September 7, 2023

Welcome to Year of Free Speech at UCI

Dear new Anteater:

Welcome to UCI! As you prepare for the start of one of the great adventures of your life, I want to tell you about some special events happening this year.

We have designated the 2023-24 school year as the “Year of Free Speech and Academic Freedom” in order to provide our community with a deeper understanding of the values of free expression and academic freedom.

This university-wide set of thematic events and programs is co-sponsored by my office and the UC National Center on Free Speech and Civic Engagement. It will be enhanced by school, program and division-specific activities organized throughout the university.

This special programming will offer students, faculty and staff opportunities to develop their understanding of both the legal and philosophical foundations of free expression and academic freedom and of the importance of engaging across strong differences of opinion – or conversations across the divide.

Chancellor Howard Gillman on left, Michelle Deutchman on right

To kick things off, I, alongside Michelle Deutchman, executive director of the UC National Center on Free Speech and Civic Engagement, am teaching a one-unit, pass/no pass, online course that will give you a thorough introduction to the concepts that will be discussed all this year. Watch this video to learn more.

I hope you will join me in exploring these vital issues.

Fiat Lux.

Chancellor Howard Gillman