University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities 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
  • Using and Leasing University Outdoor Space: Twin Cities

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: August 26, 2019

    Assemblies Rallies, demonstrations, or other gatherings of fewer than 100 participants are allowed without a permit in the following outdoor spaces or immediately adjacent to these spaces and buildings: Coffman Memorial Union Plaza Gateway Plaza at McNamara Alumni Center Northrop Plaza St Paul Student Center Plaza ... Read More
  • Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: March 11, 2019

    Bullying means aggressive behavior directed at another person that causes stress or harm and that is repeated over time, including but not limited to assaulting, defaming, terrorizing, making obscene gestures, or invading privacy. Read More
  • Bias Response and Referral Network

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: March 11, 2019

    A bias incident is an act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation that is motivated in whole or in part by bias based on an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation... Read More
  • Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 11, 2019

    Harm to person means engaging in conduct that endangers or threatens to endanger the physical and/or mental health, safety, or welfare of another person, including, but not limited to, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or assaulting behavior. Read More
  • Board of Regents Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 11, 2019

    Sexual harassment shall mean unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature under either of the following conditions: … When the conduct: (1) is severe, persistent or pervasive; and (2) unreasonably interferes with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creates a work or educational environment t... Read More
  • U. of Minnesota Chills Speech Via ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Flyer Investigation

    May 5, 2015

    After sponsoring an event focused on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the aftermath of the tragic attack on the publication’s staff in January, the University of Minnesota’s (UMN’s) College of Liberal Arts (CLA) was investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) for flyers promoting the event. The flyers featured… Read more

  • UNC, Halloween, and the ‘Professionalism’ Threat to the First Amendment

    October 31, 2014

    This being Halloween week, we’ve seen a few cautionary notices from universities warning of the potential for hurt feelings and emotional harm caused by culturally “insensitive” Halloween costumes. To cite one example, the University of Minnesota (UM) cautioned students to “keep in mind that certain Halloween costumes perpetuate racial, cultural, and gender stereotypes” and that… Read more

  • FIRE’s Catherine Sevcenko Speaking at University of Minnesota Law School

    October 7, 2014

    Students, faculty, and FIRE supporters in the Minneapolis area are invited to hear Catherine Sevcenko, FIRE’s Associate Director for Litigation, speak tomorrow, October 8, at 12:15 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Law School. Catherine will be speaking about “Why We Shouldn’t Stop Hate Speech,” with commentary by Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota media ethics… Read more

  • Former Central Lakes Nursing Student Appeals First Amendment Case

    August 29, 2014

    Craig Keefe, a former student at Central Lakes College (CLC) in Minnesota, is appealing a U.S. district court’s dismissal of his claims that the college violated his First Amendment and due process rights when it expelled him in December 2012 for remarks he had made on Facebook.

  • FIRE’s Will Creeley Speaking at the University of Minnesota Law School Today

    April 9, 2014

    Students and FIRE supporters in the Minneapolis area are invited to hear FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley speak at the University of Minnesota (U of M) Law School today at 12:15 p.m. in Mondale Hall, Room 229. Today’s event will also feature remarks by Professor Jane Kirtley, the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law.

  • Censoring Speech? There’s an Admin for That

    December 31, 2012

    The Wall Street Journal this weekend featured an in-depth look at administrative bloat in the University of Minnesota system, where (as in many places in academia) the ranks of administrators are growing far more quickly than those of faculty or students. As authors Douglas Belkin and Scott Thurm write: Many of the newly hired, it… Read more

  • Misunderstanding ‘Harassment’

    October 16, 2012

    Last week, FIRE kicked off a blog series about how schools can reform problematic speech codes with a discussion of why mandating “civility“ is inconsistent with students’ right to free speech. This week, we are tackling another trouble spot for free speech: the harassment policy. As an initial matter, campus harassment policies can be divided… Read more

  • Amanda Tatro Dead at 31

    June 26, 2012

    There is tragic news from Minnesota today. Amanda Tatro, the student plaintiff in Tatro v. University of Minnesota (in which FIRE filed an amici curiae brief along with the Student Press Law Center), has reportedly died at the age of 31. FIRE’s thoughts are with Amanda Tatro’s husband and family at this difficult time.

