University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Type: Public
Thank University of Virginia for its commitment to free speech.

Speech Code Rating

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

This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech. This school has adopted the chicago statement for free speech.

Due Process Rating

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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Sexual Misconduct

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Title IX

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Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 203 colleges ranked Read more
  • Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence: Sexual and/or Gender-Based Hostile Environment Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Sexual or Gender-Based Hostile Environment Harassment that is not covered under the Definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment exists when conduct on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, ... Read More
  • Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Harassment: Unwelcome conduct directed against a person based on one or more of that person’s protected characteristics or statuses, which conduct is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s employment, academic performance or participation in University programs or activities, and creates a wo... Read More
  • Vice President for Student Affairs: Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    The University of Virginia is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of the individual are sustained. The University is committed to supporting the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution and the Code of Vi... Read More
  • Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence: Title IX Prohibited Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education programs or activities. Read More
  • The Standards of Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: August 17, 2021

    Disorderly conduct on University-owned or leased property or at a University-sanctioned function. Disorderly conduct is defined to include but is not limited to acts that breach the peace, are lewd, indecent, or obscene, and that are not Constitutionally protected speech. 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.


Non-Sexual Misconduct

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

Sexual Misconduct

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

Title IX

  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

FIRE surveyed roughly 44,000 students at 203 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. See the full report on FIRE’s 2022 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.


Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 62.38

Rankings / out of 203 colleges ranked

Overall Ranking 24
Openness 115
Tolerance (Liberals) 32
Tolerance (Conservatives) 82
Administrative Support 28
Comfort 121
Disruptive Conduct 162

Administrative Behavior

Supported Scholars 0.75
Sanctioned Scholars 0.5
Successful Disinvitations 0


Speech Climate ABOVE AVERAGE
Speech Code GREEN
  • University of Virginia doubles down on unconstitutional punishment of student for comparing protesters to ‘speed bumps’

    August 26, 2021

    The University of Virginia is refusing to expunge the records of a former student punished for saying protesters “would have been speed bumps” had a road not been blocked. As FIRE reported last month, it was July 2020 when former UVA student Morgan Bettinger found a road on her route home from work blocked by… Read more

  • UVA’s Honor Code is a Nightmare for Due Process

    July 30, 2021

    The University of Virginia is known for its stunning Rotunda, its founder — President Thomas Jefferson — and its honor code. The university’s Honor Code, adopted in 1842, requires students to pledge never to lie, cheat, or steal; its student-run Honor Committee imposes a harsh punishment on any student found guilty of violating the “community… Read more

  • UVA punished student over ‘speedbumps’ remark about protesters

    July 28, 2021

    While driving home from work in July 2020, Morgan Bettinger, then a student at the University of Virginia, found the street blocked by protesters. A student-led committee later determined as a result of an investigation of the off-campus incident that Bettinger exited her car and told the driver of a city garbage truck, which was… Read more

  • Virginia GOP demands UVA investigate professor over political tweets

    July 9, 2021

    The chair of the Republican Party of Virginia is calling on the commonwealth’s flagship institution to conduct an investigation into a prominent pollster for remarks on Twitter that display “bitter partisanship.” To its credit, the University of Virginia responded by swiftly declining the invitation, but the episode is just another in a growing stack of… Read more

  • Get off my lawn: UVA stifles student speech with new policy

    June 29, 2021

    The University of Virginia’s historic Lawn is more than a typical college quad. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to several dozen fourth-year students and faculty. Every year, over 200 third-year students at UVA apply for the coveted spots, and those selected can mark themselves as among the university’s most well-recognized student leaders…. Read more

  • Absurd UVA microaggressions case shows just how badly schools can abuse professionalism codes 

    April 9, 2021

    The case of a University of Virginia medical student suspended for asking skeptical questions at a campus panel on microaggressions illustrates just how seriously graduate school professionalism codes continue to be abused to violate students’ most basic rights. FIRE has been sounding the alarm for years on the abuse of so-called “professionalism” policies for graduate… Read more

