Scholars at the University of Utah have all the rights and responsibilities of any other U.S. citizen. Academic freedom and free expression are not abstract concepts at the University of Utah. The university was founded to foster intellectual inquiry, scientific discovery, and generation of new knowledge. These activities can, at times, become targets of controversy and criticism. University administrators, the Academic Senate, the Office of General Counsel, and the rest of the university community exist to defend and protect not only the educational and research activities of faculty, students, and staff, but also the academic freedom and free expression that are essential components of academic work.
University Policy states that “academic freedom in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge through all media shall be maintained at the University of Utah. Such freedom shall be recognized as a right of all members of the University academic community...whether with or without tenure or continuing appointment, administrative officers, academic staff and other non-faculty academic personnel, and students of the university.”
The U’s speech policy protects the rights of expression and assembly guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Utah Constitution: “It is the purpose of these regulations to protect and enhance the free exchange of ideas in the university and on the university campus. The primary function of a university is to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching. To fulfill these functions, a free interchange of ideas is necessary.
“It follows that the university must ensure within it the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and protect the opportunity of all members of the university community and their guests to exercise their intellectual freedom and protect their right to communicate with others in the university community."