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Message from the Office of the Chancellor

September 24, 2019 - Free Expression at UMSL

Dear UMSL community,

The University of Missouri–St. Louis provides all individuals the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. Please take a moment to review this statement on UMSL’s Commitment to Free Expression and our Campus Free Speech Guidelines. These declarations represent our commitment to protecting freedom of expression and creating an open environment where ideas can be heard and learning can flourish.

We value our inclusive environment, which includes diversity of background, experiences and thought, and understand that you or others might find some views offensive. That does not mean that these views can or should be censored or prohibited. Freedom of expression is one of the founding principles of the United States, outlined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, and it’s all the more imperative at an institution of higher education because of its central role in the promotion of learning, research and engagement.

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought – not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

We have established three contact points, however, for individuals who believe laws or campus guidelines have been violated by a presenter or audience member. These contacts are:

  • UMSL Police: 314-516-5155
  • D’Andre Braddix, Division of Student Affairs: 314-516-5205
  • Bob Samples, Office of the Chancellor: 314-516-5665

Thank you for your understanding and support of education and freedom of expression.

Best regards,


Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost