Chicago principles

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The Chicago principles are a set of guiding principles intended to demonstrate a commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of expression on college campuses in the United States. Initially adopted by the University of Chicago following a report issued by a designated Committee on Freedom of Expression in 2014 (″Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression″)[1], they came to be known as the “Chicago principles” after other universities across the country committed to the principles or modelled their own based on similar goals.[2]

Since 2014, several other universities have committed to the principles, including Princeton and Purdue.[3][4] As of September 2018, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reported that 45 American colleges and universities had "adopted or endorsed the Chicago Statement or a substantially similar statement."[5]

Context and formulation[edit]

In July 2014, the University of Chicago formed the ‘University of Chicago's Committee on Freedom of Expression’ after a series of incidents where students at various schools sought to prevent controversial commencement speakers that year.[2] The committee returned a report which re-emphasized the school’s commitment to principles of free expression as “an essential element of the University’s culture.” The University's commitment to free speech gained national media attention in August 2016, when Dean of Students John Ellison sent a letter to the incoming freshman class of 2020 affirming the free speech principles and stating that the University did not support the use of trigger warnings or safe spaces.

In adopting the principles, Purdue president, Mitch Daniels later said “we didn’t see how we could improve on the language.”[4]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ Zimmer, Robert J.; Isaacs, Eric D.; (et al.). "Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression" (PDF). ommittee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Purdue adopts 'Chicago principles' to protect free speech". 3 May 2015. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  3. ^ "Opening inquiry | The University of Chicago Magazine". Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  4. ^ a b Kingkade, Tyler (2015-05-15). "Purdue Takes A Stand For Free Speech, No Matter How Offensive Or Unwise". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  5. ^ "Chicago Statement: University and Faculty Body Support". 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-09-09.

External links[edit]