28.1 Regents Policy

(Amended President 5/17/21)

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, Policy Manual (BRPM  4.2) addresses freedom of expression and includes the following statement and guiding principles:

  1. Policy statement. The Board of Regents is committed to the principles of free expression embodied in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and in Article 1, Section 7, of the Constitution of the State of Iowa. The Board recognizes that the primary mission of the institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction is the promotion of teaching, research, and scholarship.  In support of this mission, the institutions of higher education under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents must provide ample opportunity for members of the campus community to engage in the free exchange of ideas.
  2. Guiding principles.
    1. The primary function of the Regent universities is the discovery, improvement, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge by means of research, teaching, discussion, and debate. To fulfill this function, the universities must strive to ensure the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression allowed under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 
    2. It is not the proper role of the Regent universities to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which may include ideas and opinions the individual finds unwelcome, disagreeable, or even offensive.
    3. It is the proper role of the Regent universities to encourage diversity of thoughts, ideas, and opinions and to encourage, within the bounds of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the peaceful, respectful, and safe exercise of First Amendment rights.
    4. Students, faculty, and staff have the freedom to discuss any problem that presents itself, assemble, and engage in spontaneous expressive activity on campus, within the bounds of established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are consistent with established First Amendment principles.
  3. Campus speakers and programs. The Board of Regents Policy Manual addresses campus speakers and programs in BRPM 4.2F:

    "The universities shall encourage students and staff to hear diverse points of view from speakers and programs sponsored by the university and/or recognized student, faculty, and employee organizations. 
    1. "Restrictions. In sponsoring campus speakers and programs, recognized faculty, student, and employee organizations shall comply with institutional rules on the advance reservation of rooms, the posting of notices, and the payment of rental charges when applicable and such other rules as the institution prescribes for the use of its buildings to avoid any interference with the regular program of the institution.
    2. "Sponsorship of meeting. To encourage the presentation of diverse points of view on any issue, the president of a Regent university or a campus committee may at any particular meeting, or from time to time, sponsor, or encourage recognized campus groups to sponsor, additional speakers or programs that will contribute to the full and frank discussion of such issue."