University of Oregon

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Type: Public
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Speech Code Rating

University of Oregon 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
  • Student Conduct Code: Definitions

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    “Harassment” means … Unreasonable insults, gestures, or abusive words, in the immediate presence, and directed to, another person that may reasonably cause emotional distress or provoke a violent response (including but not limited to electronic mail, conventional mail, social media and telephone) ... Read More
  • Help for Victims and Survivors: Stalking and Bullying

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    Bullying is when an individual is threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, or otherwise targeted by another person, whether in person or by other means including the internet, social media, and interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones. Read More
  • University of Oregon Policies: Facilities Scheduling

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    University Entity: Refers to groups (including colleges, schools, departments, and other university organizational units, recognized faculty groups, recognized student groups, academic student groups, and self-defined groups of three or more members of the Statutory Faculty, when scheduling any Facility. Refers to c... Read More
  • Discrimination Complaint and Response

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    Sex and gender-based harassment and bullying means any act that: (1) Substantially interferes with work or academic performance; (2) Has the effect of: a. Physically harming a student or employee or damaging their property; b. Knowingly placing a person in reasonable fear of physical harm to the person or damages th... Read More
  • University of Oregon Policies: Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    The University of Oregon values and supports free and open inquiry. The commitment to free speech and freedom of inquiry described in this policy extends to all members of the UO community: Faculty, staff, and students. It also extends to all others who visit or participate in activities held on the UO campus. ̷... Read More
  • Student Conduct Code: Definitions

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    “Sexual Misconduct” means: … Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that interferes with work or access to educational benefits and opportunities because it has created an intimidati... Read More
  • Discrimination Complaint and Response

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    Sexual Harassment is a type of sex discrimination which is defined as any sexual advance, any request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when … Such conduct is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with work, participation in any univer... Read More
  • University of Oregon Policies: Community Standards Affirmation

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    The University of Oregon community is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the development of integrity. In order to thrive and excel, this community must preserve the freedom of thought and expression of all its members. The University of Oregon has a long and illustrious history in the area of academic fr... Read More
  • Office of the Dean of Students: Bias Education and Response Team

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: January 15, 2019

    The University of Oregon Bias Education and Response Team (BERT), based in the Office of the Dean of Students, works to provide those who have witnessed or themselves become a target of an act of bias an opportunity to be heard and supported. The fundamental role of the Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) is to ... Read More
  • University of Oregon president pens powerful reflection on being shouted down

    November 1, 2017

    Early last month, University of Oregon President Michael Schill was shouted down by dozens of students while attempting to deliver a “state of the university” address. Calling him “CEO Schill,” protesters took over the stage with a bullhorn, forcing the event’s cancellation. They denounced Schill’s support for free speech rights as furthering “fascism and white… Read more

  • FIRE Announces America’s 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2017

    February 22, 2017

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22, 2017—More than 92 percent of American colleges maintain speech codes that either clearly restrict—or could too easily be used to restrict—free speech. Each year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes a closer look at campus censorship to identify America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech. The 2017 list of… Read more

  • Oregon Law Professor Suspended for Blackface at Private Halloween Party

    December 27, 2016

    University of Oregon School of Law professor Nancy Shurtz stated last week that she was “evaluating [her] legal options” following UO’s response to a Halloween costume for which she wore blackface. First Amendment advocates, too, are speaking out against the university’s actions and the conclusions of a report on the incident released by UO. Shurtz… Read more

  • Universities Give Students Frightening Halloween Assignment: Pick a Costume

    October 31, 2016

    Is your “exhausted undergrad” costume ready for tonight’s festivities? That might be one of the frighteningly few outfit choices remaining if you attend a university expecting you to avoid “cultural appropriation” this year. And beware: The rules are petrifyingly hard to follow. While institutions are well within their rights to suggest costume considerations to their… Read more

  • University of Oregon Professor Calls for Greater Public Scrutiny of ‘Bias Response Team’

    June 13, 2016

    Last month, FIRE publicly called on the University of Oregon (UO) to release records relating to its controversial “Bias Response Team” (BRT) protocol. The BRT had intervened with students and faculty in response to student complaints about allegedly offensive speech and, in the case of a student newspaper, inadequate coverage of particular issues. In response… Read more

  • University of Oregon on ‘Bias Response Team’: Nothing to See Here

    May 27, 2016

    This month, a number of commentators have criticized the University of Oregon’s (UO’s) bias incident reporting system—an online tool to report perceived incidents of “bias” to campus administrators—and some of the university’s “Bias Response Team’s” (BRT’s) responses to those reports. In March, FIRE filed a public records request with UO, seeking documents about students’ complaints… Read more

