Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,
In November 2016, I convened a Presidential Task Force on Free Expression “to come together to reflect on and re-examine our university’s policies and practices related to academic freedom and free expression.” The task force, led by Professor George Hall, was charged with drafting a set of principles to guide “free and robust debate and deliberation among all members of the university community.”
The task force studied Brandeis’ history regarding free expression and academic freedom, reviewed other universities’ statements and practices, and engaged in conversations with a wide range of campus constituencies. It held a half dozen community-wide meetings, and met as a body and with various groups on some 25 occasions. The product of this extensive work was a set of five proposed principles to serve as the foundation for policies that define what free expression means on our campus. The committee submitted the principles to me at the end of the 2017 academic year.