Anschutz campus birds-eye view
One of the great contributions CU Anschutz makes to society is the creation of new knowledge and new solutions to improve human health. To fulfill that critical mission, we must be an inclusive and respectful community in which each of us feels empowered to speak freely about our ideas and perspectives. This is crucial to the open, innovative environment that enables our campus to thrive. - Donald Elliman, Jr., CU Anschutz Chancellor

Freedom of Expression

The CU Anschutz Medical Campus is committed to being a place where free speech and academic freedom are valued, supported and protected, within a culture of civility and respect. In accordance with CU Regent law and policies, revised in September 2018, we distinguish between academic freedom, which happens in classrooms and research labs, and freedom of expression, which happens on campus and in a person’s private life. This website outlines our steadfast commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom and highlights relevant policies and programs.


Free Speech at CU Anschutz


As a campus of the University of Colorado, CU Anschutz advances the health and well-being of the people of Colorado and the world through its pioneering advances in education, research and health care delivery.

As part of engaging a well-trained professional citizenry, CU Anschutz hosts speakers who represent differing views. CU Anschutz will continue to ensure that the primacy of academic freedom and freedom of expression are upheld and the critical nature of civil discourse remains a part of this community.


For Students

A group of students talking

Freedom of expression plays a valuable role in the student experience at CU Anschutz. Universities provide unique opportunities for you to hear a variety of viewpoints, express your own views, debate issues, get involved and make change. An active, vocal and engaged student body is a keystone of university life. CU Anschutz students enjoy academic freedom (the ability to raise questions and challenge views in the classroom) and freedom of expression (both on campus and in their private life), as protected by the First Amendment and Colorado’s constitution. Below are resources for getting involved on campus, as well as exercising your freedom of speech:

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the concepts of academic freedom and free speech related, but different?

Nov 29, 2018, 12:50 PM
Question : How are the concepts of academic freedom and free speech related, but different?

The concepts of free speech and academic freedom are distinctly different, and both have been treated in great depth for well over 100 years, making any attempt at a short description at risk of oversimplification. That said, as described in the Laws of the Regents, expression in research and teaching is protected by and subject to the Laws of the Regents and other policies defining academic freedom, while speech that occurs outside of employment or study is protected as freedom of expression.

Another fundamental difference that distinguishes academic freedom from general freedom of expression is the concept of and search for the truth, and the disciplinary bounds in which scholarship occurs. Academic freedom, in general terms, is the right afforded to faculty members to create and disseminate knowledge and seek truth as they know it, subject to the standards of their disciplines and the rational methods by which truth is established. Academic freedom also protects the rights of students to pursue their studies and to formulate their own opinions on the matters being taught, subject to the academic requirements within a program of study or course.

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