Open Expression Statement

An important goal of the educational experience at USC Marshall is to be exposed to and discuss diverse, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas that challenge one’s beliefs. This is an important part of the training business students must receive to address and solve major issues that confront businesses in a critical and thoughtful manner. These values are reflected in the USC Marshall statement on open communication.

Marshall Learning Environment: Open Expression and Respect for All

The USC Marshall School of Business shares the University’s Unifying Values:

  • We act with integrity in the pursuit of excellence.
  • We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion to promote well-being.
  • We engage in open communication and are accountable for living our values.

We value each person's humanity and voice and strive to ensure that every member of our community feels that they belong and are respected.

We support the USC Statement protecting free speech and the academic freedom of faculty and students. Certain limited categories of speech are not protected by the law, such as expression that is defamatory, incites violence, constitutes a true threat or unlawful harassment, or violates privacy, confidentiality, or intellectual property rights. But other than  the limited categories of legally unprotected speech, we are committed to fostering a learning environment where free inquiry and expression are encouraged and celebrated and for which all members of the Marshall community share responsibility.  We recognize that speech that is deeply offensive may nevertheless be legally protected and seek to restrain ourselves from responding with censorship or reprisal.

The classroom is an environment in which students and faculty should not feel they will be punished, ostracized, or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, or concerns, or for making mistakes. As part of the educational process, students and faculty will discuss topics that may make some people uncomfortable, unhappy, distressed, or even offended. Sometimes there will be strong disagreements about these topics, and the care with which they are discussed is paramount. It is the shared responsibility of members of our community: to treat each other with courtesy, dignity and respect; to appreciate the spectrum of viewpoints on an issue; and, to be actively involved in working through contentious issues together.