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Academic Freedom and Grievances

Applies to: Original Policy Date: Date of Last Review: Approved By: 
Faculty and StudentsJune 16, 2008February 9, 2022

Dr. Marco Carvahlo
Executive Vice President and Provost

Policy Owner: President

Policy Purpose

Academic freedom is the foundation of a university, Academic freedom respects the dignity and rights of others while fostering intellectual freedom of faculty to teach, research, and publish. This policy establishes the university's commitment to academic freedom for all faculty and students in congruence with the faculty's endorsement of the 1940 statement of the AAUP on academic freedom.

Policy Scope

This policy applies to all Florida Tech faculty and students when teaching, conducting research, in publishing, when engaging in other academic pursuits in their discipline, and when speaking and writing as citizens.

Policy Statement

The university is committed to supporting and protecting the right of faculty and students to engage in academic pursuits in their discipline in accordance with the faculty's endorsement of the 1940 statement of the AAUP on academic freedom which follows:

  1. "Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based on an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
  2. Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to their subject. Limitations on academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
  3. College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise approprate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution."

The university will not infringe on the academic freedom of any faculty member or student.

Procedures/Guidelines

The university provides opportunities for faculty and students to resolve grievances, including those related to academic freedom.

Faculty should follow the grievance procedure in the Faculty Handbook

Students should follow the Student Complaint Resolution Process found in the Student Handbook to file a grievance.

Definitions

Academic Freedom. Academic freedom is the freedom to teach, to conduct research, and to publish the results of that research. Consistent with the exercise of academic responsibility, academic freedom is the riht to present and discuss one's own academic subjects, frankly and forthrightly, without fear of censorship or sanction from the university.

Faculty. For the purpose of this policy, faculty are defined as members of the university community whose roles include teaching, research, publishing, or other academic pursuits in their discipline. 

AAUP. American Association of University Professors

Teacher. Per the AAUP 1940 statements, this is "understood to include the investigator who is attached to an academic institution without teaching duties."

Compliance Reference

SACSCOC Standard 6.4

Responsibilities

The Offices of the President and Provost have the responsibility to support an academic environment at the university that protects the academic freedom of the campus community in teaching, research, publication, and other scholarly pursuits.

Faculty have the responsibility, as described in the 1940 statement of the AAUP on academic freedom, to recognize that their role as faculty comes with special obligations. "As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and institution by their utterances. Hence they 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 they are not speaking for the institution."

The Faculty Senate and Dean of Students are responsible for appropriately documenting formal academic freedom grievances and to ensure they are reviewed according to the appropriate grievance and complaint procedures.

Enforcement

Violations of academic freedom are serious in nature and can lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

 

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