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University is seeking input on interim policy 24.014

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis and Interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner shared the following message with the campus community today (9/18) regarding the feedback period for Interim Policy 24.014 Freedom of Expression:  

Dear OHIO Community, 

As we work through the process to adopt a permanent Freedom of Expression policy at Ohio University, it is clear that this is a significant issue that many throughout the Bobcat community care about deeply. We very much appreciate the thoughtful and constructive comments that have already been shared and the leadership role that the University Senates have taken since we released the interim policy last week. 

Shared governance and the trust it engenders are critical parts of our University community. We realize it would have been best to complete the interim policy with consultation from the University Senates before submitting it to the University community for comment. In fact, when stakeholders started expressing their concerns about the interim policy, we reacted quickly with this statement, which was provided directly to individuals and more broadly via the media. 

President Nellis and Interim Provost Descutner met with leaders of each of the University Senates and other reviewers last week to discuss the formal evaluation process. We were pleased that they wanted to make it clear that all students, faculty, and staff are being encouraged to reach out during the review process to their respective Senate leaders to share their comments and specific recommendations. 

Please know that we want to hear from our community and especially would like to receive constructive feedback in written form, including specific suggestions for revising the policy’s language, from all of our constituencies. As a point of reference, we have posted comparable policies from other Ohio universities online. To ensure sufficient time for the review process, we have extended the deadline for feedback to Friday, October 20, 2017. 

The University’s Office of Legal Affairs will also accept feedback on the interim policy, which may be sent by email to General Counsel John J. Biancamano with a copy to Miranda West, westm2@ohio.edu

It is imperative that all members of our campus community have an opportunity to be heard and that their perspectives inform our thinking as we develop the final policy. We look forward to continuing this constructive dialogue.


M. Duane Nellis 
Ohio University President   

David Descutner 
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost