ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

South Dakota University System Policy will Promote Free Expression and Intellectual Diversity

December 14, 2018 by Elliott Cole

The South Dakota University System’s Board of Regents gathered on December 4–6 to update the university system’s policy manual to protect and strengthen freedom of speech and intellectual diversity at the state’s public colleges and universities.

In the policy, the Board stated a commitment to “provide all members of their community the latitude to explore ideas and to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn” and declared that “it is not the proper role of the Board or the institutions to attempt to shield individuals from viewpoints they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

Through this policy, South Dakota will join a growing list of state university systems that are placing intellectual diversity at the forefront of their academic missions, and embracing the ideals set forth by the Chicago Principles on Freedom of Expression. Over 50 colleges and universities have now adopted policies that mirror these guidelines pioneered by the University of Chicago.

ACTA applauds the action taken by the Board to recognize the importance of free expression to providing an intellectually rich education. Since ACTA’s founding, we have engaged directly with university boards, including in South Dakota, to ensure that institutions of higher education provide students, faculty, and staff with an environment that encourages vibrant debate and discussion. We look forward to other state systems following the strong leadership exhibited by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

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CONTACT: Doug Sprei, dsprei@goacta.org