5.14 Academic Freedom

adopted: May-2009
last revised: May-2009

Academic freedom is the freedom of faculty to teach the truth in their fields without fear of reprisal. It is the student’s right to hear the truth as faculty perceives it in their areas of expertise. Academic freedom implies equal consideration of all sides of a question. Therefore, academic freedom is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Along with academic freedom are duties correlative with rights. These duties include adherence to all College policies, procedures, rules, and practices.

Faculty are citizens, mentors of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they write or speak as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As persons of learning, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate. They should respect the fact that others have the right to their own opinions, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for or representing the institution when they write or speak as citizens.