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. If you are facing questions, criticism of your field of study or threats, please consult this guide for support in dealing with these issues.
“As engaged public scholars, we know that sometimes our ideas and perspectives, often informed by years of research and scholarship, can be controversial, particularly when they touch on issues where there are strongly divided perspectives in our society,” said Dan Reed, senior vice president for academic affairs.
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
- Reporting academic misconduct
- Responding to threats and harassment
- Protecting employee, student, and personal privacy
- Preserving protected records
- Handling public records requests
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.
“I want to reaffirm the university leadership’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 and its embodiment in the University of Utah,” Reed added.
“Please know that should you face hostile questions about your research, scholarship, or creative works, or experience personal threats, while in the fulfillment of your university responsibilities, we are here for you.”