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
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.
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.
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:
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects free speech of members of the university community and their ability to speak on matters of public concern as private citizens:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Through the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, the First Amendment’s protections were made effective against governmental entities such as the state and public institutions of higher education.
The First Amendment protects not only speech, but also expressive activities. The types of expression that the courts have determined are expressive activities include flag-burning, burning draft cards, political cartoons, protest armbands, political buttons and slogans on T-shirts. During the second wave of the feminist movement in the 1960s, women burned their bras to protest gender inequality. Speech involving issues of public concern, such as political and social matters, have the most protection. But while some activity — such as burning a cross — may be protected as First Amendment speech, it could nevertheless be subject to criminal prosecution, if it violates criminal laws that do not involve the content of the speech.