Freedom of Speech & Expression

Inspired by Martin Luther, who advanced his ideas despite the risk of imprisonment and excommunication, and by countless individuals who have spoken their minds in the face of determined opposition, Augustana University proudly affirms its commitment to freedom of speech and expression and to the forms of civil discourse that enable democracy to flourish. Augustana’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community calls for an equally strong commitment to freedom of speech and expression.

We hold that freedom of speech and expression is a human right, recognized as such in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United States Constitution. This right should be circumscribed only in rare cases by governments, universities or other institutions.

Augustana’s commitment to freedom of speech and expression advances the university’s mission to challenge the intellect and foster integrity through spirited and respectful encounter and authentic engagement with difference. We hold, in addition, that freedom of speech and expression is essential to the pursuit of wisdom, to genuine understanding among diverse individuals, to defending justice and opposing injustice, and to the creation of art, literature and music. 

We celebrate our duty as educators to model the habits of responsible free inquiry, by ensuring that our campus and its classrooms are a place where individuals of good will can express and critically discuss a wide range of positions without fear of ostracism or retribution.