Free Expression

special announcement

Federal Action Regarding Free Expression on Campuses
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Open Discourse and Rigorous Inquiry

A foundation for excellence in education and research

A Fundamental Principle

The University of Chicago has demonstrated its commitment to the principles of free expression for more than 125 years
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Through the Broyles Bills and McCarthyism, Vietnam protests and the Cold War, University leaders, faculty, students, and staff have defended and upheld the principles of free expression and academic freedom.
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University President Robert J. Zimmer discusses the central importance of free expression to universities in a 2016 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education.”
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In 2014, President Robert J. Zimmer and then-Provost Eric Isaacs appointed a committee of University faculty to articulate “the University’s overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate.” The resulting “Chicago Principles” have since been adopted by universities and colleges across the country.
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Free Expression: A University of Chicago Core Value

An education that fosters free expression empowers students to engage with challenging ideas – in college and throughout their lives. This video provides an overview of the Chicago Principles and the University of Chicago’s commitment to free expression in a setting of diverse perspectives.

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“There is not an institution of learning in the country in which freedom of teaching is more absolutely untrammeled than in the University of Chicago.”


William Rainey Harper
First President of the University of Chicago