor, as a general rule, does the University intervene to enforce social standards of civility. There are, however, some... 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

D
8/20
  • 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

D
8/20
  • 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 Chicago continues to excel in promoting free expression

    January 25, 2019

    The University of Chicago has become well-known in recent years for promoting freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas. The university is the institutional author of the “Chicago Statement,” the gold standard for campus free speech policy statements now adopted by over 50 universities and faculty bodies nationwide. It also hosts regular programming… Read more

  • Students: 5 reasons you should advocate for the ‘Chicago Statement’ on your campus

    September 19, 2018

    Lately, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the University of Chicago’s free speech policy statement, the “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” (better known as the “Chicago Statement”). Since its introduction in 2015, legislatures in both California and Tennessee have called upon institutions of higher education in their respective states to… Read more

  • Increasing calls for adoption of the ‘Chicago Statement’ on free expression

    March 15, 2018

    FIRE has touted the benefits of adopting a free speech policy modeled after the “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” at the University of Chicago (better known as the “Chicago Statement”) since its introduction in 2015. In recent weeks, several commentators have joined FIRE — and many others — to encourage colleges and… Read more

  • UChicago students recommend policy changes for clarity and transparency

    February 16, 2018

    The University of Chicago’s student government and 25 student organizations have joined UChicago student group Phoenix Survivors Alliance in asking the university to make its written policies and procedures relating to sexual misconduct cases clearer and more transparent. Although not all of PSA’s recommendations fall within the scope of FIRE’s mission, most of them further… Read more

  • The misguided movement to “no platform” Steve Bannon

    February 2, 2018

    Late last month, it was announced that Steve Bannon had been invited to participate in a debate at the University of Chicago by Professor Luigi Zingales of the business school. The reaction was immediate and predictable: faculty, students, and alumni began to demand that the university rescind the speaking invitation and not provide Bannon with… Read more

  • Students come together for UChicago free speech meetup, release statement

    May 1, 2017

    At the urging of a FIRE Student Network member, a small group of students from across the country converged on the University of Chicago this weekend with a big goal: Start a free speech movement. Inside Higher Ed reports 25 students from various colleges and universities met “to try to start a movement in which… Read more

  • Due process legal update: Part I

    March 16, 2017

    Since my last due process legal update in December, more than a dozen new lawsuits have been filed against universities by students who allege they were discriminated against and denied due process in campus sexual misconduct proceedings, and even more complaints are in the works. There have also been a number of new rulings in… Read more

  • In wake of Middlebury incident, speech-friendly UChicago releases promising ‘Disruptive Conduct’ report

    March 8, 2017

    Just days after violent protests over a speech by writer and academic Charles Murray roiled Middlebury College in Vermont and left FIRE openly wondering if we were witnessing “the death of liberty on campus,” an announcement from the University of Chicago suggests hope on the horizon. In an email to the university community late yesterday,… Read more

  • More Campus Leaders Address Free Speech; Some Do It Better Than Others

    October 27, 2016

    We’ve been keeping our eye on the recent uptick in campus leaders addressing free speech. In our latest roundup of public commitments to freedom of speech by college and university administrators, we’re focusing only on “The Good”—bringing you a few of our recent favorites. We’ve even included one statement that almost made our “Bad” list…. Read more

  • Sign FIRE’s ‘Thank You’ Note to the University of Chicago [UPDATED]

    September 7, 2016

    Update (September 7, 2016): Many thanks to the 884 people who signed FIRE’s “Thank You” note to the University of Chicago (UChicago). FIRE sent the note to UChicago President Robert J. Zimmer, Dean of Students in the College and “academic freedom letter” author Jay Ellison, and law professor Geoffrey R. Stone yesterday.   If you… Read more

  • Professor Geoffrey Stone Explains the Importance of the Chicago Statement

    August 27, 2016

    Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday, Professor Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago (UChicago) explains the importance, necessity, and practicality of the committee report on free expression he and other UChicago faculty members authored last year. The “Chicago Statement,” as the report has come to be known, has proven widely influential, and… Read more

  • University of Chicago President: ‘Questioning and Challenge Must Flourish’

    August 26, 2016

    The University of Chicago (UChicago) generated national headlines this week after sending incoming students a letter promising “the freedom to espouse and explore a wide range of ideas” and criticizing trigger warnings, disinvitations, and “intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” Authored by Dean of Students… Read more

  • U. Chicago’s ‘Academic Freedom’ Letter a Win for Campus Speech [UPDATED]

    August 25, 2016

    The University of Chicago (UC) has pushed back against the nationwide trend toward student-led calls for censorship with a letter to incoming students telling them not to expect “intellectual ‘safe spaces’” when they arrive on campus this fall. FIRE hopes this will be the first of many requests from colleges and universities asking students to… Read more

  • FIRE Debates at U. of Chicago: Should the Second Amendment Be Amended?

