Colorado Joint Resolution · 05 April 2004

Second Regular Session
Sixty-fourth General Assembly
LLS NO. R04-1140.01 Julie Pelegrin SJR04-033
Senate Committees House Committees


WHEREAS, Higher education in Colorado is a prized institution 1
that fosters learning, culture, and economic vitality; and 2

WHEREAS, Colorado's public institutions of higher education 3
have often expressed their commitment to valuing and respecting 4
diversity, including diverse intellectual and political viewpoints, and this 5
commitment must remain strong; and 6

WHEREAS, Respecting intellectual and political diversity means 7
that a student should never be penalized because of the political opinions 8
he or she holds that differ from a professor's and that all students should 9
be made to feel comfortable in exercising their right to listen critically 10
and to challenge a professor's opinions; and 11

WHEREAS, Academic freedom of faculty and academic freedom 12
of students are essential and complementary elements of successful 13
education, so that policies that protect students' rights need not and must 14
not cast doubt on professors' rights or vice versa; and 15

SJR04-033 -2-

WHEREAS, Although the state of Colorado has a legitimate 1
oversight role in state-sponsored higher education, the individual 2
institutions and their governing bodies are in the best position to 3
implement policies to safeguard the academic freedom of students and 4
faculty; and 5

WHEREAS, A memorandum of understanding addressing the 6
foregoing points was signed at the State Capitol on March 18, 2004, by 7
University of Colorado President Betsy Hoffman, Colorado State 8
University President Larry Penley, Metropolitan State College of Denver 9
Interim President Ray Kieft, and University of Northern Colorado 10
President Kay Norton; now, therefore, 11
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-fourth General Assembly 12
of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein: 13

(1) That we, the members of the Sixty-fourth General Assembly, 14
commend the signatory institutions for the memorandum of understanding 15
to protect academic freedom, and encourage all other public institutions 16
of higher education in Colorado to join in signing the memorandum of 17
understanding. 18

(2) That each state-supported institution of higher education is 19
encouraged to review its student rights and campus grievance procedures 20
to ensure that intellectual and political diversity is explicitly recognized 21
and protected and to ensure those rights are adequately publicized to 22
students. Each institution is further encouraged to work with student 23
leadership to ensure that the use of student activity fees meets the 24
standards articulated by the United States Supreme Court for an open 25
forum that is fair to all viewpoints. 26

(3) That leaders in higher education are encouraged to meet 27
periodically in joint session with the Education Committees of the House 28
of Representatives and the Senate during the next twelve months to 29
discuss the ongoing effort to ensure that the campus environment across 30
Colorado is open and inviting to students of all political viewpoints. 31

Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of this Joint Resolution be 32
sent to Rick O'Donnell, the executive director of the Colorado 33
commission on higher education with the request that copies of this Joint 34
Resolution be forwarded to each member of the Colorado commission on 35
higher education; the chairman of each higher education governing board 36
in the state; and the president and the faculty council chairman of each 37
state-supported institution of higher education in the state. 38