October 23, 2019
Free Speech Policies and Campus Resources
Dear Campus Community,
As Chancellor Gillman indicated in his annual message on Free Speech in Our Scholarly Community, UCI is committed to protecting all rights to free speech and academic freedom. I am writing to inform you of various university policies and resources related to our commitment.
For an overview of UCI’s approach to free speech, including resources and videos to learn more about free speech law and policy, please visit our Free Speech Website.
Over the past few years UCI has updated and clarified a number of important policies. Specifically:
- Our Free Speech at UCI Policy reviews basic principles, discusses how free speech rights are different within different university spaces, and explains “time, place, and manner” restrictions on speech.
- Our UCI Major Events Policy governs the use of UCI facilities for major events and explains the planning process.
- Our UCI Guidance Concerning Disruption of University Activities interprets the term “disruption” and details the potential consequences for disrupting University Activities.
The University of California’s policy on Academic Freedom speaks more broadly about the importance of academic freedom to a research university.
Free speech principles protect the right of individuals to express viewpoints without fear of censorship or punishment, but they do not protect people who use speech in order to advance illegal conduct, including incitement to violence or lawlessness, true threats, libel, or harassment. In particular, impermissible harassment of any person on account of that person’s race, sex, religion, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation is not protected speech. Neither does harassment comport with UCI’s Principles of Community. Any student – any person – who feels harassed should know that there are people on campus who want to help and should know how to ask for that help:
- Ombuds Office
- Counseling Center
- Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity
- Campus Assault Resources & Education
- UCI Police Department
- UC Campus Climate (Systemwide Intolerance Report) Form
As our 2019-2020 academic year continues, we encourage you to consider, explore and enjoy your freedom of speech at UCI.
Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D.