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Important Messages Log

April 8, 2016
Message from Vice Chancellor Parham

Free Speech

At UCI, we celebrate and embrace the differences that allow our community to make an extraordinary impact in the lives of others.

These differences permeate all corners of the campus, from our diverse student body to the varied opinions of our faculty, staff and invited guests. A common thread, representing the core of our mission, is freedom of speech. The Chancellor issues an annual message on this topic, writing in his latest message: “Universities exist to provide the conditions for hard thought and difficult debate so that individuals can develop the capacity for independent judgment. This cannot happen if universities attempt to shield people from ideas and opinions they might find unwelcome, or if members of the university community try to silence or interfere with speakers with whom they disagree.”

Recent events at other universities provide an opportunity to clarify campus policies on rights of free speech and protest.  The university is committed to providing opportunities for dissenting opinions to be expressed in a way that is consistent with free speech rights. Those rights will be affirmed and supported, and any attempts to prevent others to engage in those opportunities are inconsistent with our campus policies. Disruption of university business or authorized events, or efforts to prevent members of our community or invited speakers to express their views, are grounds for discipline.

As we enter the final weeks of this academic year, with its flurry of events and speakers, please remember that our university community is strengthened by the open, civilized analysis and discussion of ideas. These ideas may sometimes make us uncomfortable, but they have a worthwhile purpose.

Thank you for helping us support our unique culture by recognizing the need for civility, diversity and free speech. For more information see: UCI Rights of Free Speech and Academic Freedom.

Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor
Student Affairs