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UM System, four campuses affirm freedom of expression

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Christian Basi

August 21, 2017

COLUMBIA, Mo.  – University of Missouri System formally announced its commitment to free expression. In 2016, faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia approved a statement to promote free discourse that was based on the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression. Since then, faculty at all campuses including the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Missouri-St. Louis have approved the statement. The statement can be found here: https://freespeech.missouri.edu/commitment-to-free-expression/.  

“The freedom to express our opinions and to freely discuss ideas are fundamental to democracy and serve as central foundations that promote learning, research and engagement,” UM System President Mun Choi said. “At the University of Missouri System, we value our inclusive environment as defined by the remarkable diversity of background, experiences and thought.”

“This statement affirms the need to have a community of individuals who feel free to share their ideas and perspectives through open, respectful and robust discourse,” said Susan Brownell, professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and chair of the Intercampus Faculty Council, the body that represents faculty from all four campuses. “When you have people who are free to engage in debates and social criticism, you get better policies. Contemporary society is underpinned by our freedom of speech; it doesn’t matter how public it is, freedom of speech affects every one of us each day.” 

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