  • A Closer Look at ‘Tatro v. University of Minnesota’

    June 22, 2012

    As discussed here on The Torch, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling (PDF) Wednesday in Tatro v. University of Minnesota, finding that the University of Minnesota did not violate mortuary science student Amanda Tatro’s First Amendment rights by punishing her for the content of Facebook posts discussing her classroom work with cadavers. While the… Read more

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Issues Ruling in ‘Tatro’

    June 20, 2012

    Earlier today, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling (PDF) in Tatro v. University of Minnesota, an important student free speech case. The state Supreme Court upheld the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ problematic July 2011 decision, finding that the University of Minnesota did not violate the First Amendment rights of mortuary sciences student Amanda Tatro by… Read more

  • UM Student Newspaper Weighs in on ‘Tatro’ and Defends Students’ Free Speech

    February 17, 2012

    Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Tatro v. University of Minnesota, a controversial case involving the punishment of a mortuary sciences student for comments posted on Facebook. FIRE and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) submitted an amici curiae brief on behalf of student Amanda Tatro, arguing that her punishment violated… Read more

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in ‘Tatro,’ with Student Speech Rights at Stake

    February 9, 2012

    Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Tatro v. University of Minnesota. As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Tatro concerns the University of Minnesota’s punishment of mortuary sciences student Amanda Tatro for off-campus comments she posted on Facebook that her school labeled as threatening. However, as FIRE argued… Read more

  • A Roundup of 2011’s Free Speech Case Law

    December 28, 2011

    While FIRE has won numerous victories this year in working to protect individual rights on college campuses, 2011 was a mixed year for the defense of students’ rights by the courts. Importantly, this year highlighted divergent theories of the First Amendment rights of students off campus. While some courts have held that schools are limited… Read more

  • In Troubling Ruling, Minnesota Court of Appeals Upholds Punishment of Student for Facebook Posts

    July 12, 2011

    In a troubling ruling (PDF) for speech on campus issued yesterday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that a public university student’s First Amendment rights are not violated by discipline meted out for social networking posts when such posts "materially and substantially disrupted the work and discipline of the university." The facts of the case, Tatro… Read more

  • ‘Omaha World-Herald’ Covers U. Minnesota’s Teacher Ed Scandal Regarding ‘Cultural Competence’ Requirement

    July 11, 2011

    Yesterday the Omaha World-Herald covered the teacher education scandal at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, where the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group proposed an ideological litmus test for future teachers based on a highly politicized notion of "cultural competence." FIRE intervened, and the case made national news before the university’s top lawyer… Read more

  • First Major Test of Academic Freedom Protections at University of Minnesota

    March 22, 2010

    Last March and November, my colleague Azhar Majeed noted the extra steps that some faculty bodies are taking to preserve their academic freedom in response to the ambiguous statement by the Supreme Court in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) explicitly reserving judgment on the question of whether faculty members at public colleges and… Read more

  • 40 Percent of Minnesota College Students Say Certain Topics or Viewpoints Are ‘Off Limits’

    March 18, 2010

    A report on higher education in Minnesota released this morning by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) with the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota features FIRE’s work defending the First Amendment in the state. The report, “At a Crossroads: A Report Card on Public Higher Education in Minnesota” (PDF), includes a survey of students that… Read more

  • Latest on University of Minnesota Teacher Education Scandal

    January 15, 2010

    Regular Torch readers are familiar with the scandal created by the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development when the task group proposed an ideological litmus test for teachers based on a highly politicized view of “cultural competence.” Fortunately, after extensive public attention, the… Read more

  • Rights in the News: Yale and Minnesota Still in Headlines as FIRE Eyes 2010 Campaign

    January 8, 2010

    Even during the supposedly slow Christmas-to-New-Year’s stretch, FIRE’s cases continued to captivate the media, none more so than the recent brouhaha at Yale over a censored F. Scott Fitzgerald-quoting t-shirt calling Harvard men "sissies." Following Greg’s earlier writings in The Huffington Post, Robert wrote on the case for Pajamas Media. (Knowing such PC nonsense when… Read more

  • University of Minnesota Still in the Hot Seat

    January 5, 2010

    Here at FIRE we are holding the University of Minnesota to its promise that it will never "mandate any particular beliefs, or screen out people with ‘wrong beliefs’ from the University." We are watching carefully because if some of the university’s professors had their way, this ideological screening would be exactly what the College of… Read more

  • FIRE Op-Ed in ‘New York Post’ on University of Minnesota Victory

    December 28, 2009

    Today’s issue of the New York Post features an op-ed by FIRE’s Adam Kissel, in which he discusses the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities’ plan to impose a political litmus test on future teachers enrolled in its College of Education and Human Development. The plan would have redesigned the curriculum to enforce a narrow view of… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Conscience as University of Minnesota Backs Away from Ideological Screening for Ed Students

    December 23, 2009

    MINNEAPOLIS, December 23, 2009—In response to sustained pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities has backed away from its plans to enforce a political litmus test for future teachers. The plans from its College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) involved redesigning admissions and the curriculum to… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of Conscience as University of Minnesota Backs Away from Ideological Screening for Ed Students

    December 23, 2009

    Today’s press release reports that the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities has backed away from its plans to enforce a political litmus test for future teachers. As Torch readers know, the plans from its College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) involved redesigning admissions and the curriculum to enforce an ideology centered on a narrow view of "cultural competence." Those with the "wrong" views… Read more

  • Will the University of Minnesota Board of Regents Need to Intervene to Protect Freedom of Conscience?

