Academic Freedom

The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity believes that intellectual diversity and academic freedom are closely related, and affirms the mission of Students for Academic Freedom in its effort to affect change in the code of student conduct, and other institutional structures, in order to protect and promote the spirit of free inquiry in the learning community.

An excerpt from ” The Mission of the University ” - The Student Bill of Rights

” The central purposes of a University are the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the study and reasoned criticism of intellectual and cultural traditions, the teaching and general development of students to help them become creative individuals and productive citizens of a pluralistic democracy, and the transmission of knowledge and learning to a society at large. Free inquiry and free speech within the academic community are indispensable to the achievement of these goals. The freedom to teach and to learn depend upon the creation of appropriate conditions and opportunities on the campus as a whole as well as in the classrooms and lecture halls. These purposes reflect the values – pluralism, diversity, opportunity, critical intelligence, openness and fairness – that are the cornerstones of American society. ”

Elimination of the Speech Code

The Foundation maintains the position that the speech code at Brown University is a violation of students’ right to freedom of speech, and is contrary to the spirit of free inquiry that is the heart-and-soul of an institution of higher learning. We believe that intellectual diversity and academic freedom are not possible without open and candid discourse.

From Brown’s  Principles of the Brown University Community

“Brown strives to sustain a learning environment that supports individual exploration, creativity, and accomplishment and that promotes and protects the free exchange of ideas.”

From Brown’s Student Rights and Responsibilities

Brown students are forbidden from “subjecting another person or group to abusive, threatening, intimidating, or harassing actions, including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”