  • University of Virginia, founded by Thomas ‘Blood of Patriots and Tyrants’ Jefferson, orders student’s sign removed because it ‘advocates’ violence

    March 16, 2021

    Last fall, the University of Virginia rightly defended a student’s right to display a sign (“Fuck UVA”) on her residence door, rejecting calls to violate her First Amendment rights. A new display has renewed that challenge to UVA’s obligations. Despite its strong track record in protecting students’ expressive rights, UVA’s housing authorities faltered, censoring student… Read more

  • University of Virginia president rightly defends student’s ‘F— UVA’ sign amid backlash 

    October 6, 2020

    Last month, a University of Virginia student and resident of one of the university’s coveted residences on the Lawn decided to use the space on her door to say “FUCK UVA” and express critical views of the university. Although the student’s door sign elicited strong criticism from UVA alumni and staff alike, UVA President Jim… Read more

  • UVA makes clear RAs may speak to the media

    September 21, 2020

    In line with its historic support of free expression and its “green light” rating for speech-protective policies, the University of Virginia will revise its resident advisor agreement to make sure RAs understand that they are permitted to speak to the media. FIRE wrote to UVA on Sept. 11 because, based on language in UVA’s previous… Read more

  • University of Virginia reportedly latest in rash of universities silencing RAs amid coronavirus panic

    September 15, 2020

    FIRE has been reporting on a worrying trend of universities forbidding student resident assistants from speaking with the press. The first schools to hop on the bandwagon were the University of Missouri — which, to its credit, quickly corrected course — and Louisiana State University — which did not. Reports have now emerged that the… Read more

  • At University of Virginia, new Honor Committee policy threatens rights of accused students

    February 27, 2020

    The University of Virginia’s Honor Committee, a group of students elected to enforce the university’s Honor Code, recently adopted a new bylaw addressing how the Committee will respond to allegations of lying that arise from cases adjudicated under the university’s Title IX policy.   The Committee was clearly trying, in good faith, to balance a number… Read more

  • At a university ravaged by white-supremacist violence, free speech prevailed

    August 5, 2019

    For millions of Americans, the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was incredibly shocking, and no one felt this reality more than University of Virginia students and Charlottesville residents.  On the night of Aug. 11, 2017, a series of racist chants and white supremacist slogans  — which included phrases like “White Lives Matter” and… Read more

  • Rediscovering my voice: How high school censorship shaped my journalism experience

    June 27, 2019

    When I graduated from my private, religious high school in Tennessee, I was ready.  As someone who grew up attending the same school for 14 years, graduation meant leaving behind my school’s stifling dress code, subpar food, and monotonous hallways. It meant getting the chance to take politics classes and finally devote more of my… Read more

  • University police surveil student social media in attempt to make campus safer

    March 16, 2018

    A very interesting article in Campus Safety Magazine explores a disturbing practice we’ve been hearing more and more about — schools and campus police proactively surveilling students’ social media accounts to find possible wrongdoing while it’s happening or before it happens. If that idea troubles you, you are not alone. A lack of context Campus… Read more

  • What attending a “green light” university taught me about free speech

    July 10, 2017

    The number of schools abandoning restrictive speech codes is growing — FIRE granted “green light” ratings to East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last month, bringing the number of institutions earning FIRE’s highest rating for free speech to 33 nationwide. While it remains crucial to analyze and reform illiberal speech… Read more

  • Free Speech Panelists Highlighted in ‘Slate’ Podcast

    January 10, 2017

    In October, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression hosted a symposium at the University of Virginia School of Law entitled “Free Speech on Campus.” As a former intern and fellow at the TJ Center and a UVA Law alum, I was honored to participate in the symposium’s last panel, “Free Speech… Read more

  • Speech Code Countdown: Most of America’s ‘Best Colleges’ Restrict Speech

    October 5, 2016

    U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the “Best Colleges” for 2017. The rankings are based on a multitude of “indicators of academic excellence” that prospective students use to narrow down their college application lists, including graduation and retention rate, financial resources, the institution’s reputation, and student selectivity. But U.S. News’… Read more

