Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2019

  1. Quorum?

  2. Felony disclosure at the University

    1. Benchmarked against BTAA institutions: (internal link)

  3. “Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities”

    1. Policy: “to encourage institutions to foster environments that promote open, intellectually engaging, and diverse debate, including through compliance with the First Amendment for public institutions and compliance with stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech for private institutions” (subsection 2(a))

    2. Specifics: heads of covered federal agencies will “ensure institutions that receive Federal research or education grants promote free inquiry, including through compliance with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and policies”
      “Federal research or education grants […] do not including funding associated with Federal student aid programs that cover tuition, fees, or stipends”

    3. I have no fear that our University is/would be in compliance with this Executive Order.


  4. FIRE has asked us to review the “University of Chicago Free Speech Statement”:
    (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) 510 Walnut Street, Suite 1250 Philadelphia, PA 19106)

    1. Is this something we support?

    2. Do we wish to adopt it as our own? / Advocate for Faculty Senate adoption?


  5. A year end report?

    1. A Statement on Letters of Recommendation

    2. General understanding with the General Counsel

    3. Updated/Consolidated our website

    4. Settled on a name, Committee on Civil Rights and Liberties

    5. Published last year’s meeting minutes

    6. Developed a feedback form: (but we could do with some better publicity!)

    7. Wrote to the Working Group on Faculty-Student Relations suggesting revisions to their proposed Recommendations

    8. Developed a set of talking points regarding SPG 601.38 (felony disclosure at the University)


  6. Ways we can improve for next year?


  7. Ways we can take advantage of summer?


  8. Events for next year

    1. Semesterly seminar?

    2. Open forum?

    3. Town hall?

    4. A “know your rights” first amendment crash course type thing



March 15, 2019

  1. Quorum?

  2. Felony disclosure at the University

    1. Talking points developed

    2. Shared with student chapter of ACLU

    3. Student chapter of ACLU wrote op-ed in the Michigan Daily touching on some of our points:’s-felony-disclosure-policy-violates-due-process

    4. What should we do?

  3. Committee Membership for next year

    1. Are there specific faculty members who you would recommend to serve on your committee?

    2. Are there people with specific areas of knowledge that you think you committee would benefit from?

    3. Are there ways we can encourage more attendance/participation?

  4. Events for next year

    1. Semesterly seminar?

    2. Open forum?

    3. Town hall?

    4. A “know your rights” first amendment crash course type thing



February 15, 2019

  1. Quorum?

  2. Events next year

    1.  A monthly civil rights seminar and/or discussion

  3. Disclosure of a felony charge or conviction

    1. SPG 601.38 (effective February 1, 2019):


    3. The Carceral State Project has published an open letter asking that the policy be rescinded:

  4. Dorm door free/hate speech

  5. Our form v. the Office of Institutional Equity form


    2. Do we need to differentiate the purpose of our work from that of the OIE? Is the CCRL form more focused on civil liberties vs. the OIE form focused more on civil rights? If a faculty member reported a hate incident using our form, would it be handled differently on the back end than if they submitted it via the OIE form?

