Policy No. 5:02:03:30


SUBJECT: Academic Freedom and Responsibility

  1. Introduction
    The following policy of Cleveland State Community College on academic freedom and responsibility is in compliance with the Tennessee Board of Regents Policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (TBR Policies 5:02:03:30) and embodies all provisions, definitions, and stipulations of the Board policy.
  2. Academic Freedom and Responsibility
    1. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his or her subject, being careful not to introduce into the teaching unrelated subject matter.
    2. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties. Research for financial gain must be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the university, which is documented reduced to writing and signed by the faculty member and the appropriate academic officer(s).
    3. The faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational university/college. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from university/college censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a man or woman of  learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge the profession and the university/college by the faculty member's utterances. Hence, a faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he/she does not speak for the university/college.

Academic freedom is essential to fulfill the ultimate objectives of an educational university/college - the free search for and exposition of truth - and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth, and academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Implicit in the principle of academic freedom are the corollary responsibilities of the faculty who enjoy that freedom. Incompetence, indolence, intellectual dishonesty, failure to carry out assigned duties, serious moral dereliction, arbitrary and capricious disregard of standards of professional conduct - these and other grounds as set forth in CSCC Policy 5:02:03:00 Academic Tenure may constitute adequate cause for dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions against faculty members.

The right to academic freedom imposes upon the faculty an equal obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities. The faculty member has an obligation to participate in tenure and promotion review of colleagues as specified in college policy. Thus, academic freedom and academic responsibility are interdependent, and academic tenure is adopted as a means to protect the former while promoting the latter. While academic tenure is essential for the protection of academic freedom, the full benefits and responsibilities of academic freedom extend to all individuals teaching in the college, whether or not they are eligible for tenure.

Source:  TBR Policy 5:02:03:30 April 2, 2004; TBR revised Dec. 13, 2012; CSCC Policy 5:02:03:00.

Approved by:  Faculty Senate January 16, 2013; Academic Council January 22, 2013; President’s Cabinet January 22, 2013