Iowa universities pursuing new free speech training and polling on campus

Iowa’s public universities have not systematically trained or polled their campuses on First Amendment and free-speech issues and experiences, but the Board of Regents is moving ahead with plans for both.

The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa for years have conducted separate “climate” surveys focused largely on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion; sexual violence; and safety on the campuses. But the board this summer will “identify the questions, processes, and timeline” for a systemwide survey on free speech issues.

In the meantime, according to regent documents, “All campuses will continue to pay particular attention to providing a welcoming climate for all faculty, staff, students and community members, while also ensuring that the policies and processes for addressing suppression of speech are clearly communicated.”

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