  • Former UVA Student Challenges Unlawful Sexual Misconduct Mandate in Federal Lawsuit

    June 16, 2016

    WASHINGTON, June 16, 2016—A former University of Virginia School of Law student filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the Department of Education’s unlawful mandate that colleges abandon due process protections and try sexual misconduct cases using the lowest standard of evidence. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is sponsoring the lawsuit. FIRE and… Read more

  • OCR Findings in University of Virginia Settlement Raise Questions for the Future of Campus Sexual Assault Proceedings

    September 30, 2015

    Last week, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a findings letter announcing the results of a four-year compliance review of the University of Virginia’s (UVA’s) handling of sexual misconduct complaints. The letter announced that OCR and UVA entered into a resolution agreement, ending the review before OCR examined complaints for the… Read more

  • Another state court upholds a university’s decision to withhold requested faculty records

    April 17, 2015

    Exactly one year ago today, Virginia’s highest court issued an important ruling balancing government transparency with academic freedom for public university faculty. And last month, an Arizona state court did the same. On April 17, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the University of Virginia did not violate the state’s Freedom of Information Act… Read more

  • At UVA, Students Miss Opportunity for Discussion About Campus Sexual Assault

    April 7, 2015

    Last Wednesday, the University of Virginia School of Law’s Student Legal Forum hosted a panel discussion on “Title IX, Due Process, and Campus Sexual Misconduct,” in which I participated along with Stuart Taylor of the Brookings Institution, Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute, and Emily Renda, a victims’ rights advocate now working at UVA. I… Read more

  • Public Presumption of Guilt Motivates Unfair Policies, Even as Details of Sexual Assault Allegations Come to Light

    February 3, 2015

    University students who claim that they were wrongly punished for alleged sexual assaults are increasingly fighting back, both in courts of law and in the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, questionable (or even debunked) narratives have already been used to justify policy changes and legislation that threaten the due process rights of accused students, while… Read more

  • UVA Professor and UVA Third-Year Son: ‘It’s Time for a UVA Apology’

    January 2, 2015

    It’s been six weeks since Rolling Stone published Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s now largely debunked article focusing on Jackie, a University of Virginia student who alleged she was raped by seven men at a fraternity house party. Amidst outraged readers calling for a swift response just after the article’s publication, UVA President Teresa Sullivan suspended all… Read more

  • Emily Yoffe on ‘The College Rape Overcorrection’

    December 8, 2014

    Emily Yoffe has thoroughly examined and thoughtfully considered the complex issue of how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault, and the result is a must-read article published yesterday in Slate. Yoffe starts by detailing the case of Drew Sterrett, a former University of Michigan student who is claiming in a lawsuit (PDF) against… Read more

  • ‘Rolling Stone’ Developments Underline Need for Professional Response to Campus Sexual Assault

    December 5, 2014

    This afternoon, new reporting from The Washington Post called into serious question the veracity of a Rolling Stone story regarding an alleged 2012 gang rape at the University of Virginia (UVA). Following publication of the Post’s story, the UVA fraternity identified by Rolling Stone as home to the alleged gang rape’s perpetrators released a statement… Read more

  • What Might a Police Investigation of the UVA Rape Charges Have Looked Like?

    December 3, 2014

    Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View penned a much-needed column on Monday titled “UVA Should Help Police Catch Alleged Rapists — Now.” She points out that some have raised doubts about University of Virginia student Jackie’s story of her alleged rape by seven men at a fraternity party as retold in Rolling Stone by reporter Sabrina… Read more

  • Has Title IX Failed in Dealing with Campus Sexual Assault?

