View Amendment Current Amendment: 22 to Bill 5150

Senator CAMPSEN proposes the following amendment (SA\5150C024.JN.SA22.DOCX):

Amend the bill, as and if amended, Part IB, Section 117, GENERAL PROVISIONS, page 552, after line 36, by adding an appropriately numbered new proviso to read:

/(GP: Chicago Statement) (A) From the funds appropriated to a public institution of higher learning, the governing body of the public institution of higher learning must adopt, and act in accordance with, the following statement on the commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression no later than August 1, 2022. The statement is commonly known as the "Chicago Statement" and has been adopted by over 80 institutions of higher education in the United States:

"[Public institution of higher learning] is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters—it guarantees all members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of [Public institution of higher learning], [Public institution of higher learning] fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community "to discuss any problem that presents itself.

Of course, the ideas of different members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of [Public institution of higher learning] to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although [Public institution of higher learning] greatly values civility, and although all members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. [Public institution of higher learning] may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of [Public institution of higher learning]. In addition, [Public institution of higher learning] may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of [Public institution of higher learning]. But these are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with [Public institution of higher learning]'s commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas.

In a word, [Public institution of higher learning]'s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community, not for [Public institution of higher learning] as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of [Public institution of higher learning]'s educational mission.

As a corollary to [Public institution of higher learning]'s commitment to protect and promote free expression, members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community must also act in conformity with the principle of free expression. Although members of the [Public institution of higher learning] community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, [Public institution of higher learning] has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it."

(B) If the governing body of a public institution of higher learning does not adopt this statement on or before August 1, 2022, then the State Treasurer must withhold all state payments to the public institution of higher learning until the statement is adopted.

(C) If the governing body of a public institution of higher learning has adopted a substantially similar statement based on the Chicago statement, then it must act in accordance with the adopted statement, but does not need to adopt another statement.

(D) At the public institution of higher learning's first scheduled budget subcommittee meeting in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, it shall provide a statement that it is acting in accordance with this proviso to the members of the appropriate budget subcommittees in the House of Representatives and the Senate. /

Amend sections, totals and title to conform.