  • Student Newspaper’s First Amendment Lawsuit Against University of Kansas Administrators Is Important Reminder about Need to Check Student Government Power

    February 10, 2016

    On February 5, the University Daily Kansan filed a lawsuit against two administrators of the University of Kansas (KU), alleging that the administrators failed to intervene when the student government slashed funding to the Kansan over an editorial criticizing the results of a student government election. The Kansan story begins in April 2014, when a… Read more

  • Oregon’s Student Government Discriminates Against Student Group Hosting Pro-Gun Rights Poker Tournament

    November 19, 2015

    EUGENE, Ore., November 19, 2015—Last night, the University of Oregon’s student government denied funding to a student group’s poker night event for a second time amid concerns the event’s pro-gun message and prizes “would make students feel uncomfortable.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote to the University of Oregon (UO) before the… Read more

  • U. of Oregon Students Demonstrate Lack of Understanding of First Amendment Law

    March 13, 2015

    On Tuesday, a pro-life activist displaying a graphic poster depicting an aborted fetus on the University of Oregon (UO) campus attempted to give counter-protesters a lesson in First Amendment law, but video footage of the incident suggests few at the scene understood. One campus police officer requested that the activist put the poster away, explaining… Read more

  • Can Neutral Observers Ensure Freedom of Assembly at the University of Oregon?

    November 26, 2014

    The University of Oregon (UO) has struggled recently with the concept of the First Amendment. In addition to receiving a “red light” rating in FIRE’s Spotlight database due to its restrictive speech codes, the university filed five charges against a student this past summer for jokingly yelling “I hit it first” at a couple walking… Read more

  • U. of Oregon Student Senator Adopts Administration’s Misguided Views on Speech

    November 4, 2014

    Happily, Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) Senate Vice President Miles Sisk seems to be having trouble carrying out his threat to report anonymous bloggers to the administration. Nevertheless, students at UO still have reason to worry about their freedom of speech on campus. Two weeks ago, Sisk characterized students criticizing Senate members… Read more

  • ‘Las Vegas Review-Journal’ Tells UNLV to Commit to Free Speech

    September 4, 2014

    Yesterday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an editorial lamenting that students are returning to college campuses where free speech too often falls victim to speech codes. As the editorial notes, opposition to the First Amendment is all too common on campus. Using FIRE’s recent case at the University of Oregon as an example, where a… Read more

  • Students Return to Campus Censorship, But Fight Back with FIRE

    September 2, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA, September 2, 2014—As millions of college students arrive on campus this fall—many for the first time—few of them realize that nearly 59 percent of our nation’s colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict speech protected by the First Amendment. Too many students will realize that the rights they took for granted as Americans… Read more

  • Victory: University of Oregon Drops Charges Against Student for Joke

    August 28, 2014

    EUGENE, Oregon, August 28, 2014—In a victory for free speech, the University of Oregon (UO) dropped the unconstitutional conduct charges it filed against a student based on a four-word joke wholly protected by the First Amendment. UO’s reversal comes barely 24 hours after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) press release drew national… Read more

  • Four-Word Joke Results in Five Conduct Charges for University of Oregon Student

    August 26, 2014

    EUGENE, Oregon, August 26, 2014—The University of Oregon (UO) has filed multiple, blatantly unconstitutional conduct charges against a female student who jokingly yelled “I hit it first” from a dormitory window. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE is calling on UO to… Read more

  • U. of Oregon Enacts Academic Freedom Policy for Students, Faculty, and Staff

    June 3, 2014

    Last week, University of Oregon (UO) President Michael Gottfredson signed a broad new academic freedom policy, granting UO faculty and staff what are among the strongest free speech protections in the country. The policy covers students as well, but is especially critical for faculty and staff after the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006), which opened the door for government employers to punish their employees for their speech.