    December 1, 2014

    In TIME magazine’s “Ideas” section today, I argue that it has. The recent account in Rolling Stone of a chilling, premeditated, seven-perpetrator gang rape that allegedly occurred at the University of Virginia (UVA)—and that went unreported to police for two years—has led many to question how a major felony report on campus could go without… Read more

  • Dahlia Lithwick: Campus Sexual Assault Response ‘Failed Spectacularly’

    November 25, 2014

    Last week, Rolling Stone published the harrowing account of a University of Virginia (UVA, where I went to law school) student who claims she was brutally raped by seven men at a fraternity house party. Following the article’s publication, UVA administrators, students, faculty, alumni, and commentators across the country have responded, seeking a way to… Read more

  • UVA Board of Visitors Nixes Troubling Policy Draft on ‘Discussion and Dissent’

    August 11, 2014

    After receiving harsh criticism from free speech advocates, the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia (where I attended law school) has revised a draft of its “Statement of Expectations” that would have curtailed open discussion by individual Visitors about Board decisions.

  • Careful Reform Needed to Reduce State FOIA Chilling of Academic Activity

    June 16, 2014

    Each state has its own Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to provide public access to records produced by public officials, often called “sunshine laws” for the light they shed on government actions and decision-making. Sunshine laws typically list the kind of records that may and may not be requested, often with great specificity. As a result of their state funding, state universities are typically considered public bodies under these laws, and accordingly, the correspondence and documents of faculty members are often subject to public request by virtue of their government employment.

  • FOIA Request for UVA Law Prof’s Records Threatens Academic Freedom

    May 28, 2014

    Last week, two students at the University of Virginia School of Law, working with LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the “university-funded travel expenses and cellphone records for the past two-and-a-half years” of Professor Douglas Laycock, a prominent legal scholar with expertise in religious liberty jurisprudence.

  • On Working with Administrators: Five Principles for Student Activists

    August 2, 2013

    by David Hicks David Hicks is a FIRE summer intern. At FIRE’s sixth annual CFN Conference, past-FIRE intern Luke Wachob talked about his student group’s work at James Madison University to bring his school from a FIRE “red light” to a “green light” rating by changing unconstitutional speech codes on the campus. He highlighted the… Read more

  • ‘The Cavalier Daily’ Reports on FIRE’s “Best Colleges” List

    September 6, 2012

    The Cavalier Daily reports today on the University of Virginia’s (UVA’s) proud distinction as one of the best colleges for free speech. Released yesterday in The Huffington Post, FIRE’s 2012 list of the seven best colleges for free speech recognized UVA for the second straight year. FIRE worked with UVA in the fall of 2010… Read more

  • ‘Virginia Advocate’ Praises UVA’s Green Light Rating

    March 16, 2012

    In The Virginia Advocate, an independent student newspaper at the University of Virginia, Wendy Morrison writes a brief column noting with pleasure the university’s rank as a "green light" school after having seen FIRE’s latest national survey of campus speech codes,  "This ranking was no faint praise," Morrison writes, "when you compare UVA to other… Read more

  • ‘Cavalier Daily’ Editor Cleared, But Questions Remain for Freedom of Student Press

    October 19, 2011

    The Cavalier Daily reported today that the charges against Editor-in-Chief Jason Ally for allegedly breaching the confidentiality of a University of Virginia (UVa) Honor Council case have been dismissed. The situation began last month when Ally and his managing board printed an editorial acknowledging that an unidentified former writer had included plagiarized material in his work… Read more

  • Praise for Free Speech at Virginia Schools in ‘Richmond Times-Dispatch’

    June 1, 2011

    In response to Greg’s article on The Huffington Post commending the nation’s seven best colleges and universities for freedom of speech, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has offered glowing praise for the two Virginia schools that made the list (the University of Virginia (UVa) and the College of William & Mary) and for FIRE’s efforts in combating censorship on campuses nationwide…. Read more

  • FIRE Names Seven Best Schools for Free Speech on ‘Huffington Post’

    May 24, 2011

    PHILADELPHIA, May 24, 2011—Today the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) commends the nation’s seven best colleges and universities for freedom of speech in an article by FIRE President Greg Lukianoff on The Huffington Post. The colleges listed are Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, The College of William & Mary, the University of Pennsylvania,… Read more

