[Theaterfacultystaff] Fw: Interim policy of freedom of expression - input needed

Surovjak, Drew surovjak at ohio.edu
Tue Sep 26 14:07:47 EDT 2017

Dear Collegues,

I  do not think we will be able to get all faculty in one room to discuss this before October 8th. During the summer an interim policy on Freedom of Expression has been passed without the input of senate. The policy does not follow protocol; it did not have a written rational as required of all new and/or interim policies. It was pushed through by legal and upper administration.

I am attaching the AAUP' s concern about this interim policy.  This is the concern before it even went to the senate floor on September 11, 2017.

You can find two of the interim policies at the following links:

Freedom of expression at https://www.ohio.edu/policy2/24-014.html and  Use of outdoor space on the Athens campus at https://www.ohio.edu/policy/24-016.html

If you go to the academic handbook, it is clear that the interim policy is very different from before. It has not been changed online.


There is one section in this 'old' policy that really resonates well as we look to adopt a new policy: "Trustees, administrators, policy makers, and other stakeholders also have important roles to play, but the faculty and their students stand at the center of the enterprise." These words are definitely not at the core of the new interim policy.

What I need from colleagues is to go through the policy and please share a sentence or two about your thoughts on the new policy and how it can be adapted to be more inclusive of "US" and " OUR STUDENTS." How do we not allow silencing in such a robust academic community?

Below are a couple of articles about the policy/senate reaction to the interim policy on September 11th:

  *   https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/09/13/ohio-universitys-new-free-expression-policy-bars-indoor-protests
  *   https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/ohio/articles/2017-09-24/ohio-university-bans-indoor-protests-with-new-speech-policy
  *   http://fox8.com/2017/09/24/ohio-university-bans-indoor-protests-with-new-speech-policy/

  *   https://www.athensnews.com/news/campus/ou-s-new-free-speech-policy-limits-indoor-campus-protests/article_4e5c48b0-9646-11e7-9dfa-03e5ec200ddf.html

  *   http://www.latimes.com/sns-bc-oh--freedom-of-expression-policy-ohio-20170924-story.html

I am on the PRC committee for Senate. We need input from you by October 8th to compile information by October 10th.  This information will be sent forward to be discussed at Senate on October 16th. Senate is open to anyone to attend. You do not have to be a senator.

I appreciate and welcome any input.
Very best,

Assoc. Prof. Helene Siebrits
Head of Costume Program
Division of Theatre
School of Dance, Film and Theatre
Ohio University
Athens OH
Office: 740.566.6431
Cell: 740.447.8204

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