Policies and Procedures

13.10 Freedom of Expression

Providing a forum for the free expression of ideas is a cherished and time-honored feature of university life.

Freedom of expression is legally reinforced and mandated by: 1) the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." and 2) Article I, Bill of Rights, Section 7, of the Iowa Constitution: "Every person may speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech, or the press."

As a university of the state of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa bears a collective responsibility to ensure that freedom of expression is protected. The university's mission statement declares that "[t]he University is committed to providing an optimum level of learning opportunities for the intellectual development of its students, faculty, staff." In carrying out these responsibilities, allowances may be made for considerations of reasonable time, place and manner of expression that are content-neutral. To this end, it is the responsibility of every university employee and student to abide by the legal requirements ensuring freedom of expression.

See also / related policies and resources:

UNI policy 3.03 Personal Conduct Rules (https://policies.uni.edu/303) and Iowa Administrative Code section 681-9.1 (262) Uniform rules of personal conduct (BOR) (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/iac/agency/681.pdf)

UNI policy 3.10 Registration of Student Organizations (https://policies.uni.edu/310)

UNI policy 6.10 Academic Freedom, Shared Governance, and Academic Responsibility (https://policies.uni.edu/610) and Board of Regents (BOR) Policy Manual section 3.9 Academic Freedom (https://www.iowaregents.edu/plans-and-policies/board-policy-manual/39-academic-freedom)

UNI policy 8.05 Posting of Non-Commercial Signs and Displays (https://policies.uni.edu/805)

UNI policy 10.09 Federal and State Lobbying and Political Activity (https://policies.uni.edu/1009)

UNI policy 13.02 Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (https://policies.uni.edu/sites/default/files/13.02.pdf)

UNI policy 13.08 Speakers and Programs On Campus (https://policies.uni.edu/1308)

Code of Iowa Chapter 261H Speech and Expression—Public Institutions of Higher Education (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/261H.pdf)

BOR Policy Manual section 4.2 Freedom of Expression (https://www.iowaregents.edu/plans-and-policies/board-policy-manual/42-freedom-of-expression)

President's Bulletin, 9/9/90