  • Judgment for University of Oregon in Doctoral Candidate’s Title IX Lawsuit

    December 12, 2013

    A little over a year ago, we reported the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowing former doctoral candidate Monica Emeldi to proceed to trial in her sex discrimination lawsuit against the University of Oregon (UO). The trial finally began last Monday, and less than 48 hours later, the federal district… Read more

  • U. of Oregon Admins and Faculty Reach Tentative Agreement Protecting Faculty Speech

    September 24, 2013

    On September 18, the University of Oregon (UO) and its faculty union, United Academics, reached a tentative agreement that includes important protections for faculty speech and strikes the previously proposed “civility” clause that prompted our concerned Torch post last week. As In These Times assistant editor Rebecca Burns noted, the problem with the university’s old proposal wasn’t just its mandate that faculty treat… Read more

  • U. of Oregon Faculty and Admins Debate Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and Civility

    September 16, 2013

    Colleen Flaherty wrote for Inside Higher Ed last Thursday to highlight the debate between University of Oregon faculty and administrators regarding revisions to the university’s policies on free speech and academic freedom. Faculty members initially proposed language that would provide broad protections for faculty speech, including the “right to engage in internal criticism, which encompasses the freedom… Read more

  • Unconstitutional Funding Referendum Passes at University of Oregon

    April 10, 2012

    Last week, students at the University of Oregon (UO) were asked to vote on a wide range of ballot measures affecting all aspects of campus life. One of these items was put to a referendum in the hopes of adopting new funding rules into the constitution of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon… Read more

  • FIRE Cases Figure Strongly in ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’ Article on Retaliation Against Faculty Speech

    August 3, 2011

    The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Peter Schmidt has an excellent article on the hair-trigger sensibilities of the college classroom, in which many professors have found themselves under fire for remarks seen as violent or threatening. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the free speech and academic freedom issues involved, several of the cases Schmidt cites in his… Read more

  • Fox News and ‘Daily Mail’: Wrongly Dismissed Oregon Professor Now Planning to Sue

    July 18, 2011

    Public scrutiny is mounting against the University of Oregon (UO), which suspended American Sign Language (ASL) instructor Peter Quint from teaching and then notified him he would not be reappointed, all because he sarcastically made a reference to shooting students who were breaking the rules during one of his classes. As Fox News and Britain’s Daily… Read more

  • University of Oregon Suddenly Drops ASL Professor after Remark in Class; FIRE Intervenes

    July 5, 2011

    FIRE has asked University of Oregon (UO) President Richard Lariviere to reverse the damage to free speech and academic freedom that UO caused when it dropped American Sign Language (ASL) instructor Peter Quint in the middle of the term without a hint of due process, all because of a comment he made during class about… Read more

  • University of Oregon Divided over Free Speech Controversy

    February 2, 2010

    The University of Oregon student body has been learning some useful lessons in liberty as the campus debates what to do about an extremely controversial group’s presence on campus. Last week, the student government narrowly voted to defend free expression when it voted down a resolution designed to push the group off campus for good…. Read more

  • Oregon Governor Signs Bill Protecting Student Press into Law

    July 18, 2007

    The Student Press Law Center reports that last Friday, the governor of Oregon signed into law a bill protecting the free speech rights of high school and college journalists. House Bill 3279 provides that: Student journalists are responsible for determining the news, opinion, feature and advertising content of school-sponsored media.Any student enrolled in a public… Read more

  • Censorship is Everybody’s Problem

    December 29, 2005

    FIRE’s press release from yesterday details some of the cases that made 2005 FIRE’s busiest year ever. If 2005 made anything clear, it is that no student, regardless of his or her views, is safe from censorship on today’s college and university campuses. This year, we intervened on behalf of students censored for expressing viewpoints… Read more

  • K. C. Johnson Strikes Again

    August 26, 2005

    The invaluable K. C. Johnson has an excellent op-ed in today’s Inside Higher Ed. K. C. does a wonderful job of collecting evidence that much of the ideological uniformity in higher education is not so much the result of “self-selection” but instead the product of an academic culture that uses ideology as a stand-in for… Read more

  • ‘Cultural Competency’ at the University of Oregon

    June 7, 2005

    The University of Oregon, a school already familiar to FIRE, has been heavily criticized for the content of a proposed “diversity plan” designed to help increase minority enrollment at the university. The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., recently ran an article on the controversy. According to that article, one of the most controversial aspects of the… Read more

  • Freedom of the Press at Oregon

    March 3, 2005

    FIRE’s latest press release involves the University of Oregon student government’s long-delayed recognition of a conservative student publication. A number of members of the committee that determines funding allocations had objected to approving the Oregon Commentator’s mission statement (approval of this statement is needed for funding) because of the publication’s mockery of a transgendered student… Read more

  • Victory for Freedom of the Press at University of Oregon

    March 3, 2005

    EUGENE, Ore., March 3, 2005—The Oregon Commentator, a conservative student magazine, has won a three-month-long battle for press freedom against the University of Oregon (UO) student government.  The Commentator had been derecognized and denied funding after it published items satirizing a transgendered student senator.  Acting in response to student complaints, the Foundation for Individual Rights… Read more