Academic freedom is essential in institutions of higher education if they are to make their proper contribution to the common good. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. It is that which justifies academic freedom, not the interest of the individual faculty member or even the interest of a particular university.
Academic freedom is the freedom to engage in research, scholarship, or other creative work in order to expand knowledge, to publish research findings, to teach and to learn in an atmosphere of unfettered free inquiry and exposition.
As members of the University community, students can reasonably expect all the guarantees and protections afforded students of public institutions by the United States and Nevada Constitutions, including: … The right to engage in inquiry and discussion, to exchange thought and opinion, and to speak, write, and print freely on any subject in accordance with the guarantees of federal and state laws.
Carleton’s Values: … While the nature of an academic community is to provide a milieu for the expression, criticism and discussion of the widest range of opinions, it does not provide license for bigotry in the form of demeaning, discriminatory speech or actions. Thus, the presentation of a reasoned or evidenced claim about a societal group that offends members of that group is to be distinguished from a gratuitous denigrating claim about, or addressed to, an individual or group. The former is bona fide academic behavior while the latter may demean, degrade or victimize in a discriminatory manner and, if so, undermines the above principles.
[T]he University insists upon academic freedom
which makes open discussion and inquiry possible.
Students collectively or individually should have the freedom to examine and discuss all questions that are of interest to them and to express opinion publicly as well as privately. They should always be free to support causes by orderly means.
The University is
a community where the means of seeking to
establish truth are open discussion and free
discourse. It thrives on debate and dissent.
Free inquiry, free expression, and free association
are indispensable to the purposes of the University, and must be protected as a matter
of academic freedom within the University,
quite apart from the question of constitutional
Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. An educated citizenry is the key to the continual improvement of society.
Each member of the University community is required to cooperate with
the University in its endeavors to foster and maintain the freedom of expression and exchange of
ideas necessary to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship and service. The
University strives to protect the rights of its students and employees (including faculty members) to
publicize opinions through written and oral communications; to organize and join political
associations; to convene and conduct meetings; and to advocate, demonstrate and picket in an
Students are guaranteed rights of free inquiry, expression, and peaceful assembly upon and within college facilities that are generally open and available to the public.
The tradition of the University as a sanctuary of academic freedom and center of informed discussion is
an honored one, to be guarded vigilantly. The basic significance of that sanctuary lies in the protection
of intellectual freedom: the rights of professors to teach, of scholars to engage in the advancement of
knowledge, of students to learn and to express their views, free from external pressures or interference.
These freedoms can nourish only in an atmosphere of mutual respect, civility, and trust among teachers
and students, only when members of the University community are willing to accept self-restraint and
reciprocity as the condition upon which they share in its intellectual autonomy.
Academic freedom and the sanctuary of the University campus extend to all who share these aims and
responsibilities. They cannot be invoked by those who would subordinate intellectual freedom to
political ends, or who violate the norms of conduct established to protect that freedom. Against such
offenders the University has the right, and indeed the obligation, to defend itself.
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon
appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. The academic
community must exercise this freedom with responsibility to both itself and the larger community.
It is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of
inquiry, teaching, and research. In the exercise of this freedom the faculty member may, without
limitation, discuss his/her own subject in the classroom; he/she may not however, claim as a
right the privilege of discussing in the classroom controversial matter which has no relation to
the subject. The principle of academic freedom shall be accompanied by a corresponding
principle of responsibility. In their roles as citizens, employees have the same freedoms as other
citizens. However, in their extramural utterances employees have an obligation to indicate that
they are not institutional spoke persons.
The right to academic freedom.
Vassar College is dedicated to freedom of inquiry in the pursuit of truth, and is
vigilant in defending the right of individuals to free speech.
Students are free to take reasoned exception to the views offered in particular courses of study. They may, however, be required to know thoroughly the particulars set out by the instructor, but are free to reserve personal judgment as to the truth or falsity of what is presented.
Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. It is essential to foster a spirit of inquiry within the institution where ideas may be examined in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence. Along with academic freedom comes responsibility.
First of all, freedom to teach the truth as he sees it is the
privilege and responsibility of the teacher, without which there is no hope of sound education. This is the heart of education’s
guarantee for freedom and the guarantee against totalitarian threat to the democratic way of life. This does not preclude special arrangements between institutions and teachers, nor is this to be interpreted to mean that one has the right to be protected by this principle if he teaches the overthrow of the principle or of the system out of which it springs.