Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC)
Review of Justice Committee Report
4/21/01 (PJ Davis)
This document was generated from the FCEC discussion on 4/20 and was then
discussed at the FCEC+ meeting with the Provost Ekland-Olson and Vice
President Jim Vick on 4/23. In our discussion, we recognized that the
Justice Committee had a narrowly defined charge and a relatively short
timeline in specifically addressing the six questions posed by the President,
and suggesting any changes in the wording of current policies to meet
the deadline for the next edition of the GIB (i.e., by the end of the
Spring semester). The Faculty Executive Committee (FCEC) and the Committee
on Academic Freedom and Responsibility were charged to review the Justice
Report and provide feedback. The response below (and the discussion in
the FCEC+ cited above) represents the FCEC's review.
In order to clarify the responsibilities of various committees looking
into ïfree speech' issues (i.e., the Justice Committee, the Dorn Committee,
and the Academic Freedom Committee) it was noted that the recently empanelled
Dorn Committee has a specific charge to address the inquiry (resolution)
passed by the Faculty Council (i.e., "ƒthat the administration investigate
the allegation that Professor Mia Carter was singled out by the campus
police during the demonstrations concerning the display on the Gregory
Gym mall.î). In addition, the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility
(currently reviewing the Justice Committee Report) will be given a charge
to examine the broader range of free speech issues that have arisen on
our campus, particularly those that are faculty-related. It is recognized
that this latter charge will be a longer-term effort.
The comments shown below in [bracket italics] are notes derived from the
FCEC+ meeting and from FCEC-member comments following that meeting.
Comments on Intro
The FCEC concurs that processes are needed to better inform the community
as to the current (and to be modified) rules regarding use of University
facilities (GIB Chapter 10). In addition to the processes suggested (web-based
distribution, informational handouts, etc.) we would also suggest that
the Dean of Students Office consider developing a set of ïpolicy sheets'
that succinctly summarize the pertinent rules for each type of facility
usage or event. Such a document could be downloadable from the web, and
would be signed by the organizational representative (signifying understanding
and acceptance of the rules) and turned in as part of the application
for using the facility. [Discussion: Jim Vick thought this was a very
Comments on Responses to President Faulkner's Questions
||We concur that the University should not (in general)
get into the business of restricting displays based on content.
The question posed, however, was whether the University has the
right to restrict displays based on content. The second part of
the response would suggest that the answer is ïyes' (denying a permit
based on content is tantamount to restricting content). We concur
that such a denial would be appropriate if there was reason to believe
that there would be ïsignificant disruption of campus activities'.
The question is, how is such a determination to be made (so that
it does not appear to be arbitrary)? [Discussion: Long discussion
on ïwhat if' scenarios, but Jim Vick agreed this was one of the
more difficult issues to deal with and still needs discussion. This
is one area where exploration by the Committee on Academic Freedom
& Responsibility would be helpful; i.e., how does the University
decide unacceptable content (obscene, etc), and how does the University
predict ïsignificant disruption' without basing it on content?]
||It is not clear why Gregory Gym Plaza would be
appropriate for an exhibit area, but not as a rally area. We're
not suggesting that it should be, rather we're asking what goes
into making the recommendation that a particular area be designated
a ïrally area'. [Discussion: This is an example of where the
surrounding academic environment would dictate what should vs should
not be a rally area based on the use of amplified sound. For example,
if the Business School (which faces this area to the west) did not
have objections to the use of amplified sound during specific time
periods (e.g., 11;30-1:30), this then could be a rally area during
that period of time. It's a community decision. That said, concern
was voiced after the FCEC+ meeting as to whether the Gregory Gym
Plaza area should be designated either a display or a rally
area, based on the public traffic (i.e.,
||including visitors for outside the University)
across that area. The concern was that it would be difficult to protect
visitors (especially kids) from potentially offensive material
such a high traffic area One possible suggestion is to look at the
Indiana model, where there are designated ïanything goes' areas
with other areas designated with more restrictions].
||Assuming that ïexisting rules' on co-sponsorship
refers to Subchapter 10-200, Sec 10-201(c), this really is not clear
since it simply refers to Regents' Rules. Is there a succinct way
of stating what co-sponsorship would or would not be allowed? [Discussion:
A very long discussion ensued with the basic conclusion that this
is an area that needs substantial work and definition. Input from
the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility on this issue
would be helpful. It is important that this be clearly defined and
communicated so that decisions for approval versus non-approval do
not appear to be arbitrary, but in addition, to avoid allowing ambiguity
to serve as a mechanism to circumvent the rules (i.e., ïloopholes')].
|| Clarification of what constitutes amplified sound,
when it is allowed, and (what appears to be) the requirement for
prior approval in all cases is helpful. The definition of amplified
needs work, however (how can amplified sound be a ïdevice'?). [Discussion:
A clearer definition will be proposed].
||We concur that the rules should apply to students,
faculty, and staff.
Comments on the Subsection Revisions to
||Clarification of specific campus areas (for exhibits,
rallies, etc) is very helpful.
||Modifications for the section on Public Demonstrations:
While it is understood why a longer period of time for application
approval is necessary, there is concern that a 5-day turnaround could
stifle timely, public response to a pressing issue. [Discussion:
Jim Vick agreed that the proposed timeline has the potential of creating
the problem specified, and wasn't sure whether the one day turnaround
was actually causing problems. He will therefore be taking this back
to the Committee].
||The final level of appeal is specified as the Vice
President. Is there precedent for this (implying that a decision cannot
be appealed to the President)? [Discussion: From a practical standpoint,
anyone can write a letter to the President appealing any decision.
However, from an operational standpoint, there are ample examples
of policies where Vice Presidents or Deans havethe final word. An
additional proposal would be that potential ïproblem' application
for use of campus facilities or a rally area be referred to an appropriate
Committee (e.g., the Academic Freedom Committee if appropriate for
the issue) for rapid response.].