  • Va. Supreme Court to Hear Appeal Involving ‘Climategate’ and Academic Freedom

    March 11, 2011

    Last week, the Supreme Court of Virginia agreed to hear an appeal by Kenneth Cuccinelli II, Attorney General of Virginia, regarding his investigation of former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann for possible fraud involving Mann’s environmental research. A lower court had set aside his investigative demands without ruling on whether fraud had been committed…. Read more

  • Virginia Newspaper Touts Growing Number of ‘Green Light’ Schools

    February 8, 2011

    With only 14 “green light” colleges and universities in the entire country, the state of Virginia should be proud to be home to two of them. Writing in the Daily Press (Hampton Roads, Va.), Michael F. Cochrane commends the University of Virginia (UVa) and The College of William & Mary for preserving free speech on… Read more

  • More Praise for UVA’s New ‘Green-Light’ Rating

    January 17, 2011

    In a column for, Mike Adams praises the University of Virginia (UVA) for going from a red-light to a green-light school by eliminating the last of its unconstitutional speech codes back in October. Adams describes how FIRE staff encouraged Dean Allen Groves to implement the essential policy reforms: FIRE began working with UVA administrator… Read more

  • Radio Station Dubs UVa’s ‘Green Light’ One of the Most Significant Stories of 2010

    January 4, 2011

    FIRE’s involvement with University of Virginia earning a green-light rating was mentioned on WINA 1070’s Charlottesville Right Now! with Coy Barefoot by Rick Sincere, former chair of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, as one of his most significant news stories of 2010: When President Teresa Sullivan took over as president of the University of Virginia,… Read more

  • Praise Continues for UVa’s Green-Light Rating

    January 3, 2011

    Universities that are thinking about reforming their unconstitutional speech codes should be encouraged by the public praise they’ll receive by doing so. Torch readers will remember that last Wednesday, Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post wrote for her blog The Answer Sheet about the University of Virginia’s rapid transformation from a red-light to a green-light… Read more

  • UVa’s Green-Light Rating Back in the News

    December 29, 2010

    Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post wrote for her blog The Answer Sheet today about the University of Virginia’s (UVa’s) elimination of four policies that had restricted free speech on campus. Torch readers will remember that in November, UVa became the 13th school in FIRE’s Spotlight database to earn a green-light rating, meaning that FIRE is unaware… Read more

  • UVa’s Green-Light Rating, Fewer Red Lights Nationally Pave the Way to the New Year

    December 22, 2010

    This year, FIRE has made progress in helping to reduce the number of red-light colleges and universities, with a total of 28 institutions improving from red-light to yellow-light status, and one university, the University of Virginia (UVa),  making the huge step from a red-light to a green-light institution. This means that, at UVa, FIRE is… Read more

  • Former FIRE Intern Urges College Students to Fight for Free Speech

    November 30, 2010

    2010 FIRE intern Casey Given wrote an excellent blog post for Students For Liberty today drawing attention to the University of Virginia’s new green-light Spotlight rating and encouraging liberty-minded students to use FIRE as a resource to fight for free speech on their campuses. 

  • University of Virginia Columnist Praises Commitment to Free Speech at UVa, Newest ‘Green Light’ School

    November 8, 2010

    The University of Virginia (UVa) made us proud by eliminating the last of its unconstitutional speech codes recently, earning a spot in our elite group of “green light” colleges and universities. Today, the Cavalier Daily, a UVa student newspaper, published columnist George Wang’s op-ed highlighting UVa’s commitment to free speech and stressing the importance of free speech… Read more

  • ‘Volokh Conspiracy’ and Local Media Decry Virginia Speech Codes

    November 3, 2010

    Ever since the University of Virginia (UVa) eliminated all four of its speech codes to earn FIRE’s coveted “green light” rating, local and national media have put the spotlight on the speech codes remaining at other public universities in Virginia. When FIRE announced the news, we noted that UVa joins The College of William & Mary… Read more