    April 29, 2016

    CHICAGO, April 29, 2016—After every mass shooting, the debate over the meaning of the Second Amendment is rehashed in the media and in the court of public opinion. Much of the conversation centers around what the nation’s Founding Fathers intended when the Second Amendment was written over 200 years ago—but would gun control advocates be… Read more

  • University of Chicago Reforms All Speech Codes, Earns FIRE’s Highest Free Speech Rating

    April 26, 2016

    CHICAGO, April 26, 2016—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is excited to announce the latest university to earn its highest, “green light” rating for free speech: the University of Chicago (UC). In cooperation with FIRE, UC revised all of its speech codes to join an elite group of colleges and universities that maintain… Read more

  • FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff Among ‘Top Minds’ Featured at U. Chicago Free Speech Event

    March 4, 2016

    The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics will host FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff next Wednesday, March 9, at its event, “The Battle Over Free Speech on College Campuses,” starting at 6 p.m. CST. The event is part of a series by the nonpartisan Institute of Politics that seeks to bolster students’ political engagement… Read more

  • ‘The Economist’ Covers Chicago Statement on Free Speech and FIRE

    January 29, 2016

    The Economist explores the growing trend of colleges adopting the University of Chicago’s free speech policy statement in its latest issue, out tomorrow. The Chicago statement sets forth important principles for protecting free speech on campus, and its adoption can help secure the kind of free and open discourse necessary to the pursuit of knowledge…. Read more

  • Geoffrey Stone on the University of Chicago’s Statement on Free Expression

    September 28, 2015

    In this video, Geoffrey Stone talks about his role in the crafting of the University of Chicago’s groundbreaking statement on freedom of expression. Stone, a renowned professor at the University of Chicago Law School, chaired the committee that crafted the statement. The language has since been endorsed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education… Read more

  • FIRE Launches Campaign in Support of University of Chicago Free Speech Statement

    September 28, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA, September 28, 2015—Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is launching a national campaign asking colleges and universities to adopt the free speech policy statement produced by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago earlier this year. In Sunday’s edition of The Washington Post, University of Chicago law… Read more

  • University of Minnesota Student Leads Charge for Chicago Principles

    September 18, 2015

    Momentum is building nationwide behind a push for adoption of the University of Chicago’s statement in support of freedom of expression on campus, endorsed by FIRE this past January. On Wednesday, USA TODAY’s editorial board penned a stirring call for the statement’s widespread adoption, echoing a New York Daily News editorial from late August. Now… Read more

  • ‘USA TODAY’ Asks Colleges to ‘Recommit to Free Speech on Campus,’ Endorse Chicago Principles

    September 17, 2015

    In an editorial yesterday, USA TODAY encouraged colleges and universities to follow the University of Chicago’s lead in adopting broad speech protections on campus. Citing FIRE’s speech-code tracking Spotlight database, the editorial board wrote: [C]ollege administrators are often too happy to oblige their fragile students with speech codes, speech zones, disinvitations of controversial speakers and… Read more

  • ‘NY Daily News’ to NY Colleges: Adopt U. of Chicago Statement on Free Speech

    August 24, 2015

    Back in January, FIRE proudly endorsed the excellent free speech policy statement issued by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago. In the months since, we’ve been pleased to see Purdue University and Princeton University follow suit by adopting the statement as institutional policy—and this fall, FIRE will mount a national… Read more

  • The Nature of Power: Why Free Speech Is Non-Partisan

    July 22, 2015

    A few widely-publicized incidents during my first year at the University of Chicago—a stereotyped Halloween costume here, an ill-advised joke there—led many students on campus to perceive a culture of hostility and indifference to the grievances of marginalized campus populations. Invariably a few of these students, who tended to identify as liberals, responded by advocating… Read more

  • Safe Speech

    June 22, 2015

    Consider two events at the University of Chicago. In the first instance, Zineb El Rhazoui, a Charlie Hebdo journalist, spoke at the University of Chicago Law School not long after the Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked in Paris. El Rhazoui had her critics: Student Aseal Tineh criticized Rhazoui in the question-and-answer session for supposedly marginalizing… Read more

  • Judith Shulevitz: College Students Are ‘Hiding From Scary Ideas’

