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Executive Staff Policy Committee releases Statement of Commitment to Free Expression and proposed policies on Use of Outdoor and Indoor Spaces


Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs, Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer, Vice President for Student Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Jason Pina and General Counsel John Biancamano delivered the following message to the campus community and shared three proposed documents as part of the consultative revision and feedback process that Ohio University has engaged in over the course of the academic year.



Dear OHIO Community,

We, the members of the Executive Staff Policy Committee (ESPC), write today to share with you three documents as part of the consultative revision and feedback process our university has engaged in over the course of this academic year. The proposed documents are as follows:  


In drafting these documents, the members of ESPC used as their guidepost the April 2018 report of the Presidential Advisory Group on Free Speech at Ohio University, which received full support for its recommendations by President M. Duane Nellis. More specifically, our efforts in revising the interim policies have focused on reflecting the legacy of activism at Ohio University, affirmed our commitment to free speech and expression in all its forms, and balanced the need for safety on our campuses and access to educational opportunities for our students.

Campus constituencies, including the Faculty, Administrative and Classified Senates, the Student and Graduate Student Senates, Deans, Chairs and Directors, the Chief of Police, and the Executive Director of Baker Center have received the proposed new policies for their feedback as part of the policy review process as described in Preparation of Policies (Policy 01.001). For those who have feedback and thoughts to share about the three proposed policies, comments should be directed to the leadership of their senates or constituencies. These groups will have 30 days to provide written feedback. This aligns with the plan for new policies to be in place before the end of the semester. The ESPC will review feedback, make constructive revisions, and shepherd the policies through the process as outlined in Policy 01.001.  

We thank the Presidential Advisory Group on Free Speech for its careful, diligent, and comprehensive report. We also appreciate the many voices of our campus communities who have offered critique and support on this most important of issues for our campuses. These drafts are a reflection of varied perspectives and demonstrate the value of robust and open debate to the health of our university community. 

Signed,

Elizabeth Sayrs
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

Deborah Shaffer
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Jason Pina
Vice President for Student Affairs
Interim Chief Diversity Officer

John Biancamano
General Counsel