HB 295: "An Act relating to public policy neutrality and nondiscrimination by the University of Alaska; relating to the duties of the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska; relating to a free speech policy for the University of Alaska; and providing for an effective date."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 295 01 "An Act relating to public policy neutrality and nondiscrimination by the University of 02 Alaska; relating to the duties of the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska; 03 relating to a free speech policy for the University of Alaska; and providing for an 04 effective date." 05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 * Section 1. AS 14.40.045 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 07 (b) The University of Alaska, as an institution, shall remain neutral on public 08 policy matters except to the extent necessary for the administration of the university. 09 The University of Alaska may not take official action on a public policy matter that 10 pressures a student or member of the faculty or staff to express a particular viewpoint 11 or that prevents a student or member of the faculty or staff from taking a position on a 12 public policy matter. 13 * Sec. 2. AS 14.40.050 is amended to read: 14 Sec. 14.40.050. Discrimination because of sex, color, [OR] nationality, or

01 expression prohibited. A person may not be deprived of the privileges of the 02 University of Alaska because of sex, color, [OR] nationality, or the content of the 03 person's expression. 04 * Sec. 3. AS 14.40.050 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 05 (b) The University of Alaska may not discriminate against a student 06 organization or deny a student organization a benefit or privilege available to another 07 student organization based on the content of the organization's expression. In this 08 subsection, the "organization's expression" includes any idea or rule endorsed or 09 enforced by the organization that is based on sincerely held beliefs, standards of 10 conduct of the organization, or the mission or purpose of the organization as defined 11 by the organization. 12 * Sec. 4. AS 14.40.170(a) is amended to read: 13 (a) The Board of Regents shall 14 (1) appoint the president of the university by a majority vote of the 15 whole board, and the president may attend meetings of the board; 16 (2) fix the compensation of the president of the university, all heads of 17 departments, professors, teachers, instructors, and other officers; 18 (3) confer appropriate degrees as it may determine and prescribe; 19 (4) have the care, control, and management of 20 (A) all the real and personal property of the university; and 21 (B) land 22 (i) conveyed to the Board of Regents by the 23 commissioner of natural resources in the settlement of the claim of the 24 University of Alaska to land granted to the state in accordance with the 25 Act of March 4, 1915 (38 Stat. 1214), as amended, and in accordance 26 with the Act of January 21, 1929 (45 Stat. 1091), as amended; and 27 (ii) conveyed to the Board of Regents in trust for the 28 University of Alaska by the commissioner of natural resources under 29 AS 14.40.365; 30 (5) keep a correct and easily understood record of the minutes of every 31 meeting and all acts done by it in pursuance of its duties;

01 (6) under procedures to be established by the commissioner of 02 administration, and in accordance with existing procedures for other state agencies, 03 have the care, control, and management of all money of the university and keep a 04 complete record of all money received and disbursed; 05 (7) adopt reasonable rules for the prudent trust management and the 06 long-term financial benefit to the university of the land of the university; 07 (8) provide public notice of sales, leases, exchanges, and transfers of 08 the land of the university or of interests in land of the university; 09 (9) administer, manage, market, and promote a postsecondary 10 education savings program, including the Alaska Higher Education Savings Trust 11 under AS 14.40.802 and the Alaska advance college tuition savings fund under 12 AS 14.40.803 - 14.40.817; 13 (10) designate buildings owned by the university as covered buildings 14 for purposes of paying the costs of use, management, operation, maintenance, and 15 depreciation from the fund established under AS 37.05.555; 16 (11) adopt a policy on free expression that meets the requirements 17 of AS 14.40.045(b), 14.40.050(b), and 14.40.179. 18 * Sec. 5. AS 14.40 is amended by adding a new section to read: 19 Sec. 14.40.179. Free expression policy; committee; penalties. (a) The Board 20 of Regents shall adopt a policy on free expression and provide a presentation 21 explaining the policy to students during orientation programs for students. The policy 22 must, at a minimum, 23 (1) state that 24 (A) the primary function of an institution of higher education is 25 the discovery, improvement, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge 26 through research, teaching, discussion, and debate; 27 (B) the university shall strive to ensure the fullest degree of 28 intellectual freedom and freedom of expression possible; 29 (C) it is not the proper role of the university to shield a person 30 from speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States 31 Constitution or art. I, secs. 5 and 6, Constitution of the State of Alaska,

01 including ideas and opinions that the person finds unwelcome, disagreeable, or 02 even deeply offensive; 03 (D) students and faculty have the freedom, within the limits of 04 regulations adopted by the Board of Regents consistent with this section, to 05 discuss any issue that arises; 06 (E) students and faculty may assemble and engage in 07 spontaneous expressive activity as long as the activity is lawful, does not 08 materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the university, and is 09 consistent with regulations adopted by the Board of Regents; 10 (F) the university maintains a policy of neutrality with respect 11 to public policy matters, as required under AS 14.40.045(b), and the 12 university's nondiscrimination policy, as required under AS 14.40.050; 13 (G) a person lawfully present on campus may protest or 14 demonstrate on campus, but protests or demonstrations that materially and 15 substantially infringe on the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive 16 activity are not permitted and may be penalized; the statement required under 17 this subparagraph may not prohibit professors or other instructors from 18 maintaining order in a classroom; 19 (H) public areas of the campuses of the university are 20 traditional public forums open to all speakers on the same terms, and use of 21 other areas of the campuses of the university may be restricted to speakers 22 invited by students, student organizations, or members of the faculty; 23 (I) the university will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the 24 safety of invited speakers; 25 (2) describe 26 (A) the university's policies regulating expressive activities as 27 authorized under (b) of this section; 28 (B) the range of disciplinary sanctions the university may, 29 within the jurisdiction of the university, impose on a person who materially 30 and substantially interferes with the free expression of others; 31 (C) disciplinary procedures applicable to cases involving

