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Free speech rights and responsibilities: President Simon’s statement

Fundamental to MSU’s philosophy on campus dissent is a belief that the rights guaranteed in the First and Fourteenth amendments of the Constitution must be protected. The university has worked for decades to establish a community consensus on the scope of intellectually productive and constitutionally protected dissent, and to distinguish it from impermissible disruption.

Michigan State University is a community of scholars whose members include its faculty, staff, students, and administrators. The basic purposes of the University are the advancement, dissemination, and application of knowledge. The most basic condition for the achievement of these purposes is freedom of expression and communication. Without this freedom, effective sifting and testing of ideas cease, and research, teaching, and learning are stifled.

The robust exchange of ideas and perspectives can be indicative of a healthy intellectual environment. However, actions which directly or indirectly inhibit the freedoms and rights enjoyed by others are anathema to maintenance of a collegial environment.

—President Lou Anna K. Simon