Due to their role in advancing knowledge, intellectual inquiry, and scientific research, University of Utah scholars often find themselves at the forefront of complex and sometimes controversial topics. This guide is intended to be a support for those facing threats, questions or criticism in their field of study.
As engaged public scholars, we know that sometimes our ideas and perspectives can be controversial, particularly when they touch on topics that are a source of deep division in our society.
This guide is part of the U’s commitment to academic freedom, free speech and safety. It is divided into three sections:
- Speech Policy (University Policy 1-007)
- Faculty Rights and Responsibilities (University Policy 6-010)
- Faculty Handbook
- Deciding when to respond to critics
- Writing and publishing opinion pieces as a subject matter expert
- Handling media requests and interviews
- Managing a presence on social media
- Engaging in political communication as a university employee
- Using the university’s name or affiliation
While this webpage is meant as a practical “quick guide” for university employees, it also serves as a statement of the university administration’s dedication and support for academic freedom. The University of Utah is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the PAC-12. The U also is the state’s flagship research university. University leaders firmly believe in the right of students, faculty and staff to study, teach, publish and perform.
We affirm the university’s dedication to and unwavering support for academic freedom — the right to pursue intellectual directions freely and unfettered — as the bedrock principle of our scholarly enterprise. It is equally important to recognize the university’s policy regarding free speech on campus and act within its established guidelines.
Working together, we can all make sure our voices are heard and the university remains a place of reasoned discourse with respect for the rights of all individuals.