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Arizona Enacts Law to Protect the Freedom of Speech on College Campuses

April 26, 2018

April 26, 2018

The freedom of speech won new protections on Arizona public university campuses yesterday as Governor Doug Ducey signed a new law designed to protect free speech for all individuals.

In a bill signing letter, Governor Ducey underscored why the new protections for free speech on college campuses are so critical today:

“We have all seen the headlines. On college campuses across the country, from Berkeley to Harvard, from Missouri to Middlebury–protests and violence have attempted to silence speech that some people just don’t want to hear.

“On our state’s public universities and community college campuses, constructive debate is encouraged, free speech is protected and diversity of thought is valued. I thank the leadership of our university presidents, our community college leaders, our professors and our students for their commitment to thoughtful dialogue, civil discourse and collaborative problem-solving.

“I am signing this bill to reaffirm to all of our college campus communities that we should continue to preserve the First Amendment rights of faculty, staff and students.”

The law is based on Goldwater Institute model legislation, which has also been enacted in North Carolina and adopted by the University of Wisconsin and University of North Carolina. The Arizona measure requires the Arizona Board of Regents and each community college district governing board to create and adopt a policy that recognizes the importance of free speech and creates a framework for disciplinary provisions for those who repeatedly violate others’ First Amendment rights.

“Nothing is more important than our First Amendment right to free speech,” said Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches. “With this new law, Arizona’s college campuses will truly be marketplaces of ideas, with all people having the ability to express themselves and be heard in a respectful manner.”

For more information about the Goldwater campus free speech model bill, as well as the latest news on states considering campus free speech legislation, visit



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