Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 3/31/1969

Revised: 7/1/2011

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ACD 201: Academic Freedom

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Purpose

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To promote academic freedom

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Sources

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–201, 202
Office of the Provost of the University

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Applicability

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Faculty
Academic professionals
Faculty associates
Faculty research associates
Graduate teaching assistants/associates
Graduate research assistants/associates

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Policy

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Institutions of higher education exist for the common good, and the common good depends on academic freedom: the free search for, and the free exposition of, truth. Academic freedom applies in both research and teaching. Freedom in research is essential for the true advancement of knowledge; academic freedom in teaching is essential for the protection of the rights of both the teacher and the student in the free interchange of ideas.

Academic freedom is the right of every faculty member, academic professional, and other employees and students while engaged in teaching and/or research. These freedoms include:

  1. Freedom in research and in the publication of results.

    This freedom does not relieve the individual of the responsibility for carrying out other duties of the position.

  2. Freedom in teaching to discuss a field of competence without restrictions on content or method.

    In the exercise of this freedom, the individual should be careful not to introduce controversial matters which have no relation to the subject matter of the course. He or she is also obligated to encourage the free pursuit of learning by students and adhere to a proper role as intellectual guide and counselor. Every reasonable effort is made to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that evaluation of students reflects the true merit of their work. The confidential nature of the relationship between teacher and student is respected. Significant assistance from students is acknowledged in publication of the results of research.

  3. Freedom as a private citizen to speak out on public issues.

    The special position of the faculty member or academic professional as a person of learning and an educational officer in the community, however, imposes the special obligation that he or she must remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution on the basis of such public utterances. The individual measures all rights and obligations as a citizen against rights and responsibilities to the field of specialization, to students, profession, and institution. When speaking, writing, or acting as a private person, the individual avoids creating the impression that he or she is speaking for the university.

  4. Freedom to be judged by one’s colleagues, in accordance with fair procedures, in matters of promotion, tenure/continuing appointment, and discipline, on the basis of the faculty member’s or academic professional’s professional qualifications and professional conduct.

The pursuit and communication of knowledge at ASU are to be free from restrictions and include respect for the following rights:

  1. the right of all to search for truth and knowledge without obstruction or restraint
  2. the right of all to attempt to persuade by reasoned argument or peaceful processes

    and

  3. the right of all to form judgments based on full and free exploration, exposition, and discussion.

Deliberately violent, obstructive, or disruptive action of groups or individuals, which is prejudicial to academic freedom and destructive to the pursuit of learning at this university, is unacceptable.


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