The primary purpose of a public university is the generation and dissemination of knowledge. The University is the repository of information and ideas, factual and esthetic, and provides an atmosphere in which students and faculty can explore new ideas and search for truth. To accomplish its mission as an objective and impartial purveyor of truth and to be a place where students can learn, mature, and acquire thinking skills in an appropriate atmosphere—an atmosphere that is really present and is perceived to be present by the public—the University of Arizona should conduct its business dealings so as to model behavior which is undeniably above reproach.
While we expect that students will change their behavior as they acquire critical thinking skills and learn to use them in their own lives, the University must guard against the possibility that these changes might be deliberately conditioned for purposes of the commercial or other gains of anyone. We expect those persons responsible for entering into arrangements with commercial interests to be alert to all significant consequences and possible subsequent actions. Reasonable caution must be exercised to prevent decisions that could destroy the ability of the University to remain a symbol of hope and truth. Accordingly, the University should avoid relationships which could require faculty, staff, or students to change or modify their behavior in any way that might undermine the purpose or mission of the University or restrict freedom of speech, freedom of choice, or freedom of inquiry.
It is the intent of this policy that all agreements entered into by the University of Arizona result in the enhancement of the primary mission and purpose of the University. Any restrictions or requirements resulting from contracts or gifts should not detract from these purposes. In order for the institution to remain a symbol of the quest for truth and knowledge, it must preserve its reputation as one of absolute integrity and avoid affiliations that may tarnish its image in the public eye. The name of the University should never be used to endorse any products or corporations whose products are instruments of destruction or known to cause harm to humans. It must not ask the students or scholars within the institution to change their behaviors in ways which hinder the generation or dissemination of knowledge merely for monetary gain. In order to foster ideals concerning the pursuit of truth it should not restrict freedom of speech. Persons who cause the University to enter into agreements which violate applicable law, this policy, or other applicable Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) or University policies are subject to appropriate University responses, including but not limited to requests to address such matters before the University Committee on Ethics and Commitment (UCEC) subject to established procedures and jurisdictional limitations.
The most important aspect of this policy is that those with authority to commit the institution to corporate relationships have the great responsibility to carry out its mission and to maintain its intellectual independence. They must proceed with more than the usual caution, because of the potential consequences of their actions and possible damage to the institution for decades to come.