  • University of Virginia Eliminates All Speech Codes, Earning FIRE’s ‘Green Light’ Rating

    October 28, 2010

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., October 28, 2010—This week, the University of Virginia (UVa) confirmed that it had eliminated the last of its policies that unconstitutionally restricted the free speech of students and faculty members. While more than two-thirds of the nation’s colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech, UVa is now a proud… Read more

  • Virginia attorney general issues new demand for University of Virginia documents

    October 6, 2010

    On September 29, Virginia’s Attorney General, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, issued a new Civil Investigative Demand (CID) for a huge amount of documents relating to his investigation of former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann. Mann is one of the people at the center of the well-known “Climategate” controversy. Cuccinelli’s previous CIDs were set aside by… Read more

  • At UVa, Bias is Reportable, but Not Always Punishable

    September 15, 2010

    2010 FIRE Intern Ginny Robinson takes on her school, the University of Virginia (UVa), for administrative overreach in a column in the student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, entitled “Big brother is watching.” Her primary target is the school’s recent “netbadge initiative,” which requires students to disclose all previous arrests to the university before logging on… Read more

  • Judge Sets Aside Virginia Attorney General’s University of Virginia Document Demands

    August 30, 2010

    Citing a failure to show "reason to believe" that fraud had occurred at the University of Virginia (UVa), Judge Paul M. Peatross, Jr., has set aside the Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) issued to UVa by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, who has sought a huge swath of UVa documents in order to investigate… Read more

  • University of Virginia Revises Troublesome ‘Bias Reporting’ Policy

    August 27, 2010

    Following discussions with FIRE, University of Virginia Dean of Students Allen Groves has revised the university’s “bias reporting” policy, which previously infringed on students’ right to free speech. FIRE is grateful for Dean Groves’ commitment to Virginia students’ free speech rights and is happy to report on this exciting development. The old policy encouraged students… Read more

  • Virginia ACLU Petitions Supreme Court to Overturn Restrictions on Alcohol Advertising

    August 27, 2010

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia has filed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to review a recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit allowing for the restriction of alcohol-related advertisements in collegiate newspapers. The ACLU of Virginia, which filed the petition (.pdf) on Monday, is challenging the… Read more

  • University of Virginia Invokes Academic Freedom to Fight ‘Climategate’ Fraud Investigation

    July 6, 2010

    The University of Virginia filed a brief last week opposing Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli II’s demand for a huge amount of documents relating to Cuccinelli’s fraud investigation of Michael Mann, an American professor at the center of the "Climategate" controversy. The brief expands on the university’s academic freedom argument and other arguments, and it mentions… Read more

  • Virginia’s Attorney General Defends Fraud Investigation of Professor

    June 18, 2010

    Last month, I wrote about Attorney General of Virginia Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II’s sweeping demands for documents relating to the research of a former University of Virginia professor, Michael Mann, one of the professors involved in the "Climategate" controversy. Cuccinelli now has responded (PDF) to the university’s legal challenge to his demands. When the university… Read more

  • It Only Takes a Minute to Make a Difference on the Campuses You Care About

    June 17, 2010

    My school, The University of Virginia, was listed number one in the Princeton Review‘s list of the 100 Best Value Colleges for 2009. Although I truly appreciate UVa’s dedication to fiscal responsibility, I wish that my school would be as conscientious a steward of my liberty as it is of my finances. I am deeply… Read more

  • University of Virginia Fights Attorney General’s Sweeping Demand for Research Documents

    May 29, 2010

    Thursday, the University of Virginia filed a petition to the Albemarle Circuit Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, asking the court to set aside the demands of the state’s attorney general, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, for a huge set of documents relating to the research and correspondence of a former professor, Michael Mann. As the petition notes,… Read more

  • FIRE Criticizes Virginia Attorney General’s Investigation of Professor

    May 12, 2010

    In a letter today, FIRE criticizes Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s decision to open a civil investigation of former University of Virginia professor Dr. Michael Mann. On April 23, Attorney General Cuccinelli sent a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (UVa) pursuant to his authority under the… Read more