    March 23, 2015

    One Brown University student explained her recent decision to leave a debate about sexual assault thusly: “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs.” In seeking to avoid ideas with which she disagrees, this student is far from alone—and this depressingly widespread sentiment is… Read more

  • University of Chicago Student Explains Why Free Speech Is a ‘Virtue’ on Campus

    January 23, 2015

    Last week I wrote about The Chicago Maroon’s shameful response to the University of Chicago (UC) Committee on Freedom of Expression’s new, FIRE-endorsed free speech policy statement. The consensus opinion of the student newspaper’s editors, who demanded the school censor more speech, not less, was incredibly disappointing to see, especially from student journalists. Today, UC… Read more

  • University of Chicago Student Journalists Lament School’s Support of Free Speech

    January 15, 2015

    Last week, the University of Chicago’s (UC’s) Committee on Freedom of Expression published a free speech policy statement, which “guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.” FIRE proudly endorsed the statement and recommends that other universities adopt a similar statement. However, the statement failed… Read more

  • FIRE Endorses University of Chicago’s New Free Speech Statement

    January 7, 2015

    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…. Read more

  • University of Chicago Plans to Publish Revised Free Speech Policy

    October 14, 2014

    By the beginning of the new year, the University of Chicago (UC) has pledged to revise its free speech policy in response to the wave of free speech controversies occurring at colleges across the country. Like many other universities, UC is no stranger to controversy over free speech. Just a few months ago, the UC… Read more

  • University of Chicago Students Disregard Context, Call for Ban on ‘Hate Speech’ After Dan Savage Lecture

    June 6, 2014

    In the crusade to eradicate “harmful” speech from campus and ensure that students are never forced to endure the unspeakable horror of confronting an idea with which they disagree, context is often the first casualty. FIRE frequently encounters efforts to punish, or declare as wholly “off-limits,” certain words or ideas—even when examination of the context in which they were expressed exposes those efforts as utterly ridiculous.

  • University of Chicago Student Makes Clear the Threats to Student Rights Presented by OCR, Bias Incident Policies

    May 8, 2012

    In the pages of The Chicago Maroon, University of Chicago (UC) student Bryant Jackson-Green takes on the myriad threats to student free speech and due process rights presented by new mandates from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), as well as by UC’s own policies regarding campus bias incidents.  Jackson-Green, who is… Read more

  • ‘Free Speech Week’ Celebrated on Campuses Nationwide

    April 13, 2012

    FIRE celebrated Free Speech Week last week by teaming up with Students For Liberty to send FIRE speakers and materials to student groups across the country. We’re pleased to announce it was a great success!   To mark the occasion, 72 student groups distributed FIRE materials and pocket-sized Constitutions on campus. More than 20 student… Read more

  • FIRE Speaker at University of Chicago Tonight

    April 2, 2012

    FIRE Associate Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Azhar Majeed will be speaking tonight at the University of Chicago as part of Free Speech Week, an effort FIRE is co-sponsoring with Students For Liberty. Azhar’s talk, titled "How Free is ‘Free Speech’ at UChicago?," will begin at 7:30 pm in the Bartlett Trophy Lounge at… Read more

  • ‘Chicago Maroon’ Reports on University of Chicago Speech Codes

    January 21, 2011

    University of Chicago (U of C) campus newspaper Chicago Maroon has yet again highlighted FIRE’s red-light rating of the private institution due to its speech codes. The Maroon had published an article last year on the speech codes as well. In recent years, U of C has racked up numerous free speech controversies, including censorship… Read more

  • Adam Kissel to Speak About Academic Freedom at University of Chicago Law School

    May 6, 2010

    Today, FIRE’s Adam Kissel will participate in an Academic Freedom Symposium hosted by the American Constitution Society, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Federalist Society at the University of Chicago Law School.  The Symposium kicked off last night with a talk by Professor Aziz Huq on "Academic Freedom Around the World." The events pick… Read more

  • Which One Is a Real Threat?

    March 26, 2010

    Which of the following expressive activities deserves more than a cursory investigation and perhaps also punishment? A. Someone sends New York Representative Louise Slaughter a message saying, according to Politico, that “snipers were being deployed to kill” the children of members of Congress who had voted in favor of recent health care legislation. B. When… Read more

  • Is This How You Would Treat a ‘Death Threat’?

