Notice of Special Meeting of the Board of Governors: Dec. 20 @ 12:00 p.m.

Posted on Sunday, December 16th, 2018

A special meeting of the Board of Governors has been called for Thursday December 20, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. to review the University's draft Policy Statement on Freedom of Expression. 


On August 30, 2018 the Office of the Premier issued a news release to announce that all publicly assisted colleges and universities must develop and publicly post their own free speech policy by January 1, 2019, and that non-compliance may result in reductions in operating grants. In order to respond to the government directive and in keeping with conversations around Freedom of Expression at the University of Guelph which started in Winter 2018, a Working Group was established to review existing University policies, conduct an environmental scan of similar policies at other institutions, and confer on the development of a draft policy statement for the University of Guelph. The Working Group has met frequently and engaged a variety of stakeholder groups at multiple junctures to review policy drafts and inform development, as well as to discuss implementation considerations. 

A wide-range of input has been provided and considered in the drafting of the policy, with a view to achieving a document that emphasizes the University’s values already articulated in existing institutional policy and framework documents, while meeting government requirements. The feedback collection process has been thoughtful and collegial, considering recent case studies, legal implications, implementation considerations and the University’s goals and direction. Furthermore, over the course of the engagement process, the policy has been meaningfully revised and has evolved to better reflect these values. As has been acknowledged throughout the policy development process, this policy represents a step in an ongoing conversation around freedom of expression at the University.

At its meeting November 26, 2018, the proposed policy statement was presented and discussed at Senate.  Following discussion, Senate voted unanimously to endorse the Policy Statement on Freedom of Expression. The Policy Statement was subsequently reviewed and recommended by the Board of Governor's Governance & Human Resources Committee and must now be reviewed and approved by the Board. 

Meeting Details

Meeting materials are available here:

The special meeting will take place by teleconference but remains open to the public. 

Please contact for details on how to register for the meeting and where you can listen in on campus.

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