Freedom of Expression 

For more than a century, the University of Iowa has been a national leader in advancing the causes of human dignity and equality through the creation of a diverse and inclusive educational environment. We remain steadfast in our commitment to these values, and we dedicate ourselves to making every member of our campus community feel valued and respected. The Campus Inclusion Team (CIT) is part of that commitment.

As an educational and research institution, the University of Iowa is also fully committed to free inquiry and vigorous debate. Free expression, academic freedom, and diversity of perspectives are all crucial to the fulfillment of our core mission. The robust exchange of diverse ideas is the essence of a public research university. 

Our commitments to free expression and an inclusive community are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, throughout our nation’s history, the rights of free speech and association have been indispensable to the causes of civil rights, justice, and equality. Likewise, academic freedom has allowed faculty, primarily through teaching and research, to challenge entrenched ideas and assumptions without fear of reprisal.

While free expression and inclusion ordinarily go hand in hand, we acknowledge that one person’s free speech may sometimes cause another to feel disrespected, excluded, or unwelcome on our campus. The CIT provides resources and support for those who are hurt by another’s words or actions. Consistent with constitutional law and other principles, however, the university does not investigate or punish speech unless the speech constitutes harassment, intimidation, or another violation of university policy. In this way, the University of Iowa stands firmly behind principles of free speech and academic freedom while it strives to create a caring and inclusive environment for all students, staff, and faculty.

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Freedom of Expression

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