UPDATE: President White Restates Ethics Policy

By Sarah Small

President B. Joseph White issued a mass email to faculty and students Monday at 2:50 p.m. regarding the University’s the “Ethics Matters” newsletter that was sent to faculty on Sept. 18.

White’s email restated the University’s interpretation of the State Officials and Employers and Ethics Act. He said that faculty can be allowed to attend partisan rallies on campus when not on University time, they can wear partisan buttons when not in the workplace or on University time, and they can display partisan bumper stickers on their cars parked in University lots.

In his email White said, “We, the leadership of the University of Illinois, will preserve, protect and defend the constitutionally guaranteed rights of every member of our University community, including, of course, freedom of speech and assembly.”

He also said he will work with the Ethics Office and his staff to ensure that interpretations of the Ethics Act do not restrict state rights or academic freedoms.

On Oct. 2 the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to White pointing out the flaws in the University’s interpretation of the law. Spokesman from the ACLU Ed Yohnka said they have not had much time to process the letter, but they consider it to be good news.