D-2. Academic Freedom and Responsibility

D-2. Academic Freedom and Responsibility

Value Statements:

  • The concept of academic freedom includes responsibilities for both the institution and its faculty.
  • Academic freedom is essential to developing and sustaining relevant programs of instruction.

[1] Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon a free search for truth and its free expression. Hence it is essential that faculty members at Austin Community College be free to pursue scholarly inquiry without unreasonable restriction, and to voice and publish their conclusions without fear of institutional censorship or discipline. They must be free from the possibility that others of differing vision, either inside or outside the college community, may threaten their professional careers.

[2] Opportunity for students to examine and question the pertinent data and assumptions of a given discipline, guided by the evidence of scholarly research, is appropriate in a learning environment, This right is accompanied by an equally demanding expectation of responsibility on the part of the student.

[3] The concept of academic freedom in Austin Community College is accompanied by an equally demanding concept of responsibility, shared by the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty members, and students.

[4] The essential responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and administrators regarding academic freedom are set forth in the Criteria For Accreditation, adopted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as updated and revised.

[5] In the classroom or in College-produced telecommunications, faculty members should strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, and to show respect for the opinions of others. In addition, instructors should be judicious in the use of material and should introduce only material that has a clear relationship to the subject field.

< >

The Austin Community College Board of Trustees adopted this policy on September 27, 1973, amended it on February 7, 1983, reaffirmed it on February 1, 1993, moved one portion to another policy on May 1, 2000, and amended it on July 7, 2003 and July 7, 2008.