01 expressive conduct; the disciplinary procedures must meet the minimum 02 requirements described in (c) of this section. 03 (b) The Board of Regents may adopt reasonable viewpoint-neutral and 04 content-neutral regulations limiting the time, place, or manner of expression by 05 students and faculty if the regulations are clear, published, necessary to achieve a 06 compelling governmental interest, the least restrictive means of furthering the 07 compelling governmental interest, and open to ample alternative means of expression. 08 If the regulations restrict expressive conduct in a public area of a campus of the 09 university, the regulations must also provide ample opportunities for spontaneous 10 assembly and distribution of literature. 11 (c) The Board of Regents shall adopt disciplinary procedures and a range of 12 punishments for violations of policies and regulations related to expressive conduct. 13 The disciplinary procedures must include a hearing and, at a minimum, 14 (1) protect the right of the accused person to 15 (A) receive written notice of the charges in advance of the 16 disciplinary proceeding; 17 (B) review the evidence in support of the charges; 18 (C) confront witnesses; 19 (D) present a defense; 20 (E) call witnesses; 21 (F) decision making by an impartial arbiter or panel; 22 (G) appeal the decision of the arbiter or panel; 23 (H) representation by a lawyer if the possible disciplinary 24 measures include suspension for more than 30 days or expulsion; and 25 (2) provide that a student who has been found two or more times to 26 have infringed on the expressive rights of another will be suspended for a minimum of 27 one year or expelled. 28 (d) The university may not charge security fees based on the content of an 29 invited speaker's speech or the content of the speech of a person who invites a speaker 30 to a campus. 31 (e) The Board of Regents shall establish a committee on free expression

01 consisting of not less than five members of the Board of Regents. The committee shall 02 elect a chair from among its membership. Each member of the committee shall serve 03 at the pleasure of the Board of Regents and each member's term is equal to the 04 remainder of the member's term on the Board of Regents. In the event of a vacancy on 05 the committee, the Board of Regents shall appoint a replacement from among its 06 membership. All university employees shall cooperate with the committee by 07 providing information requested by the committee. Annually, on or before 08 September 1, the committee shall complete a report and submit the report to the Board 09 of Regents, the senate secretary, and the chief clerk of the house of representatives, 10 notify the legislature that the report is available, and make the report available to the 11 public. The report must include a description of 12 (1) any barriers to or disruptions of free expression within the 13 university; 14 (2) the disciplinary process and any discipline imposed by the 15 university as a result of barriers or disruptions described in (1) of this subsection; 16 (3) substantial difficulties, controversies, or successes the university 17 faced in remaining neutral with respect to public policy matters, as required under 18 AS 14.40.045(b); and 19 (4) any other relevant assessments, criticisms, commendations, or 20 recommendations. 21 (f) Nothing in this section prohibits the Board of Regents from regulating 22 activity that is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution 23 or art. I, secs. 5 and 6, Constitution of the State of Alaska, including 24 (1) violations of state or federal law; 25 (2) expression that a court has determined to be unprotected 26 defamation; 27 (3) peer-on-peer harassment; 28 (4) quid pro quo sexual harassment; 29 (5) true threats; 30 (6) an unjustifiable invasion of privacy or confidentiality that does not 31 involve a matter of public concern.

01 (g) The attorney general or a person aggrieved by an action of the university 02 or the Board of Regents that violates the requirements of this section, 03 AS 14.40.045(b), or 14.40.050(b) may bring an action for injunctive relief and 04 damages in the superior court. If the court finds a violation of this section, the court 05 shall award civil damages in the amount of $1,000 or actual damages, whichever is 06 greater, appropriate injunctive relief, and reasonable costs and attorney fees allowed 07 under the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure. 08 (h) This section supersedes any existing university policies that are 09 inconsistent with this section. 10 (i) In this section, 11 (1) "committee" means the committee on free expression; 12 (2) "peer-on-peer harassment" means conduct directed by a student 13 toward another student that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it 14 effectively deprives the student of access to the educational opportunities or benefits 15 provided by the university; 16 (3) "quid pro quo sexual harassment" means conduct that explicitly or 17 implicitly conditions a student's participation in an education program or activity or 18 bases an educational decision on the student's submission to unwelcome sexual 19 advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of 20 a sexual nature; 21 (4) "true threat" means a statement meant by the speaker to 22 communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence 23 to a particular individual or group of individuals; 24 (5) "university" means the University of Alaska. 25 * Sec. 6. AS 14.40.240 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 26 (b) The president, or the president's delegate, shall suspend or expel a student 27 who infringes on the expressive rights of another person if suspension or expulsion is 28 required under AS 14.40.179(c). 29 * Sec. 7. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 30 read: 31 APPLICABILITY. AS 14.40.179(g) and (h), enacted by sec. 5 of this Act, apply only

01 to an action by the University of Alaska or the Board of Regents taken on or after the 02 effective date of this Act. 03 * Sec. 8. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).