University of Montana

Location: Missoula, Montana
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of Montana 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
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • With Feds’ Letter to UNM, AAUP’s Predictions of Title IX Overreach Materialize

    April 28, 2016

    Last month, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a draft report titled “The History, Uses and Abuses of Title IX” detailing tensions between the federal government’s interpretation of Title IX and the academic freedom and speech protections that faculty require. The group accused the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of… Read more

  • New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Part of State’s Bias Intimidation Law Unconstitutional

    March 19, 2015

    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a section of the state’s bias intimidation law was unconstitutionally vague because it allowed for a defendant to be convicted if his or her victim was intimidated and “reasonably believed” that he or she was targeted on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability,… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Pennsylvania State University

    December 8, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2014: Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). At Penn State, “Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is unwanted, inappropriate, or unconsented to.” This is a staggeringly broad definition that… Read more

  • A Year Later, Impact of Feds’ ‘Blueprint’ Comes into Focus

    August 28, 2014

    Last summer, FIRE sounded the alarm about a shockingly broad definition of sexual harassment being pushed by the Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) as a “blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country.” Announced at the conclusion of a year-long investigation into the University of Montana’s sexual assault policies and practices, the resolution agreement and findings letter the feds labeled a “blueprint” defined sexual harassment as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including “verbal conduct” (i.e., speech). And this all-encompassing definition wasn’t just a general characterization of sexual harassment; rather, it was the exact policy language that ED and DOJ were requiring the University of Montana to adopt verbatim.

  • U. of Montana Won’t Report Names of Faculty to Government for Missing Sexual Misconduct Training

    November 21, 2013

    The Missoulian reported earlier this month that the University of Montana (UM) will not report to the federal government a list of names of faculty members who do not complete training on sexual misconduct. The announcement breaks with the requirements set forth by the university’s May 9 agreement with the Departments of Justice and Education (also known as the “blueprint”)…. Read more

  • Smoke and Mirrors: Four Clarifications About the ‘Blueprint’

    November 5, 2013

    Recently, National Women’s Law Center fellow Fran Faircloth criticized FIRE on the YWCA’s blog for speaking out against the federal “blueprint” for campus sexual misconduct policies set forth by the Departments of Justice and Education on May 9. In her article, titled “Pants on FIRE: Four Myths (and Truths) About the Work of the Departments… Read more

  • University of Montana Faculty Fight Back Against New Policies

    October 2, 2013

    University of Montana (UM) faculty members continue to voice significant concerns about the university’s new sexual harassment policies and procedures, approved by the Departments of Justice and Education last week. Faculty are concerned about a provision that requires staff training on sexual assault and requires that the university provide the Department of Justice with the… Read more

  • Stephen Henrick on the Sexual Assault Case OCR Ignored

    October 1, 2013

    Former FIRE legal intern Stephen Henrick wrote for The Huffington Post yesterday to comment on the Department of Education’s double standard when it comes to Title IX enforcement. In his article, Henrick explains: In May of 2012, a student identifying himself as “John Doe” filed suit against the University of Montana claiming he was about… Read more

  • Feds Approve University of Montana Sexual Harassment Policy That Threatens Speech; Faculty Who Refuse Training to Be Reported to Federal Government

    October 1, 2013

    WASHINGTON, October 1, 2013—The University of Montana’s (UM’s) new sexual harassment policy threatens the First Amendment rights of students and faculty. Drafted in consultation with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the policy was approved by the agencies last week. Faculty members are also alarmed that a list of… Read more

  • U. of Montana Faculty Criticize Mandatory Reports to Government on Sexual Misconduct Training Attendance

    September 27, 2013

    I teach a legal writing class on Wednesday nights, and I take attendance because my school requires it. While the school may have any number of uses for such records (proof for accreditation, for example), the idea of schools taking attendance is generally uncontroversial. After all, it’s not as if the federal government is demanding… Read more

  • Federal Slowdown: Departments of Education and Justice Stall Approval for New University of Montana Sexual Harassment Policy

    September 10, 2013

    WASHINGTON, September 10, 2013—The University of Montana’s new sexual harassment policy, adopted in late August shortly after the start of classes, does not contain the broad definition of “sexual harassment” that sparked months of national criticism led by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Drafted in consultation with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights… Read more

  • New Student Orientation Has Started at U. Montana; Still No New Policies Posted

    August 23, 2013

    With first-year law students on their third day of class, and undergrads on their second day of orientation, it’s long past time for the University of Montana (UMT) to reveal its newly revised policies concerning sexual misconduct. Surprisingly, UMT’s old policy on sexual harassment remains on its website, leaving students and faculty unsure about what… Read more

  • Under New Definition, U of Montana Tutorial is Sexual Harassment

    June 10, 2013

    By now, Torch readers will be familiar with the Departments of Education (ED) and Justice’s (DOJ’s) new definition of sexual harassment, as stated in their May 9 letter to the University of Montana (UMT): "any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature," including speech. As FIRE has explained, under the requirements of this federal "blueprint," speech… Read more

  • University of Montana Condemns ‘Hateful’ Posters, but Keeps Content Secret from Students

    February 2, 2011

    University of Montana President Royce Engstrom has condemned "hateful" and "racially derogatory" posters that appeared on the campus last week via a campuswide e-mail, according to the independent Montana Kaimin campus newspaper. The UM administration, however, is refusing to give any specifics as to the content of the flyers. One official is quoted as saying "[i]t’s… Read more