Temporary standards and procedures for campus events and demonstrations

Today, we write to share two important updates about Penn’s policies and procedures for when, where, and how open expression can take place. Throughout the academic year, members of the Penn community have urged University leadership to clarify and update our guidance and policies specific to campus events and demonstrations. This request for increased clarity also emerged as a priority recommendation in the final reports from both the University’s Task Force on Antisemitism and the Presidential Commission on Countering Hate and Building Community.

First, effective immediately, Penn will adopt and implement Temporary Standards and Procedures for Campus Events and Demonstrations. In developing these Temporary Standards, feedback and input were sought from School Deans, the Faculty Senate, and student, faculty, and staff leaders.

The purpose of these Temporary Standards and Procedures is to reinforce and reaffirm Penn’s commitment to open expression and, at the same time, ensure that events, demonstrations, and other expressions of free speech are appropriately managed, while allowing Penn to deliver its core missions of teaching, research, service, and patient care without disruption. We encourage all members of the Penn community to review these Temporary Standards and Procedures, which consolidate, organize, clarify, and update guidelines specific to campus events, including demonstrations.

Second, a faculty-led Task Force will be charged with reviewing the Guidelines on Open Expression and making recommendations for revisions to the Guidelines. Penn remains steadfast in its commitment to freedom of thought, inquiry, speech, and lawful assembly, and it is essential from time to time that we review the Guidelines on Open Expression to ensure they are supporting these foundational commitments.

Lisa Bellini, Senior Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Perelman School of Medicine, and Chair of the Committee on Open Expression, and Sigal Ben-Porath, MRMJJ Presidential Professor of Education and Faculty Director of the SNF Paideia Program, will co-lead the Task Force. Additional members will soon be appointed, and the Task Force will begin its work this summer.

The Task Force’s work will follow the historical precedent for reviewing the Guidelines on Open Expression, which last occurred in 1989. This review will include the Task Force providing recommendations for consideration by the Committee on Open Expression (COE). The COE, in turn, will present recommendations to the University Council. The University Council will then present final recommendations to the Interim President. As part of this effort, the Task Force will also be charged with reviewing the Temporary Standards and Procedures for Campus Events and Demonstrations.

These are important steps forward for our campus community, and we look forward to sharing additional updates as this work progresses over the summer.


J. Larry Jameson
Interim President

John L. Jackson, Jr.

Craig R. Carnaroli
Senior Executive Vice President

Sara S. Bachman
Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice

Sarah Banet-Weiser
Walter H. Annenberg Dean, Annenberg School for Communication

Jonathan A. Epstein
Interim executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and interim dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

Steven J. Fluharty
Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, School of Arts & Sciences

Andrew M. Hoffman
Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine

Erika H. James
Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, The Wharton School

Vijay Kumar
Professor and Nemirovsky Family Dean, Penn Engineering

Sophia Z. Lee
Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law, Penn Carey Law School

Frederick Steiner
Dean and Paley Professor, Stuart Weitzman School of Design

Katharine O. Strunk
Dean and George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education

Antonia M. Villarruel
Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, School of Nursing

Mark S. Wolff
Morton Amsterdam Dean, School of Dental Medicine