BOARD POLICY SERIES NUMBER: 4050
TITLE: ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
The College affirms and follows the ideal that faculty members are entitled to academic freedom as outlined in AAUP’s “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” and the related policy documents. Academic freedom is the freedom of Linn-Benton Community College faculty members and students to discuss all relevant matters, both in and outside the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, critical inquiry and creative expression, and to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters within the context of our educational purposes.
This college policy is based on certain assumptions, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Academic freedom and academic responsibility are inseparable. Academic freedom is the right of faculty members to interpret findings and communicate conclusions without being subjected to any interference, molestation, or penalization because these conclusions are at variance with those of constituted authorities or organized groups beyond the colleges.
- Academic freedom carries with it corresponding responsibility. Academic responsibility emphasizes the obligation to study, to investigate, to present and interpret, and to discuss facts and ideas concerning human society and the physical and biological world in all branches and fields of knowledge. Since human knowledge is limited and changeable, the faculty member will acknowledge the facts on which controversial views are based and show respect for opinions held by others. While striving to avoid bias, the faculty employee may present the conclusions to which he or she believes the evidence points.
- College faculty members are citizens, members of a learned profession, and members of a particular institution. When speaking as individuals or citizens, faculty members should be free from institutional censorship or discipline; but the faculty member's special position in the community imposes special obligations. Hence the expectation is that faculty members should be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.
To ensure these principles of academic freedom for Linn-Benton Community College, the administrators of the district and the board, as the governing body of the district, will at all times demonstrate their support by actively and openly working toward a climate which will foster this freedom. Such participation will extend to the point of defending and supporting faculty members who, while maintaining the high standards of their profession, find their freedom of expression attacked or curtailed.
To ensure the public is aware of the academic purpose of the various public expressions of academic freedom, the Board instructs the administration to provide appropriate permanent signage/communication for designated art galleries and for theatrical presentations, clearly expressing our commitment to showcasing a wide breadth of intellectual and creative expression and informing the public that these presentations may often address mature concepts.
DATE OF ADOPTION: 03/14/83
DATE(S) OF REVISION(S): 12/16/92 and 12/15/10, 5/16/18
DATE OF LAST REVIEW: 5/16/18; 3/18/2020