The Institute believes in freedom of artistic expression. Artistic freedom is vital to both the cultural and political health of our society. It is essential in a democracy that values and protects the rights of the individual to espouse his or her beliefs.

The Institute’s responsibility for and dedication to securing the conditions in which freedom of artistic expression can flourish extends to all forms of artistic expression, including fine arts, design, literature, and performance. The opportunity to display or perform works of art at the Institute is made available through several academic processes and procedures in which faculty members, students, and other duly appointed individuals exercise their best professional judgment. Among these procedures are selection of gallery shows by the Gallery, selection of artwork for student shows by selected appointed outside jurors, or performances/displays as part of an approved curriculum. Such authorized displays or performances, no matter how unpopular the work might be, must be unhindered and free from coercion. Members of the Institute community and guests must reflect in their actions a respect for the right to communicated ideas artistically, and must refrain from any act that would cause that right to be abridged. At the same time, the Institute recognizes that the right of artists to exhibit or perform does not preclude the right of others to take exception to particular works of art. However, this later right must be exercised in ways that do not prevent a work of art from being seen and must not involve any form of intimidation, defacement, or physical violence. The Institute rejects the claim of any outside individual or agency of the right to dictate the appropriateness or acceptability of the display or performance of any work of art in its facilities or as part of its educational programs.

Students, faculty members, staff members at CIA and persons whom they invite to join them have the right to demonstrate on CIA property provided they conduct themselves according to the regulations set forth below:                                   

  1. Demonstrations will under no circumstances block free entry to or exit from college buildings, or interfere with the free movement of any person on college grounds or in college buildings or otherwise interfere with the normal business of the college

  2. Demonstrators will conduct themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner and will refrain from any loud noises that disrupt classes, meetings, assemblies or academic pursuit.

  3. Counter demonstrators will observe the same standards as set forth above. Demonstrations may not be interfered with by other than duly constituted authorities.

  4. If or when, in the judgment of the president of the college, the Dean of Students or their designated representatives, a demonstration has passed out of control to the extent that freedom of expression is abridged, freedom of movement on the campus or the normal conduct of college affairs is threatened, or property is being damaged, a verbal attempt will be made by the college representative to persuade demonstrators to desist from practices in violation of these standards.

  5. Should the demonstrators fail to respond in accordance with these standards, they will be warned of the consequences and given a reasonable period of time to desist.

  6. After the expiration of a reasonable period of time, the names of those who do not observe these standards will be requested. The names of such persons may be obtained by such means, short of force, as repeated demands, photographing or any other reasonable procedure designed to elicit such information. Any photographs and negatives used for identification shall become the exclusive property of the appropriate conduct bodies, not to be distributed, and shall be destroyed upon final settlement of the case.

  7. If persuasion and warning fail, campus security may be employed to bring the demonstrations under control.

  8. If, in the judgment of the president of the college, the Dean of students or their designated representatives, campus security seems unable to cope successfully with the situation, then these same authorities may request outside assistance.

Action in the Event of Violations                                   

Cases in which an allegation of violation of the foregoing regulations is brought against a CIA student are within the jurisdiction of Assistant Dean of Student Affairs as Chief Judicial Officer.               

Cases in which an allegation of violation of these regulations is brought against any other person shall be referred to the president of the college.

The CIA Student Bill of Rights guarantees to all students:

  1. Retention of their rights as citizens of the community at large

  2. Protection in the classroom of freedom of expression and against improper academic evaluation

  3. Protection of their rights to privacy regarding access to and disclosure of student records (in accordance with the Buckley amendment and Family Educational Rights and Protections Act).

  4. Student Activities rights regarding freedom of association, inquiry, and expression, along with the right to participate in Institute governance and to maintain a student press free from censorship.

  5. The right to be free in their persons, living quarters, papers, and effects against unwarranted search and seizures.

  6. The right to remain silent and receive basic due process in disciplinary proceedings.

Students may be subject to disciplinary actions for conduct that violates Institute policies and regulations. Being found responsible of such conduct might result in Institute disciplinary action. The Director of Student Life and Housing supervises the Institute’s disciplinary system. The procedures of criminal and civil courts shall not govern disciplinary proceedings at the Institute. In such proceedings, formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures invalidate a proceeding or decision, unless significant prejudice to an alleged violator or to the Institute may result.

It is the policy of The Cleveland Institute of Art, in accordance with the provisions set forth by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other federal regulations, not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation or gender identification, age or disabilities, in employment practices, administration of educational policies, admission, scholarship and loan programs, and other college- administered programs and activities.

All official correspondence to students from CIA faculty and staff will use the student’s official CIA email address ( Offices and staff on campus will not use any other email account, and students are responsible for notifications sent to them on their CIA account. Residential students may be communicated with through lettered mail delivered to their campus mailboxes, but the majority of communication with students will be by email. Students are responsible for knowing the content of emails sent by any faculty or staff member at CIA. The username on email accounts is also used as a sign-on for other systems at the Institute. It is against policy to share login information.

As needed, CIA conducts research about the academic programs, student experiences, and other factors that support the continuing evaluation and improvement of the Institute and support provided to students. Information that results from this research will be treated in such a way that student names and other identifiers will not be connected to individual responses in any published analyses.

As a condition of enrollment, students give permission for photos of themselves and their work to be used by CIA for educational purposes or for the promotion of CIA and its educational or institutional objectives, including but not limited to CIA-related recruiting, publicity, advancement, promotions, or other related purposes, and not for commercial purposes. Any original work(s) of art or other forms of intellectual property created by a student shall belong to the student(s) who created them. CIA reserves the right to photograph, reproduce, and use for display the works of art produced by students during and after their college enrollment for educational purposes or for the promotion of CIA and its educational or institutional objectives, including but not limited to education and for non-commercial purposes, including but not limited to education and CIA-related recruiting, publicity, advancement, promotions, or other related purposes, and not for commercial purposes. CIA shall derive no income from the use of any such student work. 


When CIA hires or employs a student to create original work(s) of art or other forms of intellectual property for CIA, such original work(s) of art are deemed to be a “work made for hire,” as that term is defined in the United States Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 101), and shall be the sole and complete property of CIA. To the extent any such original work(s) of art are not deemed to be a work made for hire, student hereby irrevocably assigns and vests all title, interest, and right of all ownership rights in and to such work to CIA. However, CIA grants to student a non-exclusive, non-assignable, revocable, limited, non-sublicensable, and royalty-free license in such original work(s) of art. CIA does not insure student work, nor is it responsible for work stored or exhibited in CIA-owned or rented facilities.  Students are responsible for ensuring that any original work(s) of art do not violate any rights of third parties.   


Last updated 3/9/2021. 

In order to protect FERPA-protected student privacy, faculty intellectual property, and Institute confidential information, neither students nor faculty are permitted to share, transmit, or otherwise disclose recorded educational class content (e.g., lectures, discussions, small group meetings) to any third party.


The Institute regards its students as adults who are responsible for their actions, conduct, and any resulting consequences. Students must maintain high standards of conduct and professionalism in their work, and respect the property of the college and fellow students, faculty, and staff.