    March 24, 2010

    FIRE has received a couple of e-mails since today’s press release went out from correspondents who believe that, in fact, the University of Chicago did the right thing by investigating and censoring undergraduate student Tex Dozier’s Facebook statement that he had a dream that he had assassinated one of his professors, John Mearsheimer, co-author of… Read more

  • Facebook/Twitter Joke about ‘Israel Lobby’ Author’s Assassination Leads to Police Investigation at University of Chicago

    March 24, 2010

    For the second time in two years, the University of Chicago has censored a student’s post on a private Facebook page. Undergraduate Joseph "Tex" Dozier posted a joke that he had dreamt about assassinating University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer "for a secret Israeli organization." This post prompted an investigator from the university’s police department… Read more

  • University of Chicago Repeatedly Censors Student Facebook Posts

    March 24, 2010

    CHICAGO, March 24, 2010—For the second time in two years, the University of Chicago has censored a student’s post on a private Facebook page. Undergraduate Joseph “Tex” Dozier posted a joke that he had had a dream about assassinating University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer “for a secret Israeli organization.” Mearsheimer is co-author of the controversial… Read more

  • Rights in the News: A FIRE-Fight Over Facebook

    May 15, 2009

    Before heading home for a weekend of sitting out in the sun, standing in line for Star Trek or, in my case, seeing how much Lost it is possible to cram into a single weekend of house-sitting, here are a couple of worthy articles to chew on. Both, incidentally, involve the social networking site Facebook—and… Read more

  • University of Chicago ‘Maroon’ Newspaper on FIRE and Free Speech

    May 14, 2009

    The Chicago Maroon student newspaper this week reported on FIRE’s criticism of the University of Chicago’s free speech policies, particularly with regard to the U of C’s censorship of a student’s Facebook.com page. Adam discussed this ridiculous case in depth on The Torch a few days ago. The gist of the case is that a… Read more

  • University of Chicago Censors Student’s Facebook Photo Album

    May 5, 2009

    A University of Chicago dean ordered a student to change the title of his Facebook.com photo album and remove pictures of his ex-girlfriend after she complained to the dean. Dean of Students Susan Art invoked the university’s policy of “dignity and respect” and claimed the authority to police allegedly disrespectful off-campus speech, even when it… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: University of Chicago

    April 27, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, 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 University of Chicago, which FIRE has given a red-light rating for maintaining policies that gravely infringe upon free speech at… Read more

  • University of Chicago Debates Milton Friedman Institute Today, No Pre-Distribution of Materials Allowed

    October 15, 2008

    The academic freedom of the University of Chicago’s new $200-million Milton Friedman Institute has been under attack for a few months by some faculty members who object to its existence, its namesake, its possible influence on policy, its influence on undergraduates, or all of the above and more. In addition to these recent posts of… Read more

  • Milton Friedman, Rest in Peace

    November 16, 2006

    Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century, died today at the age of 94. His many accomplishments include reviving the monetarist theory, predicting the “stagflation” of the 1970s, and creating the “Chicago School” of economics, based at the University of Chicago, where he taught. In 1976, on the 200th anniversary… Read more

  • Offensive Halloween Costumes and Censorship

    October 31, 2006

    Halloween is upon us and college students all across the country will be celebrating this day by dressing up in a wide array of costumes. While some students will probably stick to classic costumes such as ghosts and vampires, some others may be thinking about slipping into scarier, more politically incorrect costumes this Halloween. For instance,… Read more

  • Silence Speaks Volumes at NYU

    May 24, 2006

    New York University prides itself on being a “private university in the public service,” but talk is cheap—that is, when it isn’t silenced altogether. Despite the lofty aspirations of the school’s motto, in late March NYU decided that certain types of speech on campus just aren’t entitled to the core First Amendment protections relied upon… Read more

  • FIRE Comes to Chicago

    April 24, 2006

    Be advised, Chicago-area Torch readers: FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff is heading your way. Our fearless leader will be part of a panel discussion on the Danish cartoons of Mohammed tomorrow night at the University of Chicago. More information can be found in our press release on the event. Incidentally, the Windy City is a very… Read more

  • Student Press in Jeopardy with ‘Hosty’

    March 3, 2006

    As we reported last week, FIRE is disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear Hosty v. Carter, thereby upholding the Seventh Circuit’s 2005 decision to allow public university administrators to censor student newspapers. The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) issued a press release this week airing student editors’ reactions. This decision has… Read more

  • Free Speech for Some

    October 20, 2005

    It’s been in the news a bit recently that the Inter-University Council of Ohio passed a free-speech resolution (warning: PDF). The resolution committed Ohio’s public universities to upholding the principles enunciated in the American Council on Education’s statement from this summer, analyzed by FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff here. Here is one take on the matter from… Read more