March 8, 2017
To: Members of the University Community
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost
Subject: Faculty Report on University Discipline for Disruptive Conduct
Date: March 7, 2017
A faculty committee was established in May 2016 to review and make recommendations about procedures for student disciplinary matters involving disruptive conduct, particularly interference with freedom of expression, inquiry and debate. The committee, chaired by Randal C. Picker, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, held discussions with students and faculty across campus, taking into consideration recent faculty reports and actions on free expression. They were asked to review, and recommend revisions to, the University-wide disciplinary procedures for disruptive conduct. Their charge also included providing advice on educational programming for students on the rights and responsibilities conferred by freedom of expression.
The committee has now completed its work and submitted its report and recommendations. Notably, the report includes as an appendix a proposed set of University-wide disciplinary procedures for disruptive conduct. These procedures, informed by the substantial student and faculty input received, seek to improve upon an existing University-wide disciplinary structure for disruptive conduct instituted in 1970 that is both complex and opaque for all involved. The procedures set forth in the report will be brought to the Council for review over the course of the next two months.
As the committee notes, the fact that this is the third faculty report in the last four years on the general topic of freedom of expression indicates the subject’s deep significance for the University.
I am deeply grateful for the efforts of the members of the committee, and for their productive work on this important topic.