Academic Freedom and Responsibility

By August 28, 2013

As a private institution, Vassar is a voluntary association of persons invited to membership on the understanding that they will respect the principles by
which it is governed. Because Vassar is a residential college, and because it seeks
diversity in its membership, individuals have a particular obligation beyond that
of society at large to exercise self-restraint, tolerance for difference, and regard for
the rights and sensitivities of others. When individuals violate their obligation to
the community, such as through the denigration of groups within the college, it
is not simply a matter for those particular groups, but it offends the sensibilities
of the entire community. The strength and health of the college rests on the affirmation by all of its members of these principles of freedom with responsibility
and respect for others.

Academic Freedom and Responsibility

By August 28, 2013

[M]embers of the college community accept constraints, similar to those of parliamentary debate against personal attacks or courts of law against the use of inflammatory language. Under the rule of civility, individuals within the community are expected to behave reasonably, use speech responsibly, and respect the rights of others. Genuine freedom of mind is not possible in the absence of civility.