  6. Getting this group working/meeting

    1. Maybe a weekend brunch?

  7. Other business arising



December 17, 2018

  1. Old website deleted
  2. Last year’s meeting minutes and our previous meetings’ minutes published
    1. Approve last meeting’s minutes each next time we meet?
  3. Kate developed a feedback form for us:
    1. David helped to revise
    2. We have a few places we can place this
  4. UM transgender rights/protections
    1. The University’s policy is at least as good as MCRC position
  5. Meeting times for next semester
    1. Planned meeting weeks
      1. Jan 14 – 18
      2. Feb 11 – 15
      3. Mar 11 – 15
      4. Apr 8 – 12
    2. Attendance at Faculty Senate
  6. Intersection of faculty members’ ideologies and members’ responsibilities to students
    1. “A panel appointed by Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Martin Philbert has been charged to examine the broad question, “What ought be the intersection of faculty members’ political thought and ideology and faculty members’ responsibilities to students?”  Our charge is notto formulate specific policy or processes, but to recommend appropriate considerations and principles to inform this question.”
    3. Open meeting in Ann Arbor on Friday, January 11, 10:00 am -12:00 pm, East Room, Pierpont Commons
    4. Interested in seeing the outcome of this examination. Is there anything that CCRL could/should be doing to support this project? Send out additional communication for the survey and sessions?
  7. Language regarding student-professor relationships in final draft recommendations
    1. Working Group on Faculty-Student Relationships (SPG 601.22) Final Recommendations have been published:
    2. We support the new policy entirely—it presumptively bans sexual and romantic relationships between faculty and undergraduates and between faculty and graduate/professional students in the same academic unit.
    3. However, at least one thing at the end of the above report could be problematic from a civil rights/civil liberties perspective. On page 12, in the “Communications” section, the Working Group discusses putting out a Q&A document giving examples of forbidden behavior. In a parenthetical, the Working Group gives an example of proof of a forbidden relationship existing or forming on the horizon if a faculty member and student have texted on a subject unrelated to the student’s area of instruction.
    4. It is our hope this is nothing more than a poorly chosen phrase. The fact that a faculty member and a student exchange texts on non-academic subjects should not be taken as proof of an existing or incipient romantic/sexual relationship. The presence of that language in the policy threatens to chill faculty members from forming the kind of close mentoring relationships with students that help advance the students’ careers.
    5. Should we contact a Working Group representative to ask that the problematic phrase (“texting students about topics unrelated to the instructional relationship”) be revised to remove the possible negative civil rights and liberties implications inherent in such a statement in what is an otherwise fantastic report?
  8. ADA, disability access, draft advisement


Barry Belmont, Biomedical Engineering, Chair
David Moran, Michigan Law
Darrius Robinson, RSG Student Representative
Matthew Zimmer, Michigan Medicine

Daniel Green, CSG Student Representative
Rachael Kohl, Michigan Law
Herman Love, Michigan Medicine
Kyriaki Marti, School of Dentistry
Jennifer Matthew, Michigan Medicine
Martha McComas, School of Dentistry
Kate Saylor, University Library – Taubman
Deirdre Spencer, University Library, SACUA Liaison
Ada Williams, Michigan Medicine
Heather Walline, Michigan Medicine


November 26, 2018

  1. Met with General Counsel
  2. Got admin access for CCRL website(s)
  3. Put up Statement on Letters of Recommendation to CCRL website
  4. Would like to get pictures of everyone for Committee
  5. Would like to publish last year’s Meeting Minutes
  6. Development of a “feedback loop”
    1. Develop a Google Form to solicit feedback (exclusively from members of the University of Michigan for the time being)
      1. Form to be developed within one week of this meeting
      2. Avenues of distribution?
    2. Assign “readers” from the Committee to summarize responses at next meeting
    3. At next meeting, members of Committee discuss feedback received and we can do at least one of two things:
      1. Elect to do nothing
      2. Draft a statement for release (public, SACUA, etc.)
        1. Assign drafter of the statement, to deliver a draft of the statement to the Committee within a week of the meeting
        2. Members of the Committee have ~72 hours to suggest any revisions
        3. Shortly after suggestions are received a new statement will be drafted and submitted where appropriate
  7. I would like to draft a statement on the following
    1. ‘The Justice Department today told the U.S. Supreme Court that businesses can discriminate against workers based on their gender identity without violating federal law. Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the high court that a civil rights law banning sex discrimination on the job doesn’t cover transgender bias.’
    2. Are we sure that the University (in any capacity as a business or employer) has policies sufficiently nondiscriminatory enough for our liking as faculty? As possible employees in that business? Perhaps as lecturers? Across all campuses? How would we know? Is this someone else’s job? Tap resource for statement draft?
  8. I would like us to consider a statement on “the freest of speech”
    1. What should academia do in particular to support free speech?
    2. Do we have any special responsibilities, insight, expertise, perspectives upon which to draw?
    3. As we face continued tests, what should be our guiding star(s)? How should we comport ourselves as an institution —a public institution — as abridgments of liberty continue, as divisive rhetorics normalize?
    4. Hard to draft because of the complexity of the issues
    5. “Very situational”, “exceptions to every rule”, “even exceptions to the exceptions”


