Policies: Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

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The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System has a longstanding tradition of support for academic freedom, dating back to 1894 and the famous “sifting and winnowing” statement contained in the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents’ Final Report on the Trial of Richard Ely. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System hereby reiterates its commitment to the principle of academic freedom and affirms its commitment to the principle of freedom of expression.

Academic freedom includes the freedom to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to reach conclusions according to one’s own scholarly discernment. Freedom of expression includes the right to discuss and present scholarly opinions and conclusions on all matters both in and outside the classroom. These freedoms include the right to speak and write as a member of the university community or as a private citizen without institutional discipline or restraint, on scholarly matters, or on matters of public concern. The UW System is committed to these principles and provides all members of the university community the broadest possible latitude to explore ideas and to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.

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