University of Colorado regents unanimously pass changes to free speech, expression policies

Daily Camera (Boulder): The University of Colorado Board of Regents on Friday unanimously passed sweeping changes to policies that include refined definitions of academic freedom and freedom of expression.

After an hour-long summary and discussion, the regents voted 8-0 to pass the policy changes with one friendly amendment during their full board meeting at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Regent Glen Gallegos, R-Grand Junction, had to leave before the vote.

The changes for the first time codified academic freedom for students, as well as definitions of freedom of expression for university community members. The changes come amid an ongoing national reckoning about how universities balance free speech and campus safety, as well as a push by conservative regents in particular to promote diversity of political thought.

“We can establish a culture that both balances free speech rights but that expects civility and respect from those who are part of the community,” university counsel Patrick O’Rourke said, as he explained the final policies before regents voted.

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