Barry Belmont, Biomedical Engineering, Chair
Rachael Kohl, Michigan Law
Jennifer Matthews, Michigan Medicine
David Moran, Michigan Law
Kate Saylor, University Library – Taubman (via Google Hangout)
Deirdre Spencer, University Library, SACUA Liaison

Daniel Green, CSG Student Representative
Herman Love, Michigan Medicine
Kyriaki Marti, School of Dentistry
Martha McComas, School of Dentistry
Darrius Robinson, RSG Student Representative
Heather Walline, Michigan Medicine
Ada Williams, Michigan Medicine
Matthew Zimmer, Michigan Medicine


October 22, 2018

  1. General introductions, if needed.
  2. Meeting with M. H. and T. L. to determine the proper scope of the Committee’s role given certain inherent issues pertaining to the General Counsel’s purview.
  3. To be addressed:
    1. What are areas of overlap does the Committee want to be most especially mindful of and why do we want to be especially mindful of them?
    2. We believe a representative and/or liaison with the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel (OGC) interfacing with the Committee would benefit both groups by minimizing potential conflicts of interests and maximizing the coordination of interests.
    3. If such a representative/liaison were to exist what sort of relationship would be ideal between our Committee and the OGC?
    4. Is there someone in the OGC that is already monitoring First Amendment legislation that we can be put in contact with?
  4. “Voice of the faculty”
    1. Develop an actual apparatus for us to collect faculty voices
    2. “Open office hours”
    3. Open digital form soliciting people for feedback
    4. Yearly/semesterly event open to faculty
    5. How do we create “specific responses to specific instances” in a useful way?
  5. Whitepaper
  6. Quick policy advice
  7. After last meeting our very own David Moran drafted the following:

    If a faculty member is generally willing to write letters of recommendation for a particular student, the faculty member should not decline to write a letter for that student on the ground that the faculty member has a personal, moral, or political objection against the intended recipient of the letter, so long as the intended recipient is a bona fide person or organization providing the kind of placement the student seeks. The faculty member may disclose her/his objection to the student but should also tell the student that she/he is willing to write a letter to the intended recipient if the student still wishes the faculty member to do so after hearing the objection.

    1. What would we want a “quick response” function to perform?
    2. Was the Committee’s response to something like the “Richard Spencer Event” adequate? In what way(s) could it have been improved?
  8. Letter written last year? Possible to obtain a copy? Was it published anywhere? Would it make sense to publish it now, somewhere?
  9. Hate speech v. free speech
    1. How would we like to approach it?
    2. What is important at that interface at the University?
  10. Patient privacy issues
  11. Our Committee name and acronym
    1. Committee on Civil Rights and Liberties, CCRL
    2. Committee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, CRCL
    3. Committee on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, CLCR
    4. Committee on Civil Liberties and Rights, CCLR


Barry Belmont, Biomedical Engineering, Chair
Rachael Kohl, Michigan Law
David Moran, Michigan Law
Kate Saylor, University Library – Taubman (via Google Meet)
Heather Walline, Michigan Medicine
Darrius Robinson, RSG Student Representative

Daniel Green, CSG Student Representative
Herman Love, Michigan Medicine
Kyriaki Marti, School of Dentistry
Jennifer Matthews, Michigan Medicine
Martha McComas, School of Dentistry
Deirdre Spencer, University Library, SACUA Liaison
Ada Williams, Michigan Medicine
Matthew Zimmer, Michigan Medicine