In the fall of 2017, the UW System Board of Regents adopted a policy titled “Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression” (RPD 4-21) which reinforced the Board’s commitment to academic freedom, freedom of expression, and expectations for those who violate the policy.
This policy sets forth certain rights, protections, and responsibilities of our campus community in regard to academic freedom and freedom of expression. A few notable rights, protections, and requirements, among others:
- Members of the campus community have the right to engage in speech and expression on campus and to assemble and engage in spontaneous expressive activity as long as such speech, expression, or activity does not disrupt the functions of the university.
- Members of the campus community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus as long as their actions do not materially and substantially disrupt the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity, such as heckling an invited speaker to the point that the speaker’s message cannot be conveyed. This type of behavior may result in disciplinary action or sanctions.
- The First Amendment does not protect speech or expression that violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat or discriminatory harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the university.
UW-Whitewater is a community of learning where we promote civil discourse that will lead to engagement, understanding, and ongoing commitment toward the sharing of ideas, opinions, and beliefs that may be different from our own.