  • University of Virginia Student Calls for UVA to Become ‘Green Light’ School

    April 12, 2010

    Last week, University of Virginia (UVA) student Megan Stiles published an excellent column in The Cavalier Daily, UVA’s student paper, calling on incoming UVA president Teresa Sullivan to "reevaluate current University speech codes to obtain the green light rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education." Stiles opens her column describing Adam’s speech at… Read more

  • CFN Member Encourages Reform at the University of Virginia

    November 5, 2009

    CFN member Ginny Robinson yesterday used her column in the University of Virginia’s student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, to expose the school’s illiberal speech policies. Robinson notes that another public college in Virginia, The College of William & Mary, recently earned a green-light rating from FIRE after revising its speech-related policies to comport with the First Amendment…. Read more

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

    January 19, 2009

    Last week, we introduced a speech code countdown here on The Torch. Over the next six months, FIRE will be drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Last week we described the restrictive policies at UCLA, which receives a… Read more

  • What Would the Founders Think of the Modern University?

    July 9, 2008

    (Maggie Rackl is a senior at the College of Charleston, where she majors in History with a minor in Asian Studies, and a 2008 FIRE Summer Intern.) In my experience, a favorite question of college and university admissions applications is the classic, "If you could go to dinner with any one person, living or dead,… Read more

  • Unconstitutional ‘Bias Reporting’ Programs: A Nationwide Problem

    November 29, 2007

    This fall, The College of William & Mary launched a Bias Incident Reporting System “to assist members of the William and Mary community—students, staff, and faculty—in bringing bias incidents to the College’s attention.” In its initial incarnation, the system was fraught with constitutional problems, from both free speech and due process standpoints. The system initially… Read more

  • ‘Cavalier Daily’ Cartoonist Fired for Politically Incorrect Cartoons

    September 12, 2007

    In one of the biggest non-surprises of the year, University of Virginia student newspaper cartoonist Grant Woolard has been fired from the Cavalier Daily student newspaper for authoring two cartoons published in recent weeks (as I discussed previously in The Torch, and thanks to a Torch reader for the tip). Woolard’s future with the paper… Read more

  • Cartoon Controversy at the University of Virginia

    September 10, 2007

    Being a political cartoonist is a thankless task these days. From the worldwide controversy surrounding the famous Danish Mohammed cartoons, to more localized dustups at places like Harvard Business School and Missouri State University, it seems that to be a political cartoonist (or the person who publishes such cartoons) is to constantly risk not just… Read more

  • Zoning Out Free Speech at Joliet Junior College

    January 4, 2007

    Last week, the Daily Southtown (Ill.) published an editorial criticizing the trustees of Joliet Junior College for adopting a new free speech zone policy. Although the new policy seems to be improved because it moves these zones closer to where students actually gather, the editorial board rightly questions why the policy wasn’t completely abolished. The… Read more

  • More on the University of Virginia

    October 3, 2005

    As we have discussed before, a furor started about a month ago at the University of Virginia after a few incidents of racist speech. Yesterday, former FIRE intern Anthony Dick, a U-Va. grad who is now an editor at National Review, wrote in the Washington Post condemning the idea that the appropriate way to respond… Read more

  • WWJD—What Would Jefferson Do?

    September 1, 2005

    The Associated Press (fresh off a masterful profile of FIRE) is reporting that “University of Virginia officials are considering making hate speech a violation of the campus honor code after racist messages were scrawled on doors and shouted from passing cars.” To be clear, UVA already has an appalling speech code. In a chilling inversion… Read more

  • Cheating Scandal at UVA Highlights the Need for Fairness and Due Process

    June 12, 2001

    UVA prides itself on its honor system, whose hearings resolve accusations of lying, cheating, and stealing. In theory, they imitate civil trials. Only the fair search for truth in such a system maintains the credibility of campus justice. History teaches that procedural protections and fundamental fairness must be thought about impartially and put into place… Read more