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University of Utah leaders’ statement on academic freedom

Leaders have created a new online resource to support faculty.

University of Utah leaders have created a new online resource to support faculty.

“Open intellectual inquiry is the foundation of research and scholarship; education; and community engagement at the U and on university campuses around the country,” said Dan Reed, senior vice president for academic affairs.

The new website reaffirms the university’s commitment to academic freedom and provides links to communication, safety, and privacy resources, including:

  • The U’s speech policy, including faculty rights and responsibilities
  • Communication resources, including how and when to interact with government officials
  • Safety resources, including how to respond to threats and harassment
  • Protection of employee privacy
  • Document preservation when subject to GRAMA (Freedom of Information) requests

“The right to pursue intellectual directions freely and unfettered is one of the bedrock principles of our scholarly enterprise and its embodiment in the University of Utah,” Reed added.

In a message to faculty, he also acknowledged academic work can draw attention and, at times, controversy. “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,” he said.

The new website is meant to provide practical guidance.