    December 18, 2009

    Yesterday, FIRE reported that the University of Minnesota, in the face of widespread national outrage in the media, is defending the indefensible: a set of plans to impose an ideological litmus test on future teachers. The desire to teach “cultural competence” or to expose students to any set of values and beliefs is not itself… Read more

  • University of Minnesota Defends Ideological Screening for Ed Students; Academic Freedom Committee Meets Friday

    December 17, 2009

    Today’s press release explains that the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities has chosen to defend its plans to enforce a political litmus test for future teachers in the face of national outrage, rather than repudiate the parts of the plans that violate the academic freedom and freedom of conscience of future teachers. The plans from the… Read more

  • University of Minnesota Defends Ideological Screening for Ed Students; Academic Freedom Committee Meets Friday

    December 17, 2009

    MINNEAPOLIS, December 17, 2009—The University of Minnesota–Twin Cities is defending its plans to enforce a political litmus test for future teachers in the face of national outrage. The plans from its College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) involve redesigning admissions and the curriculum to enforce an ideology centered on a narrow view of “cultural competence.“… Read more

  • Media Outrage Grows over Teacher Education Scandal at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    December 16, 2009

    Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor is the latest media outlet to weigh in on the teacher education scandal at University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (transcript) (video). Bill O’Reilly gets it right in his interview with John Stossel: This is not just about introducing future teachers to other cultures but about invading and judging future teachers’ thoughts,… Read more

  • FOXNews.com Covers FIRE’s University of Minnesota Ed School Case

    December 9, 2009

    Late last month, FIRE wrote a letter to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities about proposed changes that would implement what amounts to a political litmus test for enrollment and participation in its College of Education and Human Development’s teacher education program. FOXNews.com has now joined the coverage of the program with a front-page story entitled… Read more

  • Bloggers Debate University of Minnesota’s Teacher Education Redesign, But Some Miss Key Evidence

    December 1, 2009

    The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Education & Human Development’s proposals to mandate the beliefs and values of its students have generated widespread attention since Katherine Kersten first reported on them in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and FIRE’s letter expressing deep concern over the proposed requirements has served to further intensify the spotlight on… Read more

  • Spotlight on Speech Codes at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    November 30, 2009

    Given the uproar over the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities’ (U of M’s) plans to implement a re-education program for future teachers, which has generated quite a bit of media coverage in recent days, FIRE will be shining the spotlight heavily on U of M. We have already sent a letter to U of M… Read more

  • Teacher Re-Education Scandal at University of Minnesota Gains Steam

    November 30, 2009

    Last week, FIRE wrote University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (U of M) President Robert H. Bruininks about the proposed political and ideological litmus test for future teachers at U of M’s College of Education and Human Development. The college intends to mandate particular beliefs and values—"dispositions and commitments"—for future teachers. These are not just things like the disposition to deal… Read more

  • Jean K. Quam: American Dream lives on at the U

    November 27, 2009

    In her Nov. 22 column, Katherine Kersten suggested that the future of teacher preparation at the University of Minnesota will be a process of ideological indoctrination denouncing “the American Dream.” Just the opposite is true. The American Dream lives and thrives in the College of Education and Human Development. The college is engaged in a… Read more

  • In Letter to President of University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, FIRE Expresses Deep Concern over Political Litmus Test

    November 25, 2009

    FIRE sent a letter to University of Minnesota-Twin Cities President Robert H. Bruininks today, expressing deep concern over proposals generated by the College of Education and Human Development’s Teacher Education Redesign Initiative task groups. As Adam, who authored today’s letter, detailed in full yesterday here on The Torch, the "Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task… Read more

  • Political Litmus Test for Future Teachers at University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

    November 24, 2009

    All signs are that the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is planning to enforce a political litmus test for future teachers. The university’s College of Education and Human Development intends to mandate certain beliefs and values—"dispositions"—for future teachers. Yet that is not enough. It even intends to redesign its admissions process so that it screens out… Read more

  • University of Minnesota Comes Through for Dissenting Student

    March 25, 2008

    With FIRE’s help, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota has been saved from the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity after his professor reported him for disrupting the class—simply because he and the professor had openly disagreed about a number of issues raised during his class presentation. According to the student, during… Read more