University of Iowa issues — then quickly rescinds — guidance to faculty restricting speech related to COVID-19 vaccinations and masks

Aaron Terr
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Excerpt: On August 10, the University of Iowa issued guidance to its faculty restricting speech on the topics of COVID-19 vaccinations and mask usage. Perhaps recognizing that the guidance was unconstitutional, UI removed it from the provost’s website today to make revisions. FIRE calls on UI to ensure the revised guidance fully respects faculty members’ First Amendment rights and academic freedom.

The original FAQ-style guidance placed various restrictions on how faculty could discuss the issues of vaccinations and masks, with troubling implications for academic freedom. It would intrude on faculty members’ First Amendment rights and academic freedom, and UI must leave it out of the revised guidance.