AUGUST 7: Tennessee Higher Education Freedom of Expression and Transparency Act

Dear Campus Community,

On July 1, the Tennessee Higher Education Freedom of Expression and Transparency Act (Public Chapter No. 268) became effective. MTSU remains committed to creating a welcoming and supportive campus environment for our students, faculty, and staff as we work to comply with all Tennessee laws.

The new law upholds the definitions and prohibitions outlined in Tennessee Divisive Concepts Act, which I explained in my Aug. 17, 2022, message. In addition, it requires public colleges and universities to provide a reporting and investigation process for any student or employee who believes a divisive concept violation has occurred. It also prohibits any bias or favoritism in the approval of space usage.

MTSU has implemented a reporting process to meet the requirements of this new law. The Divisive Concepts Reporting Form is available on the Office of Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management website. Regarding space use, consistent with our understanding of the law, our existing processes and systems are compliant. For a detailed resource on the law, please visit our divisive concepts guidance. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the information there.

Academic freedom in the classroom continues to be on the minds of many. We want to reassure you that MTSU remains vigilant in protecting academic freedom and preserving freedom of speech on our campus.  We will continue to provide intellectually diverse and stimulating opportunities that advance knowledge on our campus as a center of learning.

Thank you for continuing to make MTSU a distinctive community devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, research, and service.